Madeline Bell / Alan Parker - The Voice of Soul LPBe With Records (UK)
Be With presents a reissue of Alan Parker and Madeline Bell's The Voice of Soul, originally issued in 1976. Veteran library musician Parker recorded with session vocalist Bell for his Themes International Music label and the result was The Voice of Soul. The sensational uptempo dancer "That's What Friends Are For" is probably the most well-known track on the record, and is a big hit on the rare groove scene, but it is by no means an anomaly. The Voice of Soul is essentially a perfect, sophisticated soul album with heaps of swagger and sass from beginning to end. Its once generic-sounding title is now deservedly definitive; the whole LP oozes sex. It oozes sex so much that it could have soundtracked a period porn film. Indeed, parts of it did. "Love Is All" and "You've Got What It Takes" both featured on the infamously banned Pretty Peaches (1976). As is usual with library records, The Voice of Soul was hard to get even when it was first released; it's next to impossible now. So here's an opportunity to own what is one of the finest rare soul albums of the late '70s, and a superb example of Bell's superlative vocal talents. But that's not the whole story; all of the backing tracks from The Voice of Soul were concurrently released as The Sound of Soul (BEWITH 047LP, 2018); Be With couldn't re-issue one without re-issuing the other. Be With has worked with the hallowed KPM to re-issue ten of our favorites from across the KPM 1000 Series and the Themes International Music catalogue, currently under KPM stewardship. Whether it's killer soul-funk, sweet jazz-samba, scuzzed-up guitars or accidental Balearic beauty, these records include some of the most innovative work from some of the most talented composers and musicians of the 20th century. These records were never readily available, being originally released as a ready-made, affordable alternative to commissioning music for television and radio. Consequentially the originals have been unobtainable for decades by all but the most dedicated collectors. The audio for all ten re-issues comes from the original analog tapes and has been remastered for vinyl by Be With regular Simon Francis. The same care has been taken with the sleeves, handing the reproduction duties over to Richard Robinson, the current custodian of KPM's brand identity. 180 gram vinyl.