Who's Making L Johnnie Taylor

Modern Soul
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Let's have less of that Bama music and a bit more boogity boogity. Amazingly this is the first CD issue in the UK of Johnnie Taylor's Who's Making Love album. Virtually every other Stax single artist album has been issued, including some of the more arcane items from the catalogue. Don't ask me why Johnnie Taylor's second album for Stax and his first big success has languished for so long. Maybe in some obscure way it's because it is atypical of the label's output for the period. It was the first album produced by Detroit's Don Davis. It was the first real sign of the break from the 60s Southern soul sound that Stax had made its own. The title track was heavy and tight and fast and punchy. It had that gospel tinge that Johnnie Taylor had retained from his days in the Soul Stirrers. Though he never had a UK hit with this or any other record on Stax, he was always hip among the soul connoisseurs. However it was a different story in the USA where Who's Making Love went all the way to #1 on the R&B chart and produced his one and only Top 5 hit for Stax on the Pop charts. Only Disco Lady in 1976 topped this, producing his one and only R&B & Pop #1 on Columbia. The follow up single Take Care Of Your Homework made #2 on the R&B chart and hung in there at #20 Pop.

Given the above it is all the more shameful that we are only now getting round to this CD issue. But to ease your distress we have added four bonus cuts at no extra cost whatsoever. In 1969 a various artists double album came out on Stax called Soul Explosion. This is distinguished by the fact that nine of the tracks made their debut on this record. Most have subsequently found their way onto various albums and box sets, but two that got away are by Johnnie Taylor. Twenty Years From Today and Save Your Love For Me sound very much like they were part of the sessions that produced the Who's Making Love album, so it seems appropriate to include them here. To add to your unfathomable delight we have dug out two previously unissued sides from the vaults. Rumours appeared in a different version (take 3) on the US re-issue of the album. Here we have edited the vamp from take 2 to the body of take 1 to hopefully produce the version that might have been issued at the time. Lovin' On Borrowed Time also might have been issued at the time, as the box claimed that it was slated as Stax 246. Eddie Floyd's epic Big Bird was 246, with Johnnie Taylor's Next Time as 247. So let's call it 2461/2 and be glad that it is out at last.

By Roger Armstrong


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