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THE JONESES: The Joneses (from Deep Column # 3/2011 - November)

Reviewed by Heikki Suosalo

Rating: 8/ 10

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UK BBR reissue CD, 2011
The original release on US Epic, 1977
1) Who Loves You
2) In Love Again
3) (If You Could Have) Your Love For A Song
4) All The Little Pieces
5) Music To My Ears
6) Lies
7) Groovin' On Ya
8) Merry Go Round
9) Universal Love
10) Rat Race

  This 5-piece group out of Pittsburgh was formed in the late 60s and enjoyed its peak period on Mercury between 1974 and ’76.  The self-titled Joneses (CDBBR 0066; 10 tracks, 42 min.; liners with interviews by J Matthew Cobb) is their second album, which was released on Epic in ’77.  Produced by Bobby Eli - who also co-wrote seven songs - and recorded at Sigma Sound with MFSB musicians, unfortunately this fine Philly album got lost due to the lack of promotion, and the group disbanded soon after its release.

  The first single, Who Loves You, is a Tavares-sounding, full-blooded and pulsating disco cut, which was as good as any – if not better – disco hit out there at the time.  The leading high tenor belongs to Jimmy Richardson, whereas on the follow-up, a smooth mid-tempo song called In Love Again, the Teddy-sounding Harold Taylor is on lead.

  The album boasted a lot of similar, melodic and uplifting Philly dancers (Groovin’ on Ya, (If I Could Have) Your Love for a Song, Lies, Universal Love), but a couple of funkier items were thrown in, too (Music to My Ears, Rat Race).  You may think of the Temptations and their harmonies when listening to the atmospheric and hooky mid-tempo song called Merry Go Round, and that leaves us with one more song... but what a song it is!  All the Little Pieces is a beautiful ballad with rich orchestration – full strings and choir – which grows from an opening monologue into quite a crescendo.  The Joneses really deserves another chance.

© Heikki Suosalo

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