Willie Hutch – 1969 – Soul Portrait

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Main Review by Soulmakossa

Rip, posting and additional info’s by Nikos

What do you know about Willie Hutch ? “The Mack“. Yeah. “Foxy Brown“. Yeah. Two masterpieces, two soundtracks. But Willie also composed albums for himself, so to speak. “Soul Portrait” was his debut album, and, hot damn, it wasn’t a foot set in the industry, it was a whole leg. 

Responsible for the music and the words of most of the album, Willie Hutch set the record straight in 1969. This incredible effort attracted the ears of Detroit label Motown on the L.A.-born singer. Indeed, after releasing two albums on RCA, Willie Hutch started writting for Motown superstars The Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson etc. And had the career we know.

A1 Ain’t Gonna Stop 3:08
You Can’t Miss Something That You Never Had 2:37
A Love That’s Worth Having 2:51
Good to the Last Drop 3:03
That’s What I Call Lovin’ You 1:56
You Gotta Try 2:28
Let Me Give You the Love You Need 2:35
Lucky to Be Loved by You 2:52
Keep on Doin’ What You Do 2:17
Your Love Keeps Liftin’ Me Higher 2:31
Do What You Wanna Do 3:09

Before Willie Hutch became a leading blaxploitation soundtrack giant (‘The Mack, ‘Foxy Brown‘), he actually recorded some truly mindblowing Southern-styled soul in the late ’60s and early ’70s. ‘Soul Portrait’, his first of two LPs forRCA – and arguably the finest – just brims with brass-powered, gritty soul waxings that stand firmly on their own. It’s totally original, with Hutch cooking up a tasty dish of Stax-flavoured grooves and a hint of Detroit gloss. “Ain’t Gonna Stop” hits ya right on the head, a funky, mid-tempo floorshaker carried by a ferocious drum ‘n’ conga rhythm. Hutch’s raspy, fatback vocal really comes to the fore here, with gorgeous female backing vocalists coo-ing behind him and layers of horns further filling up the groove with funkadelic goodness. Released on single, it inexplicably failed to chart. The bumping “You Can’t Miss Something That You Never Had” incorporates a lot of the Motown-vibe that Hutch himself had been so responsible for creating. A great, rollicking bit of uptown soul full of ‘country wisdom’.  The beautiful, minor-keyed “A Love That’s Worth Having” is up next. A stylish, mid-tempo, brooding ballad drenched in sliding horn charts and featuring a few funky brothers kicking in some Stax-esque backing vocals.
A nifty, twangy guitar lick propels the loping, horn-heavy head bobber “Good to the Last Drop“, a track starring some of the LP’s hardest breaks. “That’s What I Call Lovin’ You” is more traditional, although it does have a nice, gospelish piano in it and another wistful, contemplative vocal from Hutch. The Groove Express huffs on with the stupidly funky “You Gotta Try“, a slab of southern fried nastiness that actually has a bit of that typical blaxpo-noise in there, especially with the blazing horns.

Hutch revisits Hitsville once more with the decidedly Motownish “Let Me Give You the Love You Need“, which would have made a great Four Tops tune. Superb horns, snappy vocals and a thundering rhythm throughout. The vibe is equally ‘uptown’ on the bouncing “Lucky to Be Loved by You“. Hutch’s trademark gutbucket guitar stylings are all over the intensely groovy “Keep on Doin’ What You Do“, another smoldering funk-based fingersnapper that again has some embryonic elements of blaxpo in it. Incessant, fat, thumping work-out…
Your Love Keeps Liftin’ Me Higher” is not the legendary soul gem popularized by Jackie Wilson; instead, it’s a Hutch original that sounds a bit more low-down and far less jubilant. It has the crashing drums, piles of brass and hard hitting congas, though, so it’s all good.

Ending this super soul platter is the fast-paced, anthemic ‘get up and dance’ admonition of “Do What You Wanna Do“. Lyrically name-checking about every then current dance fad around, Hutch goes for the true funk sentiment: just do what ya wanna do!

Amazing LP…

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Conversation for album: Willie Hutch – 1969 – Soul Portrait

  • Mafu
    Posted at 17:25h, 15 October 2012 Reply

    a love thats worth having is one of the best soul songs ever i love it, thank you for sharing it

  • rich
    Posted at 21:06h, 15 October 2012 Reply

    cant wait to hear this nikos thanx

  • Zen
    Posted at 22:41h, 15 October 2012 Reply

    A piece of true master soul.

  • brotherpete
    Posted at 23:15h, 15 October 2012 Reply

    so sorry, no download without Rapidshare link……

  • Nikos
    Posted at 23:25h, 15 October 2012 Reply

    Unfortunately Rapidshare deleted every link of ours. Without a notice, they deleted our premium account too.
    6 years of hard work. All gone. It is unacceptable. They do not like blogs anymore. I am not going to upload (it takes a month) all my files again to them. They are not reliable any more. At least to me… EasyBytez is the 1st option at the moment and I upload to a few others as a second option.

  • zobba
    Posted at 07:27h, 16 October 2012 Reply


  • Grumpy
    Posted at 09:35h, 16 October 2012 Reply

    Great album, thanks!

  • the GRZA
    Posted at 04:39h, 17 October 2012 Reply

    Nikos (and team) thanks for the great review and marvelous sounds 😀
    You can funk my soul anytime you want…

  • Name
    Posted at 08:47h, 17 October 2012 Reply

    many thanks

  • Grey
    Posted at 13:19h, 17 October 2012 Reply

    Willie Hutch. 100% Underrated!

  • A12RT
    Posted at 13:21h, 17 October 2012 Reply

    Major props for throwing this on fam! that real feel good music.

  • Mitch
    Posted at 00:20h, 18 October 2012 Reply

    You made me so very happy. That’s S O U L !!!!!!

  • rich
    Posted at 06:35h, 18 October 2012 Reply

    Thanks somehow let this one slip past me, but hey, thanks again 🙂

  • Rose
    Posted at 09:27h, 19 October 2012 Reply

    my my my

  • Wall89
    Posted at 09:40h, 19 October 2012 Reply

    WOW, this is dope. I NEED this album.

  • Quack
    Posted at 14:25h, 20 October 2012 Reply

    I really like Willie Hutch and this album I dont know! Thank you so much!

  • Noa
    Posted at 15:28h, 20 October 2012 Reply


  • AgOp
    Posted at 08:58h, 22 October 2012 Reply

    wicked tuuunnneeee…..

  • AgOp
    Posted at 09:01h, 22 October 2012 Reply

    I was eight when this song came out. Loved it then and love it now. Brings back many beautiful memories. Willie Hutch is definitely underrated. Thanks for posting.

  • XMan
    Posted at 08:53h, 25 October 2012 Reply

    absolutely amazing

  • T789
    Posted at 09:07h, 25 October 2012 Reply

    epitomy of soul and real music

  • jANET
    Posted at 15:59h, 27 October 2012 Reply

    I am re-discovering Willie Hutch, I didn’t hear these songs, only the movie related ones, oh what I have missed, thanks for posting the gem.

  • Andres
    Posted at 09:54h, 29 October 2012 Reply

    Willie Hutch was a musical genius and the beats are outstanding!!

  • Birdkiss
    Posted at 23:42h, 05 November 2012 Reply

    Thank you once again for another stellar post – you guys rock my world!

  • SFdoomed
    Posted at 04:32h, 25 November 2012 Reply

    Looking forward to hearing this. I only know of a few tracks from comps (like “Lucky to be Loved By You.” Thanks for posting this!

  • Jan
    Posted at 16:38h, 30 January 2013 Reply

    I had never heard of him. I”m going to listen the music. Thank you.

  • Topaz Bon
    Posted at 13:47h, 31 August 2015 Reply

    Fantastic LP, thanks so much for sharing!

  • Kaj
    Posted at 03:58h, 18 November 2016 Reply

    Thanks! Also for the wonderful bonus!

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