LOVE IS ALL AROUND

The Invincibles: Heart Full of Love
From 7″ (Loma, 196?) and Heart Full of Love (Stardom, 2000)

Chairmen of the Board: Working On a Building Of Love
From 7″ (Invictus, 1972) and Bittersweet (Invictus, 1972)

Wilson Pickett: I’m In Love
From 7″ (Atlantic, 1967) and I’m In Love (Atlantic, 1968)

A trio of love-ly songs from the Black Label Collection for ya’ll today. We begin with the L.A. trio of the Invincibles – not exactly one-hit wonders since they had two hits to their name, including this 1965 single. Though falsetto was hardly a rare thing to find amongst vocal artists or groups (think Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, etc.), it was the harmonized falsetto by all three members that distinguished the Invicibles’ members: Derek Richardson (lead), Lester Johnson and Clifton Knight. This is considered sweet soul by most and certainly, the adjective fits, but there is such subtle depth with the music – the bass guitar tugs with a heavy gravity that’s balanced by Richardson’s light voice.

Funking it up is Detroit’s Charimen of the Board with their rockin’ 1972 single “Working on a Building of Love.” Provided, the metaphor just seems a lil’ awkward here but I’m willing to look past that given the energetic, feel-great vibe of the song. This came out on the group’s second LP, Bittersweet – with General Norman Johnson still trying to recapture the magic of their classic 1970 hit, “Give Me Just a Little More Time” but even by ’72, the Board and Invictus’ zenith had seemingly passed (it’s incredible to consider but between 1970 and ’71, Invictus put out the first Chairmen album, Parliament’s ground-breaking Osmium, Freda Payne’s sassy Band of Gold and Ruth Copeland’s debut album (rock singer from UK, down with Parliament).

Last but certainly not least is one of the best damn ballads from the late ’60s, Wilson “Can you dig it?” Pickett and “I’m In Love.” I’m sure many of you have probably heard this song at one time or another but like the Invicibles, this song is both inarguably sweet and heavy. The way Pickett pushes his voice to the edge here is so passionate and affecting – pure Southern soul at its most potent.

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