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  Bloodstone
 

 

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Click below for a Bloodstone sample:

Never Let You Go

  

 
This 70s soul band was comprised of Melvin Webb (drums), Roger Durham (percussion), Charles Love (guitar, vocals), Charles McCormack (bass), Willis Draffen (guitar), and Harry Williams (percussion).  They were formed during the 1960s in Kansas City, but found themselves moving to London in 1971, hoping to kick start their career.  While overseas, they caught the attention of producer Mike Vernon, who was popular for his work with rock and blues acts.  He helped them craft a signature sound, and within two years the dreamy single  "Natural High" became a crossover hit.   Unfortunately, just as their star was rising, Durham and Webb both died in 1973; Webb was replaced by Eddie Summers.

Bloodstone was one of the era's more ambitious bands.  In addition to their repertoire of ballads and midtempo funk numbers, they always paid tribute to their forebears by covering 1950s classics from Bo Diddley, Elvis and the Coasters.  Their biggest surprise came in 1975, when they made the movie Train Ride to Hollywood, a comedy starring themselves as a bunch of train conductors; the surprising quality of the film drew comparisons to the Beatles' movies.   Their classic period ended in 1976, after which they endured a failed stint on Motown, who weren't sure how to handle Bloodstone.  They revived their career by signing to the Isley Brothers' T-Neck label and landing a second string of hits in the early 80s, highlighted by the top five "We Go A Long Way Back" in 1982.

Bloodstone's Deepest Grooves

Bloodstone (London, 1972)

Natural High (London, 1973)

Unreal (London, 1973)

I Need Time (London, 1974)

Riddle of the Sphinx (London, 1975)

Last Train to Hollywood (London, 1975)

Do You Wanna Do A Thing (London, 1976)

Don't Stop (Motown, 1978)

We Go A Long Way Back (T-Neck, 1982)

Very Best Of (Rhino, 1997)
Tasteful tribute to an underrated and surprisingly diverse band.  Slow jammies like "Natural High" and "Give Me Your Heart" are radio favorites, but the punchiness of "Do You Wanna Do A Thing," the spriteliness of "My Little Lady," and the humor displayed in "Traffic Cop" shed additional insight into their capabilities.

Go On and Cry (Amw, 2000)
Compilation of the later T-Neck material.

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