Friday, 20 February 2009

Timothy Wilson - Timothy Wilson - 1978 - H and L

A bit of a cult item, this LP from 1978. Richard Searling’s "Modern Soul Connoisseurs" set on Spectrum back in 2001 rightfully boasted the coup of obtaining the anthemic "Its Love Baby" and the big catch was to obtain the rights to the whole darn album, which included liner notes from my old mate, David Cole of In The Basement fame, making the whole package something rather special indeed. This H and L released album contains something for everybody. "Sugarland Express" is a dancer that leans towards the, then, contemporary Salsoul style – check out the racy instrumental breaks. I can envisage, God forbid, a number of teeny chart orientated dance acts rushing to their sampling machines for this one. Co-writer is none the less one George Pettus Could this possibly be the same gentleman who produced two essential sets for MCA in the 80s and 90s? "Its Love Baby" is nothing short of a 70s classic; what our music was really and truly about at a time when the disco boom was doing more damage then good (as it is today perhaps?). Timothy’s voice is rich, passionate and reminds me of a stripped down less nasal Little Anthony – think of the man’s 1980 song "Your Love" and you’re there. A touch of Philly is utilised on "(Wear Your) Red Dress (Tight)" – trying to capture the Norman Harris feel I think, with a touch of Motown in there too. Doesn’t really do much for me, I fear, this song. What does capture me, though is the superb "Follow Me" which has elements of the late, great Garry Glenn’s vocals on it. The strings swirl, the brass stabs and the vocals are spot on. This is quality, without a doubt! "Who Babe" is very Stylistics in orientation. Not surprising considering the era and the label! This essential album, as that is what it is, is topped off by the summery "We Just Can’t Help It" which is very pleasant indeed. Do yourself a favour, get this on CD: its quality, although does come at a premium now.

Barry Towler
The Vibe Scribe

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