(4 / 5)
These multi-albums on one or two CDs re-issues on CD are coming out thick and fast; especially in the soul genre.
Some are pants and weren’t worth bothering with first time round. That cannot be said for this little gem.
From US soul outfit The Whispers, and not one, not two but three albums on two discs here, offering 30 tracks. “Whisper In Your Ear”, “The Whispers” and “Imagination”, on a double CD.
The “Whisper In Your Ear” record was originally released in 1979 on the Solar Label, and features the tracks “Homemade Lovin’’ and “Can’t Do Without Love”, which is also included as a seven inch version bonus track.
Following up the “Whisper In Your Ear” album was the 1980 “The Whispers”, which included the worldwide smash hit “And The Beat Goes On”, topping the US R&B chart for five weeks.
The album also made the US Top 20 Pop chart, and just missed topping the UK Pop Chart by reaching second spot. “And The Beat Goes On” was to become the Whispers’ biggest hit and a disco anthem. Also featured on the album were the tracks “Lady” and “My Girl”, which also charted big for the group. The album went platinum in America.
The third album here is “Imagination”, originally released in 1981 and certified Gold in America. The stand out tracks on this album are “It’s A Love Thing” – a Top Ten Hit on both sides of the Atlantic – “I Can Make It Better”, “A Song For Donny” and “Up On Soul Train”.
This package features sleeve notes by a New York based music journalist who interviewed Walter Scott of The Whispers for this release.
There are six bonus tracks included on this package, five seven inch versions of full album tracks, and the instrumental version of “A Song For Donny”.
Even though The Whispers main success happened in the late 1970s and into the 80s, they had formed back in 1964, in L.A.
The original members included identical twin brothers Wallace “Scotty” and Walter Scott, along with Gordy Harmon, Marcus Hutson, and Nicholas Caldwell. The latter two are now deceased.
The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003 and were winners of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 2008, and in 2014, inducted into the Official R&B Music Hall of Fame.
They are still active on the concert scene internationally, as a trio; Walter, Wallace and former Friends of Distinction member Leaveil Degree, who joined The Whispers in the 1970s. They should not be judged purely on their most commercial tracks which were pop and disco hits, but are in my opinion, a grossly under-rated vocal group who deserve much credit.
By Christopher Weston
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’