(5 / 5)
I love my editor! He knows I love retro disco and soul/r&b stuff, and so when the latest batch of CDs lands on my doormat, for me to review, I was so chuffed to see not one, but two lovely box sets of that genre.
The first was the bumper eight-track set from Kleeer, and their entire Atlantic records albums output. See my review here: https://musicrepublicmagazine.com/2021/06/kleeer-the-atlantic-collection-1979-1985-robinsongs-18th-june-2021/
Plus this little beauty from The Whispers. A four-CD set covering the group’s Janus and Solar Records recording career spanning 1971 to 1987. A cracking 63 cuts here…..
Of course, all the big hits are featured. I still love the hit single “It’s A Love Thing”. That’s track four on disc # three.
But they had a string of hits, including two US number ones: “And The Beat Goes On” and “Rock Steady”. Then there were the Top 10 r&b hits, “One For The Money”, “Make It With You”, “(Let’s Go) All The Way”, “Lady”, “In The Raw”, “Tonight”, “Keep On Lovin’ Me” and “Contagious”.
The Whispers formed in 1963 in Watts, L.A. by twin brothers Walter and Wallace “Scotty” Scott, Gary Harmon, Marcus Hutson and Nicholas Caldwell. When Harmon left in 1973 he was replaced by Leavell Degree. Hutson died in 2016 and Caldwell in 2000.
The Whispers scored two Top 10 Hits in the U.K. and had chart success with another seven tracks – all featured in this fab box set. There’s two festive offerings as bonus tracks on CD # four: “Funky Christmas” and “Happy Holidays To You”.
But this soulful, feelgood music is ready-made for the sunshine and the summer, and for me, there’s nothing on here that I’d describe as “fillers”. It’s all lovely to hear again.
In 2013, the group were presented with a lifetime achievement award for their 50 years in the industry, and in 2014 The Whispers were inducted into the official r&b Music Hall Of Fame. They have earned two platinum and five gold albums.
The group still tour and have been fairly regular visitors to the UK on various arena tours with other artists. Walter, Wallace and Leavell degree are the current line-up. Never seen them live: Note to self: Must remedy that asap!
By Sally Fox
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’