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Soul Express Classic Soul CD of the Month - March 2009

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Just the Facts: Complete Kayvette Recordings 1975-1978
UK Southbound 2-CD, 2009
Disc: 1
1) Sometimes 2) Caught In The Act (Of Gettin' It On) 3) Bitter Woman 4) Lost Inside Of You 5) Looks Like We Made It 6) A Hundred Pounds Of Pain 7) Uphill Peace Of Mind 8) What Would Your Mama Say 9) Givin' Me Your Love 10) That Kind Of Fire 11) Love Is The Final Truth 12) If You Can Give, You Can Get 13) L-O-V-E
Disc: 2
1) Did He Make Love To You? (Album Version) 2) We Can't Hide It Anymore 3) He Ain't You 4) Do You Wanna Make Love 5) I'm Way Ahead Of You 6) You Always Get Your Way 7) It's Only A Matter Of Time 8) This Ain't No Time To Sleep Apart 9) Dr Feelgood 10) Did He Make Love To You? Pts 1 & 2 (Single Version)

  What a terrific compilation!  It covers the recording history (1975 – ’78) of an act, which was formed as a 6-piece Gospel Truth in 1974 but which a while later and now as a trio changed its name to the Facts of Life.  All the tracks on Just the Facts (Southbound, CDSEW2 147;; 2-cd - 23 tracks, 88 min; notes by Tony Rounce) were produced by Millie Jackson (Brad Shapiro was the executive producer) and they come from the two albums by the group, Sometimes (Kayvette 802 in ’77) and A Matter of Fact (Kayvette 803 in ’78).  Additionally there are still three single sides (the fast If You Can Give, You Can Get and L-O-V-E, plus the single version of Did He Make Love to You?).  Rhythm tracks were recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, Millie and Brad were the arrangers with the exception of strings and horns, which were arranged by Mike Lewis.

  Jean Davis, Keith Williams and Chuck Carter excel on slow material, and sometimes they even remind me of the magnificent Soul Children.  A soulful cover of a country song called Sometimes remained their only pop hit, whereas on the soul side also a Banks & Hampton cheating ballad titled Caught in the Act (of Getting’ it on) charted.  Barbra Streisand’s Lost Inside of You turned into lush soul, while Barry Manilow’s recent gold hit, Looks like We Made It, was dramatized into a powerful opus.  Both That Kind of Fire and Love Is the Final Truth are gospel-infused ballads.

  Their second and the last album was even better; actually deep soul fiesta.  Among the nine tracks there are only two mid-tempo ones (I’m Way ahead of you and This Ain’t No Time to Sleep Apart), while the rest are gorgeous deepies.  Did He Make Love to You? was cut by Johnnie Taylor earlier and Larry Santos had charted with We Can’t Hide it Anymore two years before.  He Ain’t You and You Always Get Your Way are both melodic downtempo songs, but Do You Wanna Make Love increases the drama again, and both Joe Shamwell’s It’s Only a Matter of Time and Dr. Feelgood keep it up there.

  This compilation is for fans of big, dramatic, deep soul ballads and for those, who think that they didn’t create great music in the late 70s during the disco era.  Soon after the second album the trio disbanded.  Millie Jackson (in 1993): “T.K. was the major company that Kayvette was on, and they ran into financial problems.  Keith Williams went to California.  I think he’s into computers.  Chuck Carter became a barber in Brooklyn, New York.  Jean Davis, Tyrone’s sister, is my best girlfriend.  I’m the godmother for her daughter and I was the maid of honour at her wedding.  She’s married very happily to an ex-police chief in Chicago.  They have a security company, and she runs a catering service.”  Let me say it once more: what a terrific compilation!

- Heikki Suosalo

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