The Presidents – 1971 – 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 Years of Love
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Lush ballads, bouncy foot-tappers, smooth vocal harmonies, they are all here. For most the best known song on here would be the title track, a “philly-style” ballad which was a sizable U.S. hit in 1971, though those in the U.K. and Europe who used to listen to Radio Luxembourg at the time will probably know the uptempo “Fiddle De De” best. There is not one dud here and why this vocal group didn’t go on to greater success is a complete mystery.
A1 5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years Of Love) 3:00
A2 Sweet Magic 2:34
A3 For You 2:45
A4 Fiddle De De 2:40
A5 Why Are You So Good To Me 2:54
A6 This Is My Dream World 4:20
B1 Triangle Of Love (Hey Diddle Diddle) 3:10
B2 Girl You Cheated On Me 3:15
B3 How Can You Say You Are Leavin’ 2:20
B4 It’s All Over 2:19
B5 I’m Still Dancing 2:35
B6 Gotta Keep On Movin’ 2:20
A sweet soul group from Washington, D.C., the Presidents scored with the infectious “5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years of Love“. Written by members Tony Boyd and Archie Powell, and produced by Van McCoy, it reached 11 on the pop charts. Billy Shorter completed the trio who called themselves the Presidentsbecause D.C. was home. They sang in three-part harmony, with the lead bursting from the pack to deliver the lyrics, then blending back with the others for a full sound. They had three other releases on Sussex but never cracked the Top 30 again. Two of the Sussex releases, “For You” a beautiful Van McCoy ballad, and “The Sweetest Thing This Side of Heaven“, another ballad McCoy had hit withChris Bartley, were also released by the SpellBinders on Columbia. Before Sussex they recorded for Hollywood and Deluxe records. They later changed their name to Anacostia, after a large low-income development in D.C. As Anacostia, they recorded for Columbia, MCA, Tabu, and Roulette, well into the ’80s.
The Presidents, a vocal trio – Archie Powell, Bill Shorter and Tony Boyd – from Washington, D.C. Their association with Clarence Avant’s Sussex Records, which he launched in Hollywood in mid-December 1969 with a distribution arrangement with Buddah Records, began the following year with the release of their cover of the Van McCoy-penned For You (first a # 23 R&B/# 93 Hot 100 in 1965 for The Spellbinders) and it was something less than a modest debut, hitting # 45 R&B that June b/w Keep Movin’ on Sussex 200. But then a few months later, a song written by Powell and Boyd called 5-10-15-20 (25-30 Years Of Love) started its climb to # 5 R&B and # 11 Hot 100, peaking in October on Sussex 207 b/w I’m Still Dancing.
Avant, who was also recording such as Bill Withers, Dennis Coffey & The Detroit Guitar Band, Creative Soul, Wadsworth Mansion and Faith, Hope & Charity, among others, could have been forgiven had he perhaps thought he had a rival for some of the other major R&B vocal groups on the scene at that time. But when Triangle Of Love (Hey Diddle Diddle) finished at a disappointing # 16 R&B/# 68 Hot 100 in February 1971 b/w Sweet Magic on Sussex 212, the bloom was quickly fading from the rose. That was confirmed when their cover of another McCoy-penned song, The Sweetest Thing This Side Of Heaven (first a hit for Chris Bartley in 1967 for the tiny Vando label – # 10 R&B/# 32 Hot 100) was shut out on the lucrative Pop Hot 100 and only made it to # 30 R&B in May 1971 on Sussex 217 b/w – prophetically – It’s All Over.
Still, Avant did release their only album, which, produced by McCoy and using the title of their biggest hit, came out in 1971 and made it to # 158 on the Hot 200 Album Charts.
As Anacostia, the trio would continue to record into the 1980s but never again attain a hit single, although two albums, one for MCA in 1977 and another for Tabu Records in 1978, were critically well received if not major commercial successes. Some of the tracks from those albums, or these singles, could have rounded out a 25-28 tracks CD: I Just Wander/Thick And Thin – Columbia 45820 in 1973; Too Busy Thinking About My Baby/You’d Better Know What You’re Doing – Columbia 10017 in 1974; All I Need/One Last Morning – Columbia 10203 in 1975; Ain’t Nothing To It/Anything For You on Tabu ASD 494 in 1978; and Love Is Never Wrong/Wild Funky Weekend on Roulette 7300 in 1984.
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