Eramus Hall – 1980 – Your Love Is My Desire
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One of the last great soul albums on the Westbound label!
Eramus Hall have a vague P-Funk connection – and according to legend, the band were given their name by George Clinton, who had seen a building in Chicago named Eramus Hall – but the sound is a lot smoother than any of the P-Funk projects of the time, and the group’s strongest point is their smooth soul groove, augmented by a tight jazz funk style on the best cuts. In a way, they’re sort of like a morphed version of late Parliament – with a funk sound that’s nicely compressed, but still a lot more true than any of the countless other bands on the market who were aping P-Funk at the time. Highlights include the groovers “Your Love Is My Desire” and “She Shined A Light“, both with nice sample moments.
Until it was issued on CD by Ace in 1999, the existence of Eramus Hall’s Your Love Is My Desire was debated. Recorded in late 1978 by the soul/funk group — the artwork and the artist name lead one to believe this a solo work, but Eramus Hall took its name from a historical building in Chicago — the Westbound label was unable to release it until 1980. “Release” is putting it loosely, as the small pressing hardly allowed for any copies to reach anywhere outside of Westbound’s base in Detroit. Prior to and since the Ace reissue, Your Love Is My Desire has been proclaimed a masterpiece by several noted record hounds, which is another debatable issue.
The LP is undeniably uneven, with something of a personality crisis that seems torn between smooth soul of its own character and a hand-me-down funk style that, while written and played with skill, falls flapjack flat when compared to inspirations likeSlave and Funkadelic. While several groups during this period were able to combine styles on their albums, the effect here is that of two very different records being switched on the listener on a track-to-track basis. Despite its major flaws, fans of smooth late-’70s soul will love to have this album for “Your Love Is My Desire” and “Just Me ‘n’ You,” two beautiful numbers with impeccable arrangements and soaring voices.