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The Independents - Complete Wand Recordings - Cd Review

The Independents - Complete Wand Recordings - Cd Review magazine cover


“Group/ Smooth Soul, Soul” is style description that the Independents fall under in to in the ‘All Music Guide to Soul’, which goes on to add that they “specialised in almost melodramatic, overwrought, but perfectly performed love songs”, something that is clearly defined in the twenty-two tracks of this recently issued Kent cd.

Perhaps not one of the top acts to come out of Chicago, they just manged a couple of pages in Robert Pruter’s superb book ‘Chicago Soul, but they do ooze quality throughout  the cd that combines their complete Wand singles collection, all their album only tracks, plus a Tom Moulton re-mix of ‘I Love You, Yes I Do’.

The majority of the tracks are written by Charles Jackson, brother of the more famous Jesse, and Marvin Yancy, considered the best to emerge from the Chicago based Jerry Butler Songwriters Workshop and alongside Helen Curry and Maurice Jackson, both solo acts in their own right, they were to become the Independents.

For those who like their music to grab them by the scruff of the neck and propel them onto the dance floor, then this cd is certainly not for you, but if you want to switch on the stereo late at night and settle down with a nice glass of wine, then this might just tickle your taste buds.

For me the stand out track is the classy ‘Can’t Understand It’, which for me would have been the perfect opener rather the two ballads which fail to grab the attention, but renowned for their ‘Smooth Soul’ style, you know what to expect when you buy this cd.

There are a couple of more up-tempo tracks – ‘I Love You, Yes I Do’, the disco oriented ‘Arise and Shine’ and ‘One Woman, Do Right Man’, which they perform admirably, but the group appear to be more at home with the slower sides, the Helen Curry led R&B chart topper ‘Leaving Me’ a prime example. How she wasn’t more successful I don’t know.

For the soul collectors who want complete recordings of as many artists as possible, then Kent seldom, if ever, fail to please and come out on top again with this one. Booklet notes by Tony Rounce, with the usual artist label illustrations.

Iain McCartney 

May 2016




Preview cd via Juno Records player


1.    "Just Want To Be There"
2.    "Our Love Has Got To Come Together"
3.    "Can't Understand It"
4.    "Just As Long As You Need Me" (part 1 & 2)
5.    "Leaving Me"
6.    "Baby, I've Been Missing You"
7.    "I Love You, Yes I Do"
8.    "Couldn't Hear Hobody Say (I Love You Like I Do)"
9.    "Here I Am"
10.    "It's All Over"
11.    "Sara Lee"
12.    "The First Time We Met"
13.    "Show Me How"
14.    "Arise & Shine (Let's Get On It)"
15.    "I Found Love On A Rainy Day"
16.    "Let This Be A Lesson To You"
17.    "No Wind, No Rain"
18.    "The Same Old Way"
19.    "In The Valley Of My World"
20.    "One Woman Do Right Man"
21.    "Lucky Fellow"
22.    "I Love You, Yes I Do" (Tom Moulton remix)

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For a short period of time they were as good if not better than  any of the 70s groups.

Must have been about 72 and id just started buying Blues and Soul (which wasn't easy to find where I lived . you had to order it from your local newsagent) and John Abbey was raving on about "Just as long as you need me" which had just been released on wand ( same problem as blues and soul having to order from local record shop no chance of getting it off the shelf). It was well worth the effort being so different to what else was around pop or soul at the time

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