Wednesday, December 19, 2001

Can You Dig It? The '70s Soul Experience

Posted By on Wed, Dec 19, 2001 at 12:00 AM

From Wattstax to 8-tracks, cuz, the Five Stairsteps and Curtis Mayfield, this collection pulls together a six-disc trip through the funkiest era in American music.

You may need to dust off your blue light and head to the basement. Pull your platforms and dashiki out the box. Hang your love beads back in the doorway. ’Cause by the time the opening keys from “She’s Not Just Another Woman” kick the door in, you’ll be getting your hustle on till the break of dawn.

The packaging — faux 8-track cases that open like the lid of a footlocker to reveal a history book and six CDs — is enough to stoke the fire of anyone itching for a ’70s sonic reunion. This one’s got it all, including classics from Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes and the Staples Singers along with lesser-known B-side singles and one-hit wonders. It’s a retro package deep enough to conjure memories to last for days.

Find more great recordings to grab and wrap this season, including a DIY Detroit garage-rock box set, and Rhino's comprehensive collections of American black music ("wonderfully balanced ... a timeless gift") and Graham Central Station ("chicken soup for the soul"). Metro Times musical experts also report on the year's very best jazz and classical recordings. There's something for everyone!

Khary Kimani Turner writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com.

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