The Parliaments - I Can Feel the Ice Melting
I've been wanting to feature today's selection for awhile now, but reading the premiere issue of the rare soul fanzine There's That Beat! prompted me to get it posted. If you have not read or heard of this new magazine, do check out the website today. It's the official magazine of the Hitsville USA Soul Club, and it's a treat to read. One of the highlights of the magazine was an article about the Revilot label. LeBaron Taylor, Don Davis and George White owned Solid Hitbound Productions (under which the Groovesville and Solid Hit labels also existed) and their contributions to the soul world are immense, especially in relation to the Northern Soul crowd. I recommend that you get a copy of the magazine right away, as in addition to this graet article, there's a feature on the Carnival label and another about Jackie Wilson which may be of interest.
George Clinton and the Parliaments figure into the Revilot story both as artists and on the production side of things (Clinton was a co-producer of Darrell Banks' immortal "Open the Door to Your Heart," among other records for the Solid Hitbound labels). The Parliaments (some years away from being transformed into the "psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadooloop" Parliament / Funkadelic ("P-Funk"), from which Clinton would score major success, especially in the second half of the '70s) made a bit of noise with their Revilot debut, "(I Wanna) Testify", which accordingly is probably the easiest Revilot 45 to get a copy of today. (The honor of the toughest Revilot single to get a copy of goes to Jackey Beavers' "I Need My Baby," which is part of the Northern Soul "essentials" list.) "Testify" would be recorded by several other artists, most notably Johnnie Taylor, who would score a bigger hit with it than the Parliaments' original. I'm partial, however, to the Revilot 45's flip. "I Can Feel The Ice Melting" is a sweet, strolling fillet of soul, featuring tight group singing and a nice backing track that features no horns but puts the bass, piano and vibes right up front. (I learned from the magazine that the vibes came from Detroit soul session musician / recording artist / label owner Dave Hamilton, whose excellent recordings and productions have been the focus of some great reissues by the Ace label. Look out next week for a series of posts featuring Hamilton's recordings and productions.)