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Minits - Follow Your Heart - The Sounds Of Memphis And XL Recordings CD
  • Minits - Follow Your Heart - The Sounds Of Memphis And XL Recordings CD
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Minits

Follow Your Heart - The Sounds Of Memphis And XL Recordings CD

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Title: Follow Your Heart - The Sounds Of Memphis And XL Recordings CD
Artist: Minits
Label: Kent
Catalogue #: CDKENM343
Format: CD
Genre: 70s Soul
Release Year: 2010
Condition: New & Sealed
1. LOVER BOY
2. FOLLOW YOUR HEART
3. LOVE LETTERS (ALT)
4. STILL A PART OF ME
5. IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE APPLES (DON'T SHAKE THE TREE)
6. HOOK LINE AND SINKER
7. TAKE A LOOK AT YOURSELF
8. NATURAL REACTION
9. STEPPING STONE
10. LAST MILE OF THE WAY
11. PULLIN'
12. LOVE LETTERS (THAT'S ALL THAT'S LEFT OF YOU)
A plethora of truly great girl groups recorded for Memphis’s greatest labels. Stax had Jeanne and the Darlings, the Emotions and the Charmels and in the 70s Hi had the wondrous sounds of Quiet Elegance. In recent years we have exhumed the Sounds Of Memphis archive and brought the spotlight onto Barbara & The Browns. From the same archive come the soul masterpieces of the Minits. This CD brings together all 12 of that group’s recordings for Sounds Of Memphis.
 
Consisting of sisters Mary Ann and Carolyn Watkins and Mary Anderson, they were signed to Sounds Of Memphis by Dan Greer and released three singles, including the highly sought-after northern soul classic ‘Still A Part Of Me’. Their sound was in the pop-soul arena, possibly trying to capture some of the market of the Honey Cone or the post-Diana Ross Supremes. The compilation includes all of their singles, the unreleased tracks that have dotted our Sounds Of Memphis compilations and two unreleased tracks - a vibes heavy version of their second single ‘Lover Boy’ and an amazing unreleased sister funk number called ‘If You Don’t Like My Apples’.
 
The Sounds Of Memphis Archive allows us to fill the booklet with an incredible array of photographs of the girls. In full colour, they were taken in and around the Memphis-based studio at the time of recording, making for an incredible celebration of this little-known act.
 
From the 1950s right through to the 1970s Memphis was a record town, awash with studios, record companies and distributors. Its industry proved to be an irresistible magnet for artists from all over the South and often beyond, especially black artists. Country acts would head the few hundred miles up the road to Nashville, and the West Coast was a hub for rock’n’roll’s golden dream, while Memphis – sometimes known as Soul City USA – attracted aspiring soul or R&B performers. The closer you were to Memphis, the greater the pull. 
 
The Minits were from not too far away in Montgomery, Alabama. The three-girl vocal group we celebrate in this CD headed to Memphis and released a mere three singles on the Sounds Of Memphis label. Their records were moments of pure pop-soul magic. Their second 45, ‘Still A Part Of Me’, commands a price of well into three figures due to its dancefloor appeal. 
 
Left in the vault were five further numbers which we have released slowly over the past few years. ‘Hook Line and Sinker’ is a Dan Greer tune with a snappy pop hook that must have been a candidate for a single but remained unissued until recently. ‘Natural Reaction’ and ‘Stepping Stone’ are both in a similar high quality pop-soul vein. The trio’s version of Aretha Franklin’s ‘Pullin’’ is another thing altogether – the rhythm section hits a groove and takes this one straight to the dancefloor. ‘If You Don’t Like My Apples (Don’t Shake My Tree)’ was found in the vaults only last year and has become my favourite Minits discovery so far. It’s a slamming slice of double entendre sister funk that should make it into DJ sets as soon as it starts to become known. 
 
For some reason their records failed to catch on and the Minits never became the stars their records suggest they should have been. The girls are almost completely forgotten today, yet the music they left behind reveals an act that should have achieved more. It may well have been that, despite top of the range production values and high quality songs, there is just too much of the south left in the recordings for them to have sat comfortably on pop radio. Then again, it may just be that they were never championed by the right people at the right time. What is for sure is that their recorded legacy makes for one hell of a listen. 
 
A lot of money was clearly spent on styling and taking wonderful photographs of the girls in a bid to represent them as stars. It wasn’t to be but those wonderful photographs now allow us to give you not just some great music but a stunning booklet to go with it. By Dean Rudland - Ace Records

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