In 1970, Blues And Soul magazine founder John Abbey opened a record shop, Contempo Records, in Hanway Street, London, specializing in U.S. imports of Soul and Funk. In January 1973, Contempo launched as a label to issue black American recordings in the UK, as well as create home-grown equivalents.
Between 1973 and 1978, the label issued around 150 singles and several albums, enjoying some mainstream success while catering for all aspects of black music demand, from Funk to the emerging Disco, Northern Soul to bluesy ballads.
This 64-track box set is the first-ever retrospective of Contempo Records, which played such a vital role in popularizing this music for much of the 1970s. Curated with the full support of John Abbey, this 3-CD is a worthy tribute.
Many of these tracks are new to CD, others have long been unavailable. Among the many highlights are some of Contempo’s own recordings of legends Major Lance and J.J. Barnes, who were enjoying renewed popularity via the Northern Soul scene.
Also included are quality 60s/Northern classics by Bob & Earl, The Incredibles, The Olympics, Tami Lynn, Richard Temple and Bettye Swann; high calibre Soul from established names like Oscar Toney Jr., Fontella Bass, The Exciters, Doris Duke; a bona fide hit in ‘Misty Blue’ by Dorothy Moore; top flight disco from Crown Heights Affair; and the recorded results of a reunited Sam And Dave.
Deluxe 36 page booklet with fully detailed historical notes, which tell the story of how Contempo Records evolved and developed.
Curated by the team behind the Joe Boy, Outta Sight and Sequel labels.
1. THE RIGHT TRACK – Major Lance
2. EVERY COUPLE’S NOT A PAIR – Richie Pitts
3. HARLEM SHUFFLE – Bob & Earl
4. EVERYTHING I OWN – Oscar Toney Jr.
5. KENTUCKY BLUEBIRD (A MESSAGE TO MARTHA) – Oscar Toney Jr.
6. AIN’T NO SOUL (LEFT IN THESE OLD SHOES) (Live) – Major Lance
7. JUDY IN DISGUISE (WITH GLASSES) – John Fred & His Playboy Band
8. PEOPLE – PART ONE (Vocal) – Freddie Mack’s Extravaganza In Sounds
9. YOUNG, WILLING AND ABLE – Jimmy Thomas
10. LIVING FOR THE CITY – Ultrafunk
11. DO ME RIGHT – The Armada Orchestra
12. ACROSS THE TRACKS (Part 1) – The Masai
13. TO AN EARLY GRAVE – J.J. Barnes
14. LIVIN’ FOR TOMORROW – The Exciters
15. REWARD – Melvin Bliss
16. GIMME LITTLE SIGN – Major Lance
17. CIGARETTE ASHES – Jimmy Conwell
18. BROTHERS ON THE SLIDE – Cymande
19. BLACK WATER GOLD (PEARL) – African Music Machine
20. SWEET F.A. (FUNKY AL) – Ultrafunk
21. KUNG FU MAN – Ultrafunk featuring Mr. Superbad Freddie Mack
22. IT’S THE SAME OLD SONG – The Armada Orchestra
23. THERE’S NOTHING ELSE TO SAY BABY – The Incredibles
1. BLOWING UP MY MIND – The Exciters
2. MAKE ME YOURS – Bettye Swann
3. GRASSHOPPER – Doris Duke
4. I NEED YOU MORE THAN EVER – The Montclairs
5. MIGHTY LOVE MAN Pt. 1 – Black Stash
6. DON’T YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU – Major Lance
7. A LITTLE BIT OF LOVIN’ – Doris Duke
8. COCHISE – The Armada Orchestra
9. BABY DO THE PHILLY DOG – The Olympics
10. I’M GONNA RUN AWAY FROM YOU – Tami Lynn
11. PLANTING SEEDS – Seeds Of The Earth
12. THEME FROM LOVEJOY – Moses Dillard & The Lovejoy Orchestra
13. BREAKAWAY – Ernie Bush
14. JUST CAN’T DO WITHOUT LOVE (A THOUSAND FACES) – Howeefeel
15. CHINESE KUNG FU – Banzai
16. FEEL THE NEED IN ME – The Armada Orchestra
17. STING YOUR JAWS (Part 1) – Ultrafunk
18. CHICKEN HEADS – Oscar Toney Jr.
19. CLASSICAL BUMP – The Armada Orchestra
20. THAT BEATIN’ RHYTHM – Richard Temple
21. INSIDE AMERICA (Part 1) – Juggy Jones
22. (THEME FROM) LADY, LADY, LADY (ARE YOU CRAZY FOR ME) – The Boogie Man Orchestra
1. MR. SUPERBAD – Mr. Superbad & The Mighty Super Power Band
2. IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE – Sir Mack Rice
3. MISTY BLUE – Dorothy Moore
4. THE LOVE I LOST (Part 1) – The Armada Orchestra
5. STEAL AWAY – Ted Taylor
6. FUNNY HOW TIME SLIPS AWAY – Dorothy Moore
7. GOTHAM CITY BOOGIE – Ultrafunk 8. DANCIN’ – Crown Heights Affair
9. GOLDEN GATE GET DOWN – Sparky And The Inner Citizens
10. BODY ENGLISH – King Floyd 11. SHE’S MINE – J.J. Barnes
12. FOR OLD TIMES SAKE – Dorothy Moore
13. PHILLY ARMADA (Part 1) – The Armada Orchestra
14. WHY DID YOU DO IT – Sam And Dave
15. RICE AND BEANS THEME – Rice And Beans Orchestra
16. JUMP THE GUN – The Mike Conteh Band
17. HOW LONG – J.J. Barnes
18. WE CAN WORK IT OUT – Sam And Dave