The Stylistics – 1971- S/T / 1972 – Round 2
Read Reviews, Buy the Album or Download the Album for free
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.’
You can also download their “Let’s Put It All Together” album here.