This isn't an album that houses the joyous hop of "Moment of My Life," and it doesn't contain the towering triumph of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" either, but Inner Life's I'm Caught Up (In a One Night Love Affair) is an immensely enjoyable full-length – one of the Prelude label's finer moments despite its low profile.
Bring together an all-star lineup of singers and musicians, match them with accessibly romantic melodies and radio-friendly arrangements, and the results will either be lightweight pabulum or superb high-quality pop music. In the case of producer Jason Miles' A Love Affair, it's unquestionably the latter. Even after 30 years on the world music scene, Brazilian musician/composer Ivan Lins may not have had a high profile. However, as this tribute recording demonstrates, his music is as fine as anything that has come out of his native country since the bossa nova heyday of the early '60s. Taken individually, each of these songs is a piece of joyous musical exuberance. Taken as a whole, this recording is better than an hour with any radio station you're going to find on the dial or online.
Love Affair created a sensation with their 1968 smash hit ‘Everlasting Love’. The song topped the UK charts and the group’s lead singer Steve Ellis became a teenage idol. His powerful and emotive voice was perfectly displayed on the orchestrated single that shot him to fame. Although hailed as a pop star, he had grown up working with R&B bands and could sing everything from bluesy ballads to soulful standards. His impressive range and confident style is displayed on this excellent 15-track debut album, first released as ‘Everlasting Love’ in 1968.
This is another of Conniff's "two-fer" offerings that reflects great listening, featuring great variety in the song selections. Of course, "Somewhere My Love" is Ray's most successful recording ever, and one of my personal favorites of all time, "Three Coins in the Fountain," tops it off for me. For real variety, compare these selections to the lightheartedness of "King of the Road" and "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport."
R&B innovator Ray Charles was one of the most important musicians of the 1950s. Despite being blind from childhood, he was hugely successful at fusing elements of blues, country, gospel and doo-wop together to form a kind of proto-soul.