The Moments – Greatest Hits
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This is a surprise post. I do not usually post “Greatest Hits” but you keep seek for more of this beloved sweet soul trio. So this rare double LP contains almost every single of The Moments. “Love on a Two Way Street”, “Sexy Mama”, “Not on the Outside”, “Look at Me(I’m In Love)”, etc. Even some of the lesser known songs are noteworthy and worth checking out. These boys from Jersey will not disappoint you!
The Moments typify the ‘Old Skool’ sound. Three-part harmony unmatched by many other groups of their time, or since, for that matter. The wailing first tenor of Billy Brown, the seductive second of Harry Ray, and the filling bottom supplied by Al Goodman makes for sheer listening pleasure. If you’ve never heard them, pick this one up, and you won’t want to put it down. The rest of you enjoy all the hits and more.
This is a fine @320 vinyl rip of the original Chess Record including covers.
1. Not On The Outside 4.15
2. Sunday 2.30
3. Love On A Two-Way Street 3.30
4. I Do 3.05
5. Sexy Mama 3.05
1. All I Have 3.30
2. Lovely Way She Loves 4.00
3. Lucky Me 3.40
4. Look At Me (I’m In Love) 3.35
5. I’ve Got to Keep On Loving You 4.40
1. Somebody Loves You Baby 2.45
2. If I Didn’t Care 3.06
3. Girls 3.05
4. To You with Love 3.00
5. I’m So Lost 3.00
1. Nine Times 4.40
2. With You 3.35
3. Just Because He Wants To Make Love (Doesn’t Mean He Loves You) 3.30
4. What’s Your Name 4.00
5. Gotta Find A Way 3.40
Against all the odds The Moments were one of the most consistent hit-making groups in the history of R&B. With a couple of exceptions, they recorded fairly formulaic sweet doo-wop-influenced soul during the funk and disco era for a label that didn’t have and sweetening on their records.
Nevertheless, The Moments and Ray, Goodman & Brown, as they later became known, had a string of R&B hits between the late 60s and the late 80s.
Mark Greene, Richard Gross and John Morgan, all from Washington, DC, signed to Joe and Sylvia Robinson’s All Platinum organization as The Moments in1968. Their first single, the pleading ballad “ Not On The Outside”, reached #13 on the R&B chart that year. However, Greece and Gross were fired by the label owners after a couple of gigs at the Apollo Theatre went badly. They were replaced by Billy Brown, who had previously been in The Broadways, and Al Goodman. The new line-up reached the R&B Top 10 the next year with the doo- woppy “ I Do”, but Morgan, the last original member of the group, was then replaced by Robinson’s brother-in –law John Moore.
With Moore the group recorded “ I’m So Lost” and “Lovely Way She Loves” in 1969, an their mega-hit, “Love On A Two-Way Street”, in 1970. With its cavernous echo surrounding a chanking guitar and gentle bass undertow, the production on “Love On A Two – Way Street” highlighted Brown’s wimpy falsetto, somehow suggesting that there was a full uptown orchestra behind him. It stayed at the top of the R&B chart for five weeks and reached #3 on the pop chart. However, just after the single was recorded, Moore left the group and was replaced by Harry Ray.
Ray sang lead on the group’s next hit, “ If I Didn’t Care”, while Brown took the lead on “ All I Have”. A string of faceless romantic ballads followed, before the release of the deliciously sleazy “ Sexy Mama” in 1973, which setan early rhythm box against a string section to create a groove that presaged disco. The next year’s “Sho Nuff Boogie”, a duet with Sylvia Robinson, also featured drum-machine experimentation. The Moments linked up with labelmates The Whatnauts to record the early disco favourite “Girls” in 1974, which hit #3 on the UK pop chart.
“Look At Me (I’m In Love)”, a typical Moment’s ballad with an unusually lush string arrangement, reached the top of the R&B chart. As hard as they tried with out- and- out funk tracks, such as “Come In Girl” from 1976’s Moments With You album, the group found it difficult to break a sweat. The disco years proved lean for The Moments, although they did manage to enter the UK Top 10 with “ Dolly My Love” and “Jack In The Box”. Times were also tough for All Platinum, and the group and the label parted company at the end of 1977.
As All Platinum owned The Moments’ name, when the group signed to Polydor in 1979 it was as Ray, Goodman & Brown. The trio hit immediately with “Special Lady”, a modern doo-wop record with a great hook.
However, aside from “ Another Day” – a favourite hip-hop sample thanks to its bouncy bass groove and spacey keyboard riff – the rest of their Polydor records were utterly nondescript doo-wop. Ray left the group in 1982 to pursue a solo career. His place was taken first by Kevin “Ray” Owens an then Wade Elliott, who stayed with the group until their chart hit “ Where Did You get That Body, baby?” in 1988.
Ray died of a stroke on October 1, 1992, but the group remained active on the oldies circuit throughout the 90s. In 2003 a line-up of Goodman, Brown, Owens an Larry “Ice” Winfree released two new albums, Intimate Moments and A Moment With Friends (a covers album), and they also performed backing vocals on Alicia Keys “ You Don’t Know My Name” the following year.