Prince Phillip Mitchell – 1978 – Make It Good

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Intro review by Dusty Groove  Main Reviews from Amazon

Rip, Posting and additional info’s by Nikos

The long-overdue full length debut from Phillip Mitchell – an artist who cut some great singles over the course of the 70s and also wrote a fair bit of classics for other, bigger name acts! Phillip did some of his earlier work of the decade in both Memphis and Muscle Shoals – but he also had a key relationship with Norman Connors as well, who helped Mitchell take his southern roots into even more sophisticated soul territory! Mitchell produced the album himself – and arranged with Paul Riser and McKinley Jackson – and the overall sound is a wonderful blend of deeply personal vocals with smoother mellow soul grooves – a really top-shelf affair all the way through, and the kind of album that’s only finally getting its due many years later!

Tracks
A1 Star In The Ghetto 7:12
A2 You’re All I Got In The World 5:11
A3 One On One 4:00
A4 Falling From Heaven 6:20
B1 You’ll Throw Bricks At Him 6:00
B2 Make It Good 3:42
B3 If I Can’t Be Your Man 7:16
B4 Only Smoke Remains 3:40
One On One (Long Dj Single Version) 4:43 (Bonus Track)
What Part Of Heaven Do You Come From? 4.40 (Bonus Track)

By Michael Yarber 

I’ve had this album (vinyl) for 30 years, wow. And I’ve always loved the A side. I read that “One on One“, was the first single and also the highest charting song from the album. However, I remember “You’re All I Got in the World” as being the first song I heard, and the best song on this side.

Now 30 years later I find this album (vinyl) in storage at my Mother’s and take it home to digitalize and listen to once again. I’d never listened to the B side before for whatever reason. So when I finally listened to it, it just blew me away. It’s just as tight as the A side. Starting with the first cut “You’ll Throw Bricks at Him“, an unusual title for a song. And when artists use unusual song titles most times the title is more creative than the song. But this is a very tight cut with a great hook, I love it. The second cut “Make it Good” is also the title of the album, and although it’s a very nice track, to me, its the weakest song on this side. But the next cut, “If I Can’t be Your Man“, wow, I absolutely love this song. It’s by far my favorite cut right now, off the whole album. Not so much the first half of the song which is a pretty basic mid-tempo dance track with a nice hook. But its the second half were he’s rapping to the woman about let me be your friend first, yeah right, and singing in the background, that just does something to me. I play this track over and over and it overcomes me with emotion, it is so beautiful. Especially when it crescendos into “if you let me let me let me let me be your friend“, Wow. The final cut, another unusual title for a song, “Only Smoke Remains“, but a very beautiful ballad that ends the album perfectly.

With me considering myself a 70’s soul music aficionado with probably a thousand albums (vinyl) in my collection, I don’t say this lightly, but this is one of my all time favorites. Although his name is Prince Phillip Mitchell, he is definitely a King on this album. Wow.

By Donald E. Gilliland

I never heard this album the first time around, when it was released on vinyl in 1978, but I recently bought a CD compilation put out by Kent/Ace titled “Something to Do: The Philip Mitchell Songbook“. This was a collection of other 1970s era recording artists – many of them very popular ones from the R&B world – performing songs that Mitchell wrote. There was even one track that he performed himself on that CD, which was an excellent collection and revealed that Mitchell was truly a classy, gifted songwriter.

I found a copy of “Make It Good” on CD at a shop in Kuala Lumpur a few months ago and decided to buy it, simply because that “Songbook” collection had impressed me so much. The first track on here, is the silky “Star in the Ghetto“, a tune that was also recorded by the Average White Band and Ben E. King. Mitchell stretches out his original version of this song to a delightful 7 minutes. Another the other highlights on this consistently good album are “Make It Good” and “Only Smoke Remains“, plus “One on One“, a song that definitely falls into the “should have been a massive hit” category. The CD also includes a “long single version” of that song as one of two bonus tracks that weren’t on the original album. The other bonus track, “What Part of Heaven Do You Come From?” was originally recorded for a Ray Barretto album.

After many years as a songwriter at Muscle Shoals, Mitchell finally got his chance at the “big time” by signing with Atlantic Records and recording this album, his solo debut. In addition to writing all the songs, Mitchell also produced the album arranged the songs, and played a bit of guitar. It must have been a huge disappointmet to see such a quality album not make a dent on the charts. It’s a cruel business, indeed.

The CD version of this 2007 reissue by Rhino UK (not the newer Japanese reissue) includes a booklet with an essay written by soul authority Charles Waring. It includes comments from Mitchell about his career and the recording of this neglected jewel of an album. Fans of 1970s soul and R&B should check this one out.

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25 Comments
  • Patrick
    Posted at 10:26h, 12 March 2014 Reply

    Beautiful!!!!!!

  • Joker
    Posted at 11:03h, 12 March 2014 Reply

    Tried to find it a few songs from it for ages. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

  • Grumpy
    Posted at 12:29h, 12 March 2014 Reply

    Very nice indeed!

  • Dinat3
    Posted at 23:16h, 12 March 2014 Reply

    Smoooth!!!!! Well done FMS.

  • Sonxxx
    Posted at 09:42h, 13 March 2014 Reply

    A classic smooth 70s soul from an under-recognized genius!

  • Adam
    Posted at 13:12h, 13 March 2014 Reply

    Thanks. I’ve never heard of him but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it.

  • Limoz
    Posted at 22:56h, 13 March 2014 Reply

    Love it. Thanx.

  • Corina
    Posted at 10:28h, 14 March 2014 Reply

    AWSOMEXXXXXX

  • JJR
    Posted at 11:41h, 14 March 2014 Reply

    Fooking awesome !

  • Mekster
    Posted at 18:28h, 14 March 2014 Reply

    Fire. Thank you.

  • Kemal
    Posted at 16:32h, 15 March 2014 Reply

    Sooooo goooood. Well done once more.

  • Joeboy
    Posted at 08:11h, 16 March 2014 Reply

    Wonderful stuff, Do like this mans work.. thanks

  • Derek
    Posted at 12:18h, 16 March 2014 Reply

    Sublime.

  • Stephanie Garcia
    Posted at 12:22h, 16 March 2014 Reply

    So many emotions…Amazing songs!

  • Gorgio
    Posted at 12:47h, 16 March 2014 Reply

    I grew up listening to this, liked it then as much as now. Really believe that singers back in these days new how to sing, no computers to help, thats how you know a real singer.

  • Kenneth
    Posted at 16:20h, 16 March 2014 Reply

    Choooon!!!! Music at it’s soulful best.

  • Walker
    Posted at 10:24h, 17 March 2014 Reply

    any time its my kinda stuff

  • LL M
    Posted at 14:33h, 17 March 2014 Reply

    ♥

  • Garth
    Posted at 23:07h, 18 March 2014 Reply

    The good old days love this…

  • Fernando
    Posted at 23:14h, 18 March 2014 Reply

    beautiful songs.

  • J1
    Posted at 09:26h, 19 March 2014 Reply

    Such a nice LP. Thanks dude.

  • Reno
    Posted at 19:51h, 19 March 2014 Reply

    Amazing work you do. Much appreciated.

  • NameEddie
    Posted at 21:15h, 19 March 2014 Reply

    Great album! Thanks!

  • Trakbuv
    Posted at 13:16h, 20 March 2014 Reply

    HEY NIKOS !!!!!! Love this LP – everyone should own a copy now its on CD. And you have already highlighted in your wonderful info, the man has the credentials of a certain Lamont Dozier in his tonsils and also his pen. No duds, no track skipping, no danger of dropping the needle on the vinyl. Just press start on the turntable 🙂 My fave has always been “If I can’t be your man” – something that Marvin Gaye or Leon Ware would have been proud to record, but here Philip gives it his own gold guilted edge over a scintillating 7 minutes that will leave you breathless with delight by the end. One of soul’s silent gifts that spawned so many great tracks for other singers – but had a great deal of personality and emotion in his own vocal. And in this respect, Sam Dees and Philip Mitchell occupy a similar space in my mental soul library. Tremendous Nikos !!!

  • Freakin' Funky Fred From France ze Fabulous
    Posted at 12:47h, 02 April 2014 Reply

    Deep deep thanx from France.
    Votre travail est très apprécié par mes oreilles et mon pied droit ! I can go deeper in the ever-expanding knowledge of this great Black Music. I donate soon !

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