Sunday, 3 May 2015

Maxine Brown - Out of Sight (Great Soul US 1968)


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Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

A later set from singer Maxine Brown – recorded a few years after her better-known sides for Wand in the 60s, but a totally great set with an even deeper soul feel! Arrangements and production are by Mike Terry, of Funk Brothers fame – and he gives Maxine a soaring style that's a bit more in the southern soul mode than some of her earlier uptown soul, and which has her vocals crackling wonderfully on a range of funky covers and lesser-known gems. Even when singing other folks' tunes, Maxine's a the top of her game – and the arrangements from Terry help transform the sound of the record so that each song sparkles as if it's her very own. 


Titles include "Plum Outta Sight", "Sugar Dumplin", "In My Entire Life", "Don't Leave Me Baby", "Stop", "Sunny", "I Wish It Would Rain", and the sublime Chi-soul cut "Seems You've Forsaken My Love". 

Maxine Brown is an R&B singer from South Carolina. Born in Kingsgtree, Maxine began singing as a child. When she reached her teens, Maxine performed with the New York based Gospel groups, the Manhattans and the Royaltones, in the late Fifties. She also sang with a group called the Freys before, in 1960, she signed with the Nomar Records imprint. At Nomar, Maxine released ‘All in My Mind’ b/w ‘Harry Let's Marry’ (the A-side was penned by Maxine herself). ‘All in My Mind’ reached number two on the U.S. R&B charts (number 19 pop).

The single was followed in 1961 with ‘Funny’ b/w ‘Now That You're Gone’, which went on to reach number three on the charts. She released a third Nomar 45, entitled ‘Heaven In Your Arms’ b/w ‘Maxine's Place’ (the flipside performed by Frankie & The Flips). Maxine then switched imprints to ABC-Paramount in 1962, releasing a further three singles, entitled ‘Think Of Me’ b/w ‘I Don't Need You No More’ (in 1961), ‘After All We've Been Through Together’ b/w ‘My Life’ (in 1961) and ‘What I Don't Know (Won't Hurt Me)’ b/w ‘I Got A Funny Kind Of Feeling’ (in 1962).


Billboard Review July 1968
She then switched labels again, this time to the Wham Records imprint in 1962. Maxine’s stay at Wham was short-lived, and she returned to the ABC imprint for a further 5 single releases. She then moved on to the New York-based, Wand Records, a Scepter Records subsidiary, in 1963. Maxine stayed at Wand Records up until 1968.

Her releases at the label included the Carole King/Gerry Goffin song ‘Oh No Not My Baby’ b/w ‘You Upset My Soul’ (in 1964, featuring Dee Dee Warwick on background vocals), which reached number 24 on the pop charts. 

A further Goffin/King composition was also released in 1965, entitled, ‘It's Gonna Be Alright’ b/w ‘You Do Something To Me’, which reached number 26.

Maxine recorded duets with another Wand artist, Chuck Jackson. These included, ‘Something You Got’ b/w ‘Baby Take Me’, in 1965, which reached number 10 on the R&B chart. Many of the background vocals on Maxine’s singles were performed by Cissy Houston and the Sweet Inspirations, Dee Dee Warwick and Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson.

With an increasing focus on other artists at Wand, Ashord & Simpson approached Scepter Records hoping for a deal, and a further collaboration with Chuck and Maxine at the label. Scepter turned them down, so they approached Berry Gordy at Motown Records who recruited them to his Motown Records imprint. 


Maxine released two singles at Commonwealth, the first being ‘We'll Cry Together’ b/w ‘Darling Be Home Soon’, which reached number 10 in the Billboard R&B chart. 

A follow up 45 was entitled ‘I Can't Get Along Without You’ b/w ‘Reason To Believe’ (in 1970).Maxine moved on to the Avco Embassy Records imprint.

She released three singles at the label, namely ‘I Can't Get Along Without You’ b/w ‘Reason To Believe’ (in 1971), ‘Treat Me Like A Lady’ b/w ‘I. O. U.’ (in 1972), and ‘Picked Up, Packed And Put Away’ b/w ‘Bella Mia’ (in 1972). 

One single of note is Maxine’s 1966, Wand Records, take on the Beatles ‘We Can Work It Out’, which was later released on an Ace Records CD release, which was a various artists tribute to the Beatles.

Album Discography:
The Fabulous Sound Of Maxine Brown (Wand Records 1963)
 Spotlight On Maxine Brown (Wand Records 1965)
 Sayin' Something (Wand Records 1965)
 Hold On We're Comin' (Wand Records 1966)
 Out Of Sight (Epic Records 1968)
 Well Cry Together (Commonwealth Records 1969)

01. Sugar Dumplin'
02. Plum Outa Sight
03. Sunny
04. I Wish It Would Rain
05. I'm in Love
06. In My Entire Life
07. Don't Leave Me Baby
08. Just Give Me One Good Reason
09. Stop
10. Seems You've Forsaken My Love
+ 2 Bonus Tracks
11. When a Man Loves a Woman

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