Prelude & Deodato 2
Themes from The Exorcist, The French Connection, The Sting and other great films & Flashpoint
Hiroshima & Odori
[SACD Hybrid Multi-channel]
The Black Motion Picture Experience
LP BDS 5129 (1973) STEREO
BUD J 15129 QUADRAPHONIC
1: ACROSS 110TH STREET (Johnson; Womack)
2: SLAUGHTER (Preston)
3: BEN (Scharf; Black)
4: ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA (R Strauss)
from the film 2001: A Space Odyssey
5: SUPERFLY (Mayfield)
6: TROUBLE MAN/“T” STANDS FOR TROUBLE (Gaye)
7: SHAFT (Hayes)
8: LOVE THEME FROM LADY SINGS THE BLUES (Legrand)
9: FREDDIE’S DEAD (Mayfield) from the film Superfly
Music for Soulful Lovers
LP BDS 5139 (1973) STEREO
BUD J 15139 QUADRAPHONIC
10: SOULFUL LOVE (Camillo; Bogart)
11: I’M GONNA LOVE YOU JUST A LITTLE MORE BABY
12: BREAK UP TO MAKE UP (Gamble; Bell; Creed)
13: YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF MY LIFE (Wonder)
14: NEITHER ONE OF US (Weatherly)
15: PILLOW TALK (Robinson; Burton)
16: KILLING ME SOFTLY WITH HIS SONG (Fox; Gimbel)
17: IF YOU DON’T KNOW ME BY NOW (Gamble; Huff)
18: LOVING YOU HURTS SO BAD (Camillo; Sawyer)
19: CALL ME (COME BACK HOME)
(Green; Mitchell; Jackson)
20: STAY WITH ME (Camillo; Sawyer)
All tracks available
in stereo and multi-channel
This hybrid CD can be played on
any standard CD players
This reissue comprises two albums fronted by music industry mogul Cecil Holmes. After a stint at the Casablanca label, where he was National Vice President and Manager of R&B Operations, he joined CBS Records in the early ’80s. As the label’s Vice President of Black Music A&R, he would spend the next ten years shaping the careers of Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross, overseeing Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing comeback and unwittingly ushering in the second coming of the boy band era when he gave New Kids On The Block their first recording contract in 1986. But before all of that, he’d been with the New York-based Buddah Records, where his acumen as an A&R man had earned him multiple industry awards and numerous gold records; he’d also been instrumental in signing Gladys Knight & The Pips and had shepherded the careers of leading artists including The Isley Brothers, Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions.
Holmes himself was no musician, so when he decided to be the frontman for an album drawing together themes from the Blaxploitation genre, he turned to arranger-composer Tony Camillo as the man who would put it all together. The result was 1973’s The Black Motion Picture Experience on the Buddah label. Credited to The Cecil Holmes Soulful Sounds, it was performed by an all-star studio orchestra (including bassist Bob Babbitt and drummer Andrew Smith) and featured mean, funky takes on Blaxploitation staples such as Isaac Hayes’s Shaft, Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly, Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man and Billy Preston’s Slaughter.
Encouraged by the album’s success (it sold a reported 100,000 copies in its first year), Holmes quickly commissioned a follow-up, Music for Soulful Lovers. Released towards the end of 1973, it looked to the then current crop of hits by soul music luminaries including Barry White, The Stylistics, Stevie Wonder, Al Green and others. And Tony Camillo was on hand once more to provide a series of groovy arrangements performed by a studio orchestra comprising many of the musicians who’d contributed to The Black Motion Picture Experience. The album also includes three original songs by Tony Camillo (two of which have Holmes himself laying down his best Barry White-style love rap), prefiguring Camillo’s own solo success with his band Bazuka, which had a US Top 10 hit in 1975 with the song Dynomite. Vocalion’s reissue marks The Black Motion Picture Experience’s and Music for Soulful Lovers’ premiere digital release, and this Hybrid SACD contains the original stereo and quadraphonic mixes of both albums.
Remastered from the original analogue tapes.
Dutton Vocalion has released three3 more impressive titles in their SACD range. The Black Motion Picture Experience / Music for Soulful Lovers (CDSML 8531) is as a twofer release featuring The Cecil Holmes Soulful Sounds. There’s a perfect symmetry about this particular CD. Both albums were released on the famous Buddah label back in 1973 and both were released in Stereo and Quadrophonic pressings. Vocalion’s new CD marks the debut of both albums in both formats. Both titles were originally released back in the height of the Blaxploitation boom. The first of the Holmes albums consists of a great selection of major Blaxploitation themes including Super fly (1972), Shaft (1971) and Across 110th street (1972), but there’s also a great deal more than the usual, often repeated titles. Slaughter (1972) is a nice addition to the track listing, considering a soundtrack album was never released. Holmes also diverts somewhat curiously with tracks such as Also Sprach Zarathustra from 2001 (1968) and the Love Theme from Lady sings the Blues (1972). However, there’s a very nice funky edge to these tracks which never make them seem out of place and therefore fit in rather seamlessly.
Music for Soulful Lovers works as a perfect accompaniment to The Black Motion Picture Experience. Again, the album consists of many popular songs from the period, so expect more vocal tracks. But of course, the vocals are deep, evocative and very, very smooth. Aside from some very nicely produced covers of songs by Barry White, Stevie Wonder and The Stylistics, the album also contained three original compositions, all of which are silky and slick. In fact, it’s Holmes himself who provides the Barry White-influenced vocals ontwo of these tracks – and hey, it actually works extremely well!
Vocalion’s mastering by Michael J. Dutton (from the original master tapes) is pin sharp and contains the punchy clarity that we have come to expect. Great notes and super use of the irreplaceable artwork make this a damn near perfect retro experience.
BY DARREN ALLISON
(Cinema Retro Soundtrack Editor)
Available in hardback and paperback
CD of the week - The Sunday Times
SACD Hybrid Multi-channel