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BILLY PAUL: LATELY EXPANDED EDITION (BBR)
First things first here – comparisons between Billy Paul and Marvin Gaye are misguided, and yet, for some reason, journalists still attempt to link them. Each man is a unique artist, and if there’s anything similar between them, tis Billy trying to emulate his peer. Just listening to the lacklustre “Sexual Therapy” is enough to convince anyone I’d have thought. Based in Philadelphia, he recorded on that label where, among his releases, was the absolute classic “Me And Mrs Jones”, which earned him a Grammy and gold disc. And rightly so. During the eighties, and moving to California, Billy took a break from the business before joining Lonnie Simmons’ Total Experience Records, where this 1985 cd was the only to be issued. Two singles were lifted – the title track and “Sexual Therapy” which peaked at number 80 in the UK chart. The Sound of Philadelphia is long gone here obviously, which in itself takes a bit of getting used to, and, to be honest, if it wasn’t for his versions of “I Only Have Eyes For You” and “On A Clear Day”, I think I’d have filed this release under “could do better”. That’s a pity because Billy Paul is high in the soul echelon and a force to be reckoned with. Sadly, this isn’t one of his best.

Rating: 5

About the Writer
Sharon Davis ran the Four Tops fan club before spearheading Motown Ad Astra, catering for all the Motown acts, where she edited the in-house magazine TCB. Was publicist for Fantasy, Stax and Salsoul before joining Motown Records in London. Formed her own press/promotion company Eyes & Ears, worked for Blues & Soul magazine and website, and became a full time author and researcher. To date Sharon has written eleven books (her last A Girl Called Dusty published by Carlton Books) and she’s working on her next - Divas Of Motown. As a researcher, Sharon assisted Diana Ross with her autobiography Secrets Of A Sparrow, and is now in constant demand for her knowledge about Motown and its artists.
  
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