South Shore Commission


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (as The Xciters)

- David Thomas Henderson -- bass

- Warren Haygood -- drums, percussion

- Joe Hudson -- sax

- Ahmed Allen Mcintosh -- trumpet, sax

- Sidney Lanier Pinchback -- guitar

- David Abner Scott -- vocals

 

  line up 2 

- Kenny Anderson -- trumpet

- Warren Harding Hagood II -- drums, percussion

- David Thomas Henderson -- bass

- Joe Hudson -- sax

- Armed Allen Mcintosh -- trumpet, sax

- Melvin Moore -- sax

- Sidney Lanier Pinchback -- guitar

- David Abner Scott -- vocals

 

  line up 3 (1975)

- Lantz Arnell -- keyboards

- Warren Hayward -- drums, percussion

- David Henderson -- bass

- Sheryl Henry (aka Scheryl Henry) -- vocals

- Sidney Lanier Pinchback Jr. (RIP) -- guitar, organ

- Eugene Lennear -- lead guitar

- Frank McCurry -- vocals

- Eugene T. Rogers -- rhythm guitar, organ, percussion

 

 

 

- The Five Du-Tones (Frank McCurrey)

- The Marlynns (Sheyrl Henry)

- Schiller Street Gang (Sidney Lanier Pinchback)

- The Xciters

 

 


 

Genre: soul

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  South Shore Commission

Company: Wand

Catalog: WDS-6100

Year: 1975

Country/State: Chicago, Illinois

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 2

Catalog ID: 4752

Price: $25.00

Cost: $66.00

 

1974 found South Shore Commission signed to Scepter Records' Wand subsidiary.  Their debut single 'Free Man' b/w 'Free Man (disco version)' (Wand catalog number WND-11287) hit # 61 pop and # 9 R&B, leading Wand to rush them back in the studio to record a supporting album.

- 1975's "Free Man' b/w 'Free Man (Disco Mix)' (Wand catalog number WND 11287)

top row left to right - Frank McCurry -Lantz Arnell - Sheryl Heny - Eugene Rogers - Warren Haygood

front row left to right - David Hederson - Sidney Lanier Pinchback

 

Working separately with producers Dick Griffey, Bunny Sigler (who also co-wrote most of the album) and Stan Watson, 1975's "South Shore Connection" offered up a surprisingly interesting set of Philly International-styled soul and light disco.  That distinctive Philly feel may have something to do with the fact most of the album was recorded at Philadelphia International's Sigma Sound Studios with considerable help from Philly International sessions players.  Lead singers Sheryl Henry and Frank McCurry were both quite good, though the standout tune 'Before You've Gone' was sung by someone anonymously listed as 'Carrie'.  Mind you, nothing here is particularly exciting or original, but roughly half of the album sported the pounding beats that made such mid-'70s material club favorites. 


"South Shore Commission" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Handle with Care   (Bunny Sigler - Phil Hurt) - 5:53   rating: **** stars

Admittedly I'm not a big disco fan, but I'll make an exception for 'Handle with Care'.  This was one of those tunes that managed to keep its creative feet simultaneously in the disco and soul worlds, giving it a smooth and breezy vibe that was pretty hard to dislike.  

2.) Before You've Gone  (Lance Arnell) - 4:39   rating: **** stars

 'Before You've Gone' was one of the sweetest heartbreakers you'll ever hear.  The perfect song for anyone who has gone through a nasty break-up.  The vocal was credited "to a promising young singer "Carrie"."  That said, the song's secret ingredient lay in David Henderson's bass.  

3.) I'd Rather Switch Than Fight   (Carrie) - 3:47   rating: **** stars

One of the few non-disco-tinged songs, 'I'd Rather Switch Than Fight' sported the album's best melody.  The song was also interesting for a lyric that carried a blatant anti-martial abuse lyric.  It must have been quite shocking to hear in the mid-'70s.  I guess Sheryl Henry handled the vocals - nice platform for showing how powerful her voice was.   

4.) Free Man   (Bunny Sigler - Ronnie Tyson) - 7:21  rating: *** stars

As mentioned, 'Free Man'  was released as the group's Wand debut.  When it became a chart success producer Tom Moulton was asked to remix the song for dance audiences.  In doing so he slowed the track down, in the process lowering Henry's voice.  The result was many folks thought it was a male lead which led to rumors the song had a gay theme.  Not that it mattered, butt didn't.  Nevertheless, a bit too far on the disco side for my tastes, but I can understand why it was a major hit.   In Japan the Moulton disco mix was released as a single

- 1975's 'Free Man (Disco Mix' b/w 'Free man' (Scepter catalog number UP 492-S)   YouTube has a clip of the band lip synching the extended version on Soul Train: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eC_57NokF8  

 

(side 2)
1.) We're On the Right Track   (Norman Harris - Allen Felder) - 4:50

I'm not the only one to make the comparison, but with a slinky melody, to my ears 'We're On the Right Track' has always reminded me of a good Smokey Robinson and the Miracles tune.  It also sounds very similar to a version of the song recorded by the band Ultra High frequency.  One of the album's nicest performances and it was tapped as a single:

- 1975's 'We're On the Right Track' b/w 'I'd Rather Switch Than Fight' (Wand catalog number WND-111291)

2.) Just a Matter of Time   (Bunny Sigler - Ronnie Tyson) - 4:36   rating: **** stars

'Just a Matter of Time' sounded absolutely nothing like the rest of the album.  Powered by Frank McCurry Gospel-tinged voice, this one had an old school soul feel.    A refreshing change from their polished Philly offerings.

3.) Train Called Freedom   (Bunny Sigler - Ronnie Tyson) - 5:16   rating: **** stars

Okay, it bore more than a passing resemblance to The O'Jays' 'Love Train' but it was still a catch, dance ready number with one of those hopelessly naive '70s era lyrics.

   7" format

- 1975's 'Train Called Freedom' b/w 'A Train called Freedom' (disco version) (Wand catalog number WND-11287)

  12" format   

- 1975's 'Train Called Freedom' b/w 'A Train called Freedom' (disco version)Scepter catalog number WDT 11294)

4.) Any Day Now   (Burt Bacharach - Bob Hillard) - 6:16

 

 

 

 

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