Keith Barrow – 1977 – Keith Barrow
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Keith Barrow was a 70s soul singer whe made an impact but never reached his full potential due to his untimely death at 29. In the small time he recorded he displayed what a true artist he was with a voice filled with emotion and with an amazing range. He would caress each note with his lilting voice as he made each song his own. This LP was his debut album and it was produced by Bobby Eli. The immediate standouts were the Barrow penned ballad TEACH ME(IT’S SOMETHING ABOUT LOVE) and the Eli penned MR. MAGIC MAN a full display of the Philly disco sound. Barrow did some solid urban r@b jammin with the message song A WORLD OF LONELY PEOPLE and the slammin YOU DON’T KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO MAKE IT. Barrow also was certainly in his truest glory with ballads and PRECIOUS and QUESTIONS are amazing displays of his vocal ability. The is not only solid from beginning to end but also is a major representation of 70s Philly soul at its best. It is also a standing testament to the talents of Keith Barrow. May he rest in peace.
A1 Mr. Magic Man 3:32
A2 Teach Me (It’s Something About Love) 4:05
A3 I Put The Twinkle In Your Eye 4:40
A4 A World Of Lonely People 6:30
B1 You Don’t Know How Hard It Is To Make It 4:18
B2 Didn’t You Know You’d Have To Cry Sometime 3:33
B3 Precious 4:12
B4 Questions 4:12
B5 We’ve Got A Right To Be Wrong 3:12
By Mister Melody
Thank God for the gift of recorded music. The late Keith Barrow, a wonderful and somewhat overlooked seventies soul singer, was one of the finest vocalists of his era. With a falsetto as smooth as silk and a $10 million smile, Barrow is one of those great singers who bubbles under the surface of the exhalted, a major talent who never evolved into anything more than a minor star. This is a shame, since his small body of work is quite engaging. This, his Columbia Records debut, was recorded in Philadelphia and produced by Bobby Eli. Surrounded by Philly’s finest session players and vocalists, Barrow turns out an album that could easily stand next to any Philadelphia International Records product of the day. Though his voice is not fully developed here, the record shows more of his vocal range than later efforts, allowing him to move through the material with youthful abandon. The minor hit “Mr. Magic Man” is spritely Philly disco, and the bouncy “I Put the Twinkle in Your Eye” is also quite a pleaser.
But the essence of the singer’s voice is in the ballads, particularly the beautiful “Teach Me (It’s Something About Love)” (later recorded by Blue Magic) and “Precious“, both of which give the first inkling of just how moving his upper register could be. While his second Columbia set, the first-rate “Physical Attraction” was his finest hour, this self-titled major label debut is a welcome addition to any serious soul collection. It breaks my heart that we were robbed of Barrow’s voice when he was just 29. Fortunately, the voice was captured for all of us to enjoy, even if it was for just a few short years. I can’t say it enough – thank God for the gift of recorded music.