Mystic Merlin were originally known as Mystic. Merlin’s Magic Band and used to incorporate magic tricks into their live shows, they later dropped this gimmick and were taken seriously on the Soul and Dance Scene. Main vocals in Mystic Merlin were occasionally provided by Freddie Jackson who went onto have a hugely successful solo career with ten R&B #1 singles as well as seven R&B top ten hits. MYSTIC MERLIN was the band’s first album released in 1980 on Capitol Records. It was produced by Charles Kipp following his work with David Ruffin, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Melba Moore, Aretha Franklin and Johnny Nash.
In 1980 the Pointer Sisters released Special Things, their third album under the production genius
of Richard Perry, launching The Pointer Sisters into the 80s and their most commercially successful period. Special Things featured the gold selling single HE’S SO SHY which returned the group to R&B Top Ten as well as soaring all the way to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, earning them a Grammy nomination in the process. Also included are the popular Could I Be Dreaming which peaked at #22 on the R&B chart as well as becoming a Club hit alongside the Disco classic We’ve Got The Power.
The Pointer Sisters' 13th charting LP, 1985's Contact, was an exercise in slick, edgy, synthesized pop. Both "Dare Me" and "Freedom," easily the best songs here, marched straight onto the singles charts. The former was an audacious, rough-and-ready come-on draped in a samba beat, wrapped in period trimmings, and brimming with sharp vocal harmonies. The latter, on the other hand, graced the R&B Top 30 with a quiet, soulful dream, riding a light beat and little instrumentation.
BABY SISTER was her first solo album, produced by Richard Perry and was released on his Planet label in 1983 a few months before the Pointer Sisters multi-platinum album Break Out. It is widely known as the album where Perry perfected the R&B/Dance sound that would soon give the Pointer Sisters the biggest hits of their career Automatic and Jump.
‘I Miss You‘ was Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes debut Philadelphia International album, released in 1972. The album features the lead vocals of Teddy Pendergrass and the classic Philly production of Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff. Featured are the hits I Miss You, Yesterday I Had The Blues and the ultimate Philly Soul ballad If You Don’t Know Me By Now BBR introduce the first ever CD edition of this album to feature the original artwork and title. Liner notes include a detailed interview about the sessions with Bobby Eli. Features four bonus tracks including a live version of If You Don’t Know Me By Now.
Black & Blue was Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes second Philadelphia International album, released in 1973. The album features the lead vocals of Teddy Pendergrass and the classic Philly production of Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff.
Stephanie Mills first came to prominence in 1975 with her performance as Dorothy in the stage version of THE WIZ on Broadway. Although she had released two albums in the mid-70s it was the teaming of Mills with JAMES MTUME and REGGIE LUCAS that made her a bonafide R&B star. The team’s first release on 20th Century was WHAT CHA GONNA DO WITH MY LOVIN’ in 1979. The title track reached the R&B Top 10 and became an instant classic. In addition, the album also spawned two massive club hits in the form of PUT YOUR BODY IN IT and YOU CAN GET OVER.WHAT CHA GONNA DO WITH MY LOVIN’ also featured Stephanie’s reading of PEABO BRYSON’s FEEL THE FIRE which to this day is on heavy rotation on the Quiet Storm radio format in the US.
T-Connection, formed in 1975, were a Funk/Disco group who hailed from reportedly one of the funkiest places on the planet, Nassau, in the Bahamas. Looking to further their chances of success the group leader, Theophilus "T” Coakley (vocals, guitar and keyboards) persuaded the other members of the group, his brother Kirkwood Coakley (bass, drums), David Mackey (guitars) and Anthony Flowers (drums, percussion) to take the short flight to Miami, Florida shortly after the birth of the group. Shortly after arriving T-Connection signed with dash Records, an off-shoot of the very successful Miami based T.K. Disco imprint.
LEON HAYWOOD, who hailed from Houston, Texas, was a singer, songwriter , producer and pianist who is arguably best known in the USA for his crossover 1975 hit ‘I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You’ which has been sampled a multitude of times, most notably on Dr. Dre's ‘Nuthin' But A G Thang.’ Haywood had a long and varied career which included accompanying Guitar Slim on piano when he was still in his teens, as well as joining Sam Cooke's band as keyboardist until the singer passed away. During the 60's he released his own instrumental sides and singles as well as playing on R&B hits for short lived outfits such as The Packers and The Romeos. This period culminated in his first solo R&B hit ‘It's Got To Be Mellow’ which peaked at #21 in 1967 on Decca Records.
In 1982, A TASTE OF HONEY returned with their final album, LADIES OF THE EIGHTIES, produced by Al McKay of Earth, Wind & Fire.