Thursday, 18 May 2017

The Sound of the Underground

Vintage soul fans out there might want to check out a series of compilation albums called "Underground Oldies". Originally issued 15 to 20 years ago, they are now available on the likes of Amazon and eMusic. There are at least ten volumes for you to work through, maybe more.

As the name of the series suggests, the focus is on rare and hard to find singles from the 1960s and 1970s. It is not wilfully obscure - they feature plenty of artists you might have heard of, like Gene Chandler and Billy Stewart, doing songs you probably won't remember - but of course it does include its fair share of one or no hit wonders. Like these three.

"Oh My Love, Sweet Love" - The Hill Sisters

"Ooh I Love You" - The Electrifying Cashmeres

"(Lord) Send Me Somebody" - The Green Berets

"(Lord) Send Me Somebody" got the Green Berets to No. 31 in the Billboard charts in 1969. Shortly thereafter - with a certain grim inevitability - half the members of the group got drafted, and that was effectively the end of their career. Whether any of them ended up joining their namesakes I don't honestly know, but if they did you can be sure they will have done Uncle Sam proud.

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