The Stylistics – 1971- S/T / 1972 – Round 2

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The-Stylistics - 1971- st - front cover

The Stylistics – 1971 – The Stylistics

1971, The Stylistics, a legendary Philly soul group drops the debut, a 9 track classic full of wonderful harmony-driven soul from the center of the heart. Russel Thompkins Jr. has one of the coolest, goosebump inducing fasetto voices around.

This is romantic elegance at it’s height. This was one of the recordings that heralded the coming of that “Philly” style of soul, that to that point had not gotten wider exposure or at least the exposure that it deserves.

The songs are song of longing, love lost and found. Virtually  every piece is a winner. Everyone could’ve been a top-40.

This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Avco LP including covers.

Tracks
A1   Stop, Look, Listen (To You Heart) (2:54)
A2   Point Of No Return (2:45)
A3   Betcha By Golly, Wow (3:47)
A4   Country Living (2:57)
A5   You’re A Big Girl Now (3:14)
B1   You Are Everything (2:55)
B2   People Make The World Go Round (6:26)
B3   Ebony Eyes (2:21)
B4  If I Love You (2:05)

The-Stylistics - 1971- st - back cover

This is one of the truly great soul album achievements. Hats off to producer Thom Bell and his writing partner on so many significant songs, Linda Creed. This album is a must-buy for any fan of Sweet Soul. All nine cuts shine, and the album just flows from cut to cut. It’s almost impossible to start playing it and not play the whole album, and it’s almost as great a challenge to not play the whole thing twice! This stellar effort from 1971 has its origin in Philadelphia in 1969. Five young men (Herb Murrell, Airrion Love, James Smith, James Dunn, and Russell Thompkins, Jr.) who had been part of two competing groups, joined to form the Stylistics. They entered a small Philly studio with no more than drums, bass, guitar, and organ, and with their sweet harmonies soaring toward the heavens, they cut the now-classic, “You’re A Big Girl Now.” The single appeared on the tiny Sebring label (owned by the single’s producer, Marty Bryant), but it caused quite a stir, especially on the East Coast. Bell was best known at that time for his work with The Delfonics and The Intruders, but he was about to make an even bigger name for himself. He took the boys on for their self-named first album, and hit after hit followed. “Stop, Look, Listen” was some way to announce that a group had arrived! But even bigger hits followed, like “Betcha By Golly, Wow” and “You Are Everything.” The release of “People Make The World Go ‘Round” as a single was forced, since requests for airplay for the song went through the roof! The addition of “You’re A Big Girl Now” to the package, two years after the fact, just helped to seal the deal. The other four cuts have all become cult favorites in their own rite. It’s safe to say that this was a greatest hits album all by itself.

Download link 1971 The Stylistics

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The Stylistics – 1972 – Round 2

This group knows how to sing a song. Russell Thompkins is superb. I will do down in history in his excellent way of singing a love song. Just superb singing all around. Linda Creed and Thom Bell have done it again with this legendary group.

Round 2 is an all-time classic.

Tracks
A1   I’m Stone In Love With You (3:19)
A2  If You Don’t Watch Out (2:34)
A3   You And Me (2:43)
A4   It’s Too Late (4:34)
A5   Chidren Of The Night (7:00)
B1   You’ll Never Get To Heaven (If You Break My Heart) (3:38)
B2  Break Up To Make Up (4:00)
B3   Peek-A-Boo (2:53)
B4   You’re As Right As Rain (3:46)
B5
Pieces (3:09)

Philly soul legends, The Stylistics get their sophomore album out in 1972, a magnificent follow up to their classic 1971 debut. Once again, the harmony is perfect, and Russel Thompkins Jr.’s high falsetto reaches deep into your soul. There are songs here that made me wish I was alive in the 1970’s (I was born in the early 80’s) to appreciate this masterpiece. “Peek-A-Bo” is an all around fun flirty classic with unreal vocals. The beat is smooth, melodic, and funky and always puts me in a good mood, no matter how angry or stressed out I am. Play it when you’re in a horrible mood, and I dare you not to break a smile. It is so uplifting. “If You Don’t Watch Out” has another upbeat feel to it, but it deals with the issues of re-falling in love with a complicated relationship. I love the lush, exotic beat and the airy vocals of “You’ll Never Get To Heaven (If You Break My Heart)” where Thompkins Jr. pleads with a woman not to hurt him by alluding to the angels watching her every move, an interesting concept, and a beautiful song. “You’re As Right As Rain” is a mellow joint. The choral backing is mad heavenly adds to the airiness of this beautiful song. The lyrics deal with issues about opening up to a woman, and how some women really make us men fall for them and their sweet personalities. I love the twanginess of the 7 minute slow jammer “Children Of The Night.” It’s sad how Russel sings about wandering lonely out at night lost looking for some company. Another classic here is “I’m Stone In Love With You” where he dreams up some schematics to please his love interest, a house on the moon, a big business so he can buy his heart anything she wishes, a sweet jam with fantastic choral chants in the hook. To sum it up simply, this is a masterpiece of the real soul era. This album will reach your soul, and you will get goosebumps when Russel hits the high notes. This one gets regular rotation, along with their first one, along with The Delfonics and Blue Magic when I’m ridin’ or chillin.’

Download link 1971 Round 2

You can also download their “Let’s Put It All Together” album here.

Buy the AlbumThe Stylistics – 1971- S/T / 1972 – Round 2

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35 Comments
  • Loïc
    Posted at 15:32h, 20 January 2009 Reply

    I’m glad you post these, I only knew “People make the world…” from Zero7’s Late Night Tales compilation, and it’s a great gem.
    Thanks a lot.

  • Izzy
    Posted at 16:00h, 20 January 2009 Reply

    Timeless classics! thanks for sharing quality rips.

  • k02
    Posted at 16:31h, 20 January 2009 Reply

    Thanks

  • Trakbuv
    Posted at 17:22h, 20 January 2009 Reply

    Great post Admin and appreciation of a stellar outfit at their best – and Thom Bell/Linda Creed at their most exquisite – and all beautifully condensed into their first two releases. The first has all the big hits, and their second has a special place for me, so choosing which to play is always difficult choice for me. And what a choice. My faves include ‘Children of the night’, ‘People make’, ‘Break up’, and my favourite, ‘You’re as right as rain’.

    No self-respecting soul blog can ignore these mighty mighty oaks.

  • Pepe G
    Posted at 19:08h, 20 January 2009 Reply

    Thanks for the great post… Philly Sound rules!

  • Rob
    Posted at 20:15h, 20 January 2009 Reply

    I have the original vinyls and hear it since the seventies! Who will replace The Stylistics nowadays?

  • Funkish Bass
    Posted at 02:49h, 21 January 2009 Reply

    As always, a special treat and undeniable good taste.
    Seriously, growing up in the 60’s thru til now, I forgot how good Soul was and still is.
    Too many toothpaste salesmen masquerading as songsters out there these days!
    Thanks for reminding me.
    Cheers
    Yiasou

  • Kyle
    Posted at 08:04h, 21 January 2009 Reply

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

  • Lord Byron
    Posted at 10:07h, 21 January 2009 Reply

    Masterpieces! Thanks for your work and the great records brought up here

  • Soul is the Music
    Posted at 10:20h, 21 January 2009 Reply

    Not a Wasted Note anywhere, and The Gorgeous Vocals of The Supremely Underrated Russell Thompkins Jr. and the Heavenly Arrangements/Production of the Wonderkind Thom Bell Grace each Track.

  • Ken
    Posted at 11:44h, 21 January 2009 Reply

    Without a doubt it is a classic. The track “People make the world go round” is timeless. If you love soul music then you need this album in your collection.

  • Ernie
    Posted at 20:34h, 21 January 2009 Reply

    fabulous
    thanks for the Stylistics selection

  • Samuel
    Posted at 00:53h, 22 January 2009 Reply

    Thanks for those brilliant album. I really loved listening to them!
    Best regards from Belgium!

  • ThorZeen
    Posted at 05:45h, 22 January 2009 Reply

    Thanks for these. Can’t wait to listen!

  • Mervyn
    Posted at 10:28h, 22 January 2009 Reply

    Wonderful classic sweet soul music. million thanks nikos.

  • Zion
    Posted at 11:38h, 22 January 2009 Reply

    Russell Thompkins falsetto is totally amazing.He projected with full power too something so difficult to do in falsetto-he didn’t need a microphone.

  • Lucas
    Posted at 11:44h, 22 January 2009 Reply

    Yeah. Russell Thompkins is the TRUTH !!! one of the most underrated singers of the 70’s.

  • DJ Tim
    Posted at 14:21h, 22 January 2009 Reply

    Great kick ass philly sound.

  • Eliah
    Posted at 22:41h, 22 January 2009 Reply

    Thanks for sharing The Stylistics. Amazing blog.

  • Sofia
    Posted at 10:30h, 23 January 2009 Reply

    These bands had pure talent melody harmony and most of all pure class.

  • Eduardo
    Posted at 10:38h, 23 January 2009 Reply

    clasico de los 70s y de siempre!

  • Mark
    Posted at 14:01h, 23 January 2009 Reply

    I keep enjoying!

  • George
    Posted at 20:17h, 23 January 2009 Reply

    Just Stunning!

  • phatrapper
    Posted at 22:20h, 23 January 2009 Reply

    Didn’t have this one! Thanks!

  • Jake
    Posted at 00:10h, 24 January 2009 Reply

    pure brilliance

  • Samantha
    Posted at 00:26h, 24 January 2009 Reply

    LOVE LOVE LOVE these guys. Pure SOUL! Thanks a lot!

  • neoSOULjakuza
    Posted at 19:41h, 24 January 2009 Reply

    My favorite Stylistics album is Fabolous, but this two early release are also huge.

    You know it simply amazing how thely can sing, and the art of they wrote from the emotions…

    I luv Isaac Hayes, i like Curtis Mayfiled or the Main Ingredient…but if i make a band compare…The Stylistics is the 1st !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2008 Budapest, Hungary

  • Tamtam
    Posted at 13:10h, 25 January 2009 Reply

    Oh man you brought back some good memories! “The Stylistics” was my VERY FIRST album that I bought with my own hard earned money(climbing my neighbor’s tree for mangoes)when I was 8 years old! This album made me fall in love with music. Period.

  • Paul
    Posted at 13:52h, 25 January 2009 Reply

    The Stylistics, The Whatnauts, The Main Ingredient, The Softones .. Where is The Spinners?

  • nikos1109
    Posted at 13:58h, 25 January 2009 Reply

    Groovy Emmanuel is currently working on two of the greatest Spinners albums.

  • Pegasi
    Posted at 02:01h, 02 February 2009 Reply

    Gorgeous music! The Stylistics’ Debut was an even more special album because back in the early 70s, rare was an album you can play from start to finish and not be mesmerized by the exquisite sound of it. I remember when “People make the world go round” was released as a single, friends of mine who usually didn’t buy records bought the album just to have the long version on the song.

    Thansk for sharing.

    Pegasi

  • Geewiz
    Posted at 03:15h, 12 July 2009 Reply

    Truly great music!!!

  • Cosmin
    Posted at 09:22h, 24 March 2010 Reply

    Thank you for this wonderful album.
    I love “Children of the night”.
    Thank you!!!

  • Jay
    Posted at 17:50h, 16 July 2012 Reply

    Nice post! Unfortunately links are down. Any chance to post it once again? All the best!

  • It'sMe
    Posted at 21:08h, 27 July 2013 Reply

    Good stuff. Thank you!

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