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  • Blue Magic, Major Harris, Margie Joseph Live!

    Blue Magic, Major Harris, Margie Joseph Live!

    1976

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    All Music Guide Review

    When R&B went high-tech in the '80s, many urban contemporary artists became so reliant on studio technology that they sounded inept in a live setting. But back in the '70s, when R&B was still played instead of programmed, artists who excelled in the studio were just as likely to excel on-stage. Unfortunately, many '70s soulsters never provided live albums, but Blue Magic gave their fans a treat when they joined forces with Major Harris and Margie Joseph for this live two-LP set. Recorded at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, NJ in 1975 and released the following year, this album is a pleasing, if imperfect, document of these artists on-stage. Blue Magic is the main attraction, and the Philly group is in fine form on performances of hits like "Sideshow" and "Stop to Start." Harris, also from Philly, is quite memorable on the smooth "Loving You Is Mellow" and his smash hit "Love Won't Let Me Wait." The only non-Philadelphian on the bill is Joseph, who soars when she joins forces with Blue Magic on the dreamy "What's Come Over Me." Joseph stumbles on Morris Albert's sappy "Feelings" -- even someone as soulful as Joseph cannot salvage one of the most insipid hits of 1975. But Joseph fares much better when she gives Paul McCartney's "My Love" a Northern soul makeover. Although uneven, this double-LP has more ups than downs and is worth searching for if you're a serious collector of '70s soul. ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi

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