miércoles, 25 de febrero de 2009

The Fascinations: ...Out to Getcha! (1962-1968)

The Fascinations were a girl group with a dazzling family tree, a distinctive sound, and a hook-up with one of the great artist-producers of the ’60; yet, in one of the great mysteries of the soul music boom of the mid-decade, they never made it in America, but sold lots of records in England. The group's origins can be traced back to Martha Reeves, (later of the Vandellas), Shirley Walker Bernadine and Joanne Boswell. Before the girls could get a foot in the industry's door, Martha left over some disagreements with the others. The remaining Fascinations persevered, and by late 1962 they had been introduced to a man who would change their lives. Curtis Mayfield, a member of the Impressions, got the group signed to ABC-Paramount, where they released a trio of singles (written and/or produced by Mayfield) over the next year that failed to sell in significant numbers. The label dropped them, but Mayfield did not forget the group and in 1966, when he started his own Mayfield label, he signed the Fascinations, eventually releasing five singles by the group. Of those, three made the US R&B charts, with the second of those, ‘Girls Are Out To Get You', rising to number 13. When the Fascinations’ contract came up for renewal in 1969, Mayfield did not sign them again, and the Fascinations disbanded. In 1971, they reunited for a tour of England but split permanently after that tour. The Fascinations weren't much more than an odd footnote in the history of Detroit-based R&B, in terms of their sales impact and their early history as Martha Reeves' first group. They never recorded steadily or successfully enough to justify an album release during the time they were together, but they turned in some delightful and intensely passionate soul performances. I have compiled here most of the singles they recorded between 1962 and 1968 (14 tracks); all of them, but the first two, appeared in the much sought after Sequel compilation ‘…Out to Getcha!’, in 1997. I hope you enjoy it.

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