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This group’s success story is all too well known in soul circles, but to reiterate the story started in 1954 with the moniker The Charlemagnes, and with the name change, they became a household name following their recording deal with Philadelphia International during 1972. The hits poured in – “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”, “The Love I Lost” and “Don’t Leave Me This Way” which battled against Thelma Houston’s version in 1977; she lost. Hey ho, moving on…this re-issue was the group’s third album released in 1975 as the follow-up to “Black And Blue”, two years earlier. Housing a trio of R&B hit singles – “Where Are All My Friends”; desperately hypnotic, with its powerful beat, it claws at the emotions. “Bad Luck” and “Hope That We Can Be Together Soon” were the other two. The former is so typical of the group integrating with the Philly dance sound, and as such held the top spot in the US club listing for 11 weeks, before crossing over into the R&B top five. While the latter, with Sharon Paige trading verses with Harold Melvin, offers an easy, laidback sound, and another R&B milestone.

I have to say, this third album easily stirs up most emotions at the drop of a note, voice or melody, and the fact that Teddy Pendergrass was in the line-up (although he didn’t sing lead all the time) just adds to the wow factor here. With the MFSB orchestra and the absolutely genius of Gamble & Huff, how could this fail to please?

Rating: 9

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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