by The Soul ChildrenThe Soul Children


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This two-for-one reissue combines the Genesis (1972) and Friction (1974) LPs onto one CD. Genesis is a respectable record that, even more than many Stax albums from the late '60s and the early '70s, has a substantial gospel influence. Gospel was an influence in just about every soul record, of course, but you really hear it with this quartet, especially in the opening eight-minute cut, "I Want to Be Loved." The mood is funky but a bit more low-key and subdued than was the case on many such LPs of the time, which is a plus; it makes it stand out from the crowd a little. The presence of different male and female lead singers, and shared leads within the same song, also gives it some welcome variety, even if the group didn't have what it took to be considered among the top tier of soulsters, either in terms of vocals or material. J. Blackfoot's hoarse, scratchy leads -- like a muted mixture of James Brown, Otis Redding, and that ilk -- provide the most distinctive voice. And it's his lead that paces "Hearsay," the album's upbeat hit single that pushed it to number five on the R&B and to the middle of the pop charts. Friction is a slicker, sweeter, and less satisfying outing than Genesis, although it did include their biggest hit, "I'll Be the Other Woman." A little daring for the radio in that it acknowledged an adulterous affair, it was also something of a departure for the Soul Children -- putting Shelbra Bennett in the spotlight as lead vocalist when J. Blackfoot had tended to have the most visible leads. Bennett was also lead singer on the less impressive single "Love Makes It Right," a small R&B hit that concludes the record. In the interim there are lush ballads that get into icky sweetness ("What's Happening Baby") and some more uptempo, funky thangs. The best of the lot is "Can't Let You Go," which smolders a bit, thanks to the grainy lead vocal (presumably by J. Blackfoot) and the subtle wah-wah guitar.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/26/1999
Label: Stax
UPC: 0025218883825
catalogNumber: 88038

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Soul Children   Primary Artist
Memphis Horns   Horn
Donald "Duck" Dunn   Bass
Howard Grimes   Drums
Willie Hall   Drums
Carl Hampton   Piano,Electric Piano
Alan Jones   Organ
Bobby Manuel   Guitar
Memphis Symphony Orchestra   Strings
Lester Snell   Piano
Marvell Thomas   Organ,Piano
Michael Toles   Guitar
Al Jackson   Drums
James Alexander   Bass
Raymond Jackson   Guitar
Charles "Skip" Pitts   Guitar

Technical Credits

Homer Banks   Arranger,Producer
Pete Bishop   Engineer
William Brown   Engineer
Carl Hampton   Producer
Bobby Manuel   Engineer
Dave Purple   Engineer
Jim Stewart   Producer
Daryl Williams   Engineer
Al Jackson   Producer
Eddie Marion   Engineer
John Allen   Arranger
Rob Bowman   Liner Notes
Jamie Putnam   Art Direction
Raymond Jackson   Producer

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