Circle Of Love (1975)
Circle Of Love (Caught In The Middle)/Cross My Heart/Protect Our Love/Give In To Love/Love Don't You Go Through No Changes on Me/Don't You Miss Him Now/Pain Reliever/You're Much Better Off Loving Me/Fireman
From 1975, three or four years before Sister Sledge hit the big time with He's The Greatest Dancer and We Are Family, this is an impressive debt and a truly excellent seventies soul album.
Kicking off with the Detroit Spinners-ish Circle Of Love (Caught In The Middle). Full of wah-wah guitar, sweeping strings and a kick posterior vocal. It is a pleasure to listen to. Should have been a hit. Next up is the Chi-Lite's-ish beautiful slowie Cross My Heart. Across all these tracks, the sound quality is excellent. Not sure if it remastered but it certainly sounds it (I bought it as an Amazon download). 15 year-old Kathy Sledge's vocals are a revelation on this album. Then we go a bit disco with a Three Degrees soundalike in the upbeat disco funk of Protect Our Love. Yes, the sisters often sound like other established soul groups but their voices and harmonies help to put their own stamp on things. Give In To Love is another beautiful ballad.
The funk is back with Love Don't Go Through No Changes On Me. Don't You Miss Him Now has a Millie Jackson-style spoken intro and a lovely vocal. Pain Reliever is classic mid-seventies highly orchestrated disco. You're Better Off Loving Me is a heartbreaker and the album closes with Fireman a funky cooker with a dirty backing.
All in all a good seventies soul album.