The Brockingtons – 1971 – The Brockingtons

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Awesome funk/soul album. Simple as that.

Extremely rare early 70s album from Julius Brockington’s side group, featuring arrangements by a young Patrick Adams (later of P&P etc). Includes the often comp’d “I’ve Just Got To Know” and eight other tracks which range from smoothers to dancefloor groovers.

This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Today Records Lp including covers.

Tracks
A1. Never Forget Where Your Came From – 2:30
A2. Love World – 2:30
A3. Smackwater Jack – 2:35
A4. Jeremiah – 4:00
A5. Please Come Back – 3:50
B1. Eye Doctor – 4:10
B2. Natural Woman – 3:10
B3. I Just Got To Know – 2:30
B4. Pretty Thing – 3:30

Review by Trakbuv

“Julius Brockington was born in Pumphrey, a suburb of Anne Arundel County.  Proficiency at saxophone, drums and the piano whilst still at school earned him the privilege to travel around the country with local group,”We Four Trio“.  However, it was his vibrant style with the ivories that brought him recognition for a series of funky, noteworthy albums at the beginning of the 70s on the Today imprint.  He later went on to become the head of the A & R Department for Perceptions Today Records in New York City.  During these early years, it was the genius of Patrick Adams that oversaw his recorded output, and gave it that light-handed, but assured touch.  On this record, he marshals as co-arranger with Julius, production duties being ably represented by Terry Philips and Maurice Irby, Jr.  Five of the nine tracks were also written by Maurice, further displaying his tremendous talent.  The album (TLP 1003) appears to date from around 1970-71, pre-dating his 1972 solo release ‘Sophisticated Funk’ (TLP 1006).

Having donned my cyber-magnifying glass and pipe, I am sorry to report that I still have no idea who the female lead is joining Julius, or indeed what relationship she is to him (if any).  The only Ms Brockington I am familiar with is Sandy of ‘Girl in Distress’ fame, but she has a more forceful nature.  The ‘Ms Brockington’ in this case has a curious vocal quality – a sort of mix of a misty Sandy Shaw and weaker Gloria Scott.  Accompanying her flaky vocal styling with the much more aggressive approach of Julius would ordinarily ring alarm bells, but they generate a mystical, almost awkward magic that took me a while to adjust to.  Once hooked, I was well and truly Paul Kelly’d (‘hogtied and collared’).

You may already be familiar with the track ‘I Just Got To Know’, either as their version, or Benny Johnson’s more soulful stance.  Here, the duo work a joyful sweat, with the stabbing interjections of Julius providing the perfect cradle for the pleading ‘Ms B’.   Phenomenal by any standards.  The LP kicks off with the funky, brass-riddled ‘Never forget’, a seemingly obvious commercial lead track on the super-rare set, with ‘Ms B’ singing in a lower key than usual.  My least favourite track.

The next track brings Julius to the fore with an awkwardly phrased number that works that magic so deftly.  A major grower, setting the ethos for the platter.  Carole King’s ‘Smackwater Jack’ is given a great vocal rendition by ‘Ms B’, but Julius is unwisely on a tight leash – shame.  Then there are two ballads I am already familiar with: ‘Jeremiah’ and ‘Eye Doctor’.  Both are featured on Debbie Taylor’s 1972 set, ‘Comin’ Down On You’, also released on the Today label (TLP 1007).  Unfortunately for me, that is one of my all-time favourite LPs.  So in trying to remain impartial, the tracks here have a very soulful (not dissimilar) treatment with Julius grinding out a bluesy organ-filled smoke and ‘Ms B’ injecting it with a wispy, brokendown melancholy.  Very very nice, very very intoxicating.

Please come back’ – it took me a while to grapple with ‘Ms B’s’ lazy vocal pitching, to the extent that I wondered if the record was suffering from distortion.  Whichever, it won me over with its wild jazzy infection – and has become one of my favourites.  Another Carole King favourite with the soul fraternity, ‘Natural Woman’, is given a thoughtful arrangement making it so much more than a filler track.  In a similar vein to ‘Jeremiah’, we have the rhythmically complex ‘Pretty thing’ to close off proceedings with assured aplomb.

Nikos has provided me with yet another gem that I may have glossed over if I wasn’t ‘forced’ to write this review.  How this man manages to gather these lesser but equally important pearls from the soul shore is surely testament to a very discerning ear.  Many thanks dear friend for another musical lesson gratefully received.”

Don’t forget to show some love and respect to Trakbuv for this amazing review, which is the only one available in the net.

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51 Comments
  • nikos1109
    Posted at 16:46h, 09 January 2009 Reply

    I would like to thank Trakbuv once again for his fantastic review on this rare record. Anyone who can help with the female voice or any other info about the album and group is welcome.

  • mellowgangsta
    Posted at 18:09h, 09 January 2009 Reply

    Again a fantastic post. Thanx for that and thanx for the review. As I wrote before you become an expert for Soul only by reading this blog!

  • Krisch
    Posted at 18:16h, 09 January 2009 Reply

    Thanks, great info.

  • burningdervish
    Posted at 19:33h, 09 January 2009 Reply

    thank you so much for the share. much much obliged

  • Chris from Stockholm
    Posted at 19:49h, 09 January 2009 Reply

    Fantastic find, and a very interesting read! Thanks!

  • Brockington
    Posted at 20:01h, 09 January 2009 Reply

    Additional info:

    After a fourteen year down period of struggling with deep personal problems. Julius found the delivering power of the Gospel of God in Jesus Christ. He became a born again Christian. After accepting Christ he began to minister and devote his time and talents for the cause of Jesus Christ.

    Since then Mr. Brockington has produced albums on his record label Joel and Micah Music, such as “Praise Him”, “The Lord Will See You Through”, “Harbor Place”, “In The Light Of His Word”,”Give The Children What They Need”,”Isaiah 53″ and “The Will Of God”.

    Mr. Brockington is currently the director of music at the Manna Bible Baptist Church under the spiritual guidance of Dr. Joseph Brown.

  • E-mile
    Posted at 20:44h, 09 January 2009 Reply

    thanks a lot!! the 2 julius brockungton albums I know are VERY good, this must be a treat!
    peace, E-mile

  • Ben
    Posted at 20:51h, 09 January 2009 Reply

    Wow!!!!!!!! A M A Z I N G!!!!!

  • phatrapper
    Posted at 21:19h, 09 January 2009 Reply

    Thanks Nikos & Trakbuv!!

  • rich
    Posted at 21:53h, 09 January 2009 Reply

    thanx nikos for the post and trakbuv for the review on this artist.

  • DAIDODREAD
    Posted at 22:16h, 09 January 2009 Reply

    THANK YOU GREAT MUSICS !!!!

  • jahcisco
    Posted at 22:42h, 09 January 2009 Reply

    Nice one. Thanks.

  • invisiblenigma
    Posted at 23:11h, 09 January 2009 Reply

    Amaing post Nikos and Trakbuv!! I can’t wait to hear it. Much Thanks

  • Sam
    Posted at 00:56h, 10 January 2009 Reply

    Heavenly soul music…….Great site!

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 02:55h, 10 January 2009 Reply

    VERY NICE!!!!!! THANKS A MILLION!!!!!!

  • Chris-T
    Posted at 09:32h, 10 January 2009 Reply

    Happy new year and thanks.

  • hooch
    Posted at 10:52h, 10 January 2009 Reply

    Awesome! – Thanks Guys.

  • Joan
    Posted at 13:08h, 10 January 2009 Reply

    Essential listening Nikos. Thanks Trakbuv for the accurate review.

  • Groovy Emmanuel
    Posted at 14:22h, 10 January 2009 Reply

    Excellent post, an overall enjoyable listening pleasure that fills perfectly some undiscovered (yet!) gaps in 70’s soul music, some not so commonly heard sounds, vocals + arrangements, and finally something you can hardly add a word or two to the above magnificent and to the full presentation by Trakbuv!

  • manny
    Posted at 18:46h, 10 January 2009 Reply

    thanks for posting

  • Doctor Okeh
    Posted at 23:01h, 10 January 2009 Reply

    dizzamm wassup Nikos, this record is soooo nice , many many thx for the share bubz!!!!!!!

  • Maurice
    Posted at 23:51h, 10 January 2009 Reply

    oh! My God! Superb post by all means.

  • El Rosso
    Posted at 00:17h, 11 January 2009 Reply

    Thanks, love Julius Brockington.

  • Starguy
    Posted at 00:52h, 11 January 2009 Reply

    Thank you! great find! 🙂

  • Ricardo
    Posted at 01:35h, 11 January 2009 Reply

    Another quality post – you spoil us. And Yes, thanks to Trak for the writeup.

  • Vincent the Soul Chef
    Posted at 12:42h, 11 January 2009 Reply

    I only heard of Mr. Brockington from his track on the Doors Of Perception comp so needless to say I will definitely enjoy this one. As always, thank you Nikos and Trakbuv.

    Peace and blessings.

  • Mozzz
    Posted at 14:22h, 11 January 2009 Reply

    Nuff thanks Nick.

  • Barry
    Posted at 21:53h, 11 January 2009 Reply

    thanks fantastic

  • Cody B
    Posted at 22:24h, 11 January 2009 Reply

    Beautiful stuff. Thank you for the opportunity to check it out,Nikos.

  • Andre
    Posted at 01:07h, 12 January 2009 Reply

    thanks a million for this quality rip.

  • Paolo
    Posted at 10:28h, 12 January 2009 Reply

    Brilliant man,just brilliant!Thanks.

  • ghosty
    Posted at 12:23h, 12 January 2009 Reply
  • Radek
    Posted at 13:12h, 12 January 2009 Reply

    Marvellous! Thank you very much.

  • MagicSoul
    Posted at 13:51h, 12 January 2009 Reply

    this one looks incredible nios, never heard of the group…thx to u n trakbuv…!!!!

  • Daniel
    Posted at 19:40h, 12 January 2009 Reply

    Superb. Your blog is precious.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 20:27h, 12 January 2009 Reply

    Thank you, can not wait to listen.

  • Jimmy
    Posted at 02:35h, 13 January 2009 Reply

    Thanks for another great post.

  • Alexis
    Posted at 10:24h, 13 January 2009 Reply

    Killer album and review! Thank you guys.

  • mr playa
    Posted at 12:47h, 13 January 2009 Reply

    great post, keep up the good work…peace…

  • don king
    Posted at 05:30h, 15 January 2009 Reply

    This looks like an absolute treat! Thanks guys, the outstanding work you do here is very much appreciated

  • Radek
    Posted at 19:02h, 15 January 2009 Reply

    On listening to the album about twenty times I must say this is one of the best soul albums I have ever heard. It is true that there is something awkward about Ms B’s phrasing, but in the end this makes the music extremely attractive and interesting. This magical quality stands out nicely precisely in comparison with Debbie Taylor’s versions of ‘Jeremiah’ and ‘Eye Doctor’. Those of Debbie are standard soul: nice, but very much like dozens of other soul songs from the period. Ms B’s versions, on the other hand, can be listened to over and over again – and the better I know them, the more fascinating I find them. And Julius’ organ is truly a perfect partner for Ms B’s, helping to keep up the magical tension. So thanks a lot once again!

  • eyal rob
    Posted at 19:14h, 17 January 2009 Reply

    the shiznitt
    nuff respect to aqll involeved

  • Kosta
    Posted at 14:08h, 14 February 2009 Reply

    unexpected great album…Patrick Adams touch!! from track 04 all stunning…THANKS!

  • Angelo
    Posted at 01:10h, 16 February 2009 Reply

    wonderful album!! great! could you e-mail me the Mr. Brockington discography? many many thanks
    bye

  • Mr sam
    Posted at 00:48h, 01 March 2009 Reply

    Very good stuff. I will never forget where this album come from. Thanks

  • JDowg
    Posted at 00:26h, 27 March 2009 Reply

    The singer reminds me of Lotti Golden – heard her on WFMU’s blog here -http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2007/03/mp3_truffles_ke.html

  • Geewiz
    Posted at 03:16h, 12 July 2009 Reply

    The music and “the review” was great!!!

  • Jazzwhat
    Posted at 17:33h, 23 July 2009 Reply

    damn fine music!

  • brotherpete
    Posted at 00:58h, 01 October 2009 Reply

    so nice so nice, super!

  • Philip Nicegreen
    Posted at 01:28h, 08 February 2010 Reply

    Excellent. Thanx.

  • Guytwo
    Posted at 16:02h, 29 August 2010 Reply

    Hi,

    just bought a copy of this album this morning but mine is on Perception Records (PE 21507 from France). can’t find this version on discogs and not “soul digger” too so if anyone have infos on this pressing ?
    thx

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