Friday, April 13, 2012
Perhaps stung by the criticism of the ho-hum Stars Of Fame EP released for Record Store Day last year, the folks at Ace Records' Kent subsidiary have dug a little deeper through the FAME Studios archive to come up with more tantalizing RSD treats aimed at collectors scrounging for lost treasures on April 21.
Of course, Dean Rudland and his Kent crew aren't the sort to just give you a straight repress. Instead, what you get is the Yo Yos nicely harmonized cover of the Joe South fave Leaning On You accompanied by three unissued tracks recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals in October 1966: Tommy Tucker's Hi-Heel Sneakers, the Allen Toussaint-penned Irma Thomas evergreen Wish Someone Would Care along with what is perhaps the main attraction for soul fans, Destroyed – an obscure Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham composition.
Check the Yo Yos sweet version of Leaning On You:
Next, there's a similarly styled 2x7" Clarence Carter package I Found What I Wanted: Unissued and Rare Fame Masters which features four tracks from the deep soul great's 1971 sessions at FAME cut after Patches somehow became a massive global chart hit.
The big draw here – well, apart from the snazzy unpublished sleeve photo – is the title track. Already a top spin on the UK crossover soul scene, I Found What I Wanted should be well known to collectors through alternate versions by Mary Wells and the tune's composer, the great George Jackson but it's hard to top Carter's crack at it.
Have a listen to Clarence Carter's I'm The One:
By far the most blathered about of the Kent bunch is the five-record Fame Singles Box bringing together faithful repros of the four rarest Fame sevens of the 60s by Jimmy Hughes (You Might As Well Forget Him b/w Everybody Let's Dance), Art Freeman (Slippin' Around With You b/w I Can't Get You Out Of My Mind), James Barnett (Keep On Talking b/w Take A Good Look) and the label's debut from Jimmy Ray Hunter & The Del Rays (The Girl That Radiates The Charm b/w Hot Toddy).
The limited edition collection comes wrapped in a sleeve marked "Educational material" that's a nod to Fame's original mail-out envelopes. Nice yes, but is it essential? Not really but then, the same goes for the vast majority of RSD releases. Have a listen to Art Freeman's northern classic Slippin' Around With You: