Bobby Thurston - Sweetest Piece Of Pie 


Fans of classic soul music have reason to thank the British specialist label Expansion records for two forthcoming releases.


Bobby Thurston will be familiar to the 80’s soul crowd for his anthem “Check out the Groove”.  The 1978 album “Sweetest Piece of the Pie” pre-dates that track by 2 years and is about to be re-released for those who want a change from the mechanical and overproduced sound of much of today’s R&B.


Washington-based producers Willie Lester and Rodney Brown were at that time mounting a challenge to Philadelphia International.


This CD may not be as well known as Philly hits of the time, but the elements of classic soul tracks can be heard on the disc.  The nine tracks here feature the same string sounds, mellow brass and even a drum sound reminiscent of Philly.


The main attraction is Thurston’s voice however, and it’s very strong whether singing falsetto or lower in the range and a little more gritty.  The songs range from the very corny Flash - aimed at the disco market of the time but streets behind the best songs such as “Disco Lady” by Johnnie Taylor – to I do love you which is a classy ballad in the Stylistics mould.  My favourite track here is the opener Just ask me.


This CD is a trip down memory lane – if you think soul/R&B has moved on too much, you can take the trip as from August 13th.

Reviewed by Chris Mann


Expansion Records EXCDM 8 – Producers Willie Lester and Rodney Brown