“Soul Power”

Classy Deram compilation featuring The Flirtations, Clyde McPhatter, The Incrowd and The Fantastics

I passed on this album a few times when I found it in a Sunderland charity shop in November 2021. I checked the vinyl which wasn’t in the best shape, it was mangled with numerous scratches. Some of them were deep.

But, as usual, I had second thoughts and vowed to take it home with me if it was still redundant in a box of records. Sure enough, earlier this month the record was still filed away next to a pile of junk. It was £1, there wasn’t really anything to lose. It was also a Deram label original!

The album features four soul acts signed to Deram, all of them had varying degrees of success but nothing was released to get them to the next level.

All of the tracks compiled were singles from the period 1968 to mid 1971. However, there are three songs listed that were not released as a 45 and are available only on this LP. The songs in question are:

  • “I Hear A Symphony” by Clyde McPhatter
  • “Love Ain’t Love” by The Incrowd
  • “Thank You Darling” by The Incrowd

This is a really enjoyable set of well produced, radio friendly, soul nuggets from the late sixties and is recommended. I’m not exactly a fountain of knowledge when it comes to soul music but have taken up the challenge to find out more and hopefully pick up other ‘soul power’ items in the future.

There are many stand-out cuts on evidence here and one can only wonder why the singles weren’t giant hits. Look no further than the pounding soul of “Nothing But A Heartache” by The Flirtations, which comes on strong with it’s heavy hitting beat, rattling tambourine and three girls with big hair, wearing flared red parachutes, belting out their powerful vocals.

Released in Britain during November 1968 to an ignorant public. I’ve read elsewhere that it was favourably reviewed in the music press and received extensive airtime but it inexplicably failed to chart.

Since then of course the record has became one of those long-lost northern soul classics with a very high price-tag for an original Deram single. Fortunately it was reissued as a ‘Record Store Day 2021’ 45 backed with “Need Your Loving”

charity shop purchase @ £1

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