The ABC Rarities

The ABC Rarities

by The ImpressionsThe Impressions


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Twenty-six song compilation of non-LP singles, rarities that only showed up on obscure reissues and various-artists collections, and material (both released and unreleased) from their sessions for their late-'60s The Versatile Impressions album. As a listen it's a little uneven, due in large part to the over-preponderance of standards from Versatile. None of this is on level with the best '60s recordings by Mayfield and the Impressions. Much of it, though, is the fairly solid sort of stuff that fans who care enough about the act to go beyond greatest-hits compilations will like to have. Actually, some of these were not terribly obscure; "Never Could You Be" was a small R&B hit in the mid-'60s, and "We're Rolling On (Pts. 1 & 2)" was a small pop entry in 1968, as was the 1968 antiwar ballad "Don't Cry My Love" (written by Mayfield with jazz singer Oscar Brown, Jr.). Oddities from the Versatile LP include the two lushly orchestrated songs they did for the East of Java soundtrack. However, much of the Versatile period is unsuitably pop in both material and production for the Impressions, although "Sermonette" and the previously unreleased "Devil in Your Soul" eschew that approach for some pretty gutsy, bluesy soul.

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