Saturday, April 4, 2015

Dream On – Five Keys


Strictly speaking, this 24-song collection misses the best-known Five Keys material, instead covering their history with King Records, where they signed after their stays with Aladdin and Capitol Records, and after the departure of original lead singer Rudy West. Thomas Threat is singing lead, backed by Bernie West, Ripley Ingram, Maryland Pierce, and Dickie Smith. But musically, this is an extraordinarily powerful body of work, an hour of stirring and stunningly beautiful vocal R&B, passionate, jaunty, and representative of the best of what this music had to offer before the arrival of Motown co-opted the sound and took it into new directions. The songs were cut between August of 1959 and March of 1960, and feature the group once again as a pure R&B vocal harmony ensemble, without any of the pop-style embellishments of their Capitol sides. The material is, in many ways, a throwback to their early sides, with soulful ballads dominating. At various times, they sound like the Platters or the Coasters, and even Bo Diddley's influence shows up on "Will You." Both the title tune and "Too Late" show Thomas Threat sounding more than a little like Jackie Wilson or Clyde McPhatter in their respective primes. Even the novelty tunes here work: "Dancing SeƱorita" is presented with such infectious good spirits that it is impossible not to like. The only pity is that the session records don't reveal the names of the backup bandmembers, who were also quite good here. (allmusic)

01  I Burned Your Letter
02  How Can I Forget You
03  Gonna Be Too Late
04  I Took Your Love For A Toy
05  Dancing Senorita
06  Dream On
07  Your Teeth And Your Tongue
08  I've Always Been A Dreamer
09  You Broke The Only Heart 
10  When Paw Was Courting Maw
11  Rosetta
12  Ziggus 
13  I Can't Escape From You
14  Will You
15  Wrapped In A Dream 
16  Do Something For Me
17  Valley Of Love
18  No Says My Heart
19  That's What You're Doing To Me 
20  Now I Know I Love You 
21  Stop Crying
22  Girl You Better Stop It
23  I'll Never Stop Loving You
24  Bimbo