The True Reflection
Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1972-73)
- Joe Blunt -- vocals
- Joe Coleman -- vocals
- Bobby Cox -- vocals
- Glenn Leonard -- lead vocals
- The Chancellors (Joe Blunt and Glenn Leonard)
- Instant Groove (Glenn Leonard)
- Mirage (Joe Coleman)
- The Persuaders (Joe Coleman and Joe Blunt)
- The Temptations (Glenn Leonard)
- The Unifics (Glenn Leonard)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Where I'm Coming From
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: minor ring wear
Catalog ID: 5575
Here's another mid-1970s soul group that time seems to have largely forgotten ...
I believe these guys were originally from Washington, D.C., but ended up recording in Philadelphia. The quartet featured the talents of ex-Chancellors Joe Blunt and Glenn Leonard (who'd also been a member of Instant Grove and The Unifics), Joe Coleman, and Bobby Cox. They were signed to Atlantic's ATCO subsidiary in 1972, making their debut with the single 'Beer Cans and Empty Hands' b/w 'Silent Treatment' (ATCO catalog number 45-6905). The single did little commercially, but with Philly soul acts selling massive numbers of records ATCO decided to finance an album.
Recorded at Philadelphia's Sigma Studios, 1973's "Where I'm Coming from" was written and produced by the team of Bob Currington, T. Lester, W. Lester, R. Brown and Joe Blunt. Stylistically this wasn't radically different from anything the mid-1970s competition was doing, though the material and performances were all first-rate. As lead vocalist Leonard had a great and powerful voice with the other three kicking in great harmonies - I'd love to know which one handled the falsettos.
I'm Coming From" track listing:
1.) Whisper That Was Yesterday (Bob Currington - T. Lester - W. Lester - R. Brown - Joe Blunt) - 5:00
Kicking the album off, 'Whispers' was a little gimmicky (the song started out with guys talking about a friend's loose woman behind his back), but it boasted a killer melody, great harmony vocals, and a cool Norman Whitfield-styled vibe. rating:**** stars
2.) That was Yesterday (Bob Currington - T. Lester - W. Lester - R. Brown - Joe Blunt) - 3:25
Propelled by a breathtaking falsetto (wish I knew who handled the lead), 'That was Yesterday' was a gorgeous ballad that was as good as anything The Delfonics, or The Dynamics released. It could've been a massive hit ... rating:**** stars
3.) Society (Bob Currington - T. Lester - W. Lester - R. Brown - Joe Blunt) - 4:20
With Glenn Leonard handling lead vocals 'Society' found the group making their stab at social relevance. Surprisingly nice and far more subtle than some of the stuff Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff started feeding to their Philadelphia International acts. rating:*** stars
4.) What You Don't Know (Bob Currington - T. Lester - W. Lester - R. Brown - Joe Blunt) - 2:30
'What You Don't Know' probably had the most commercial melody and the most incideous hook - when 'what I don't know sure won't hurt me' got in your head you just couldn't shake it loose. rating:**** stars
2.) Helpless Man (Bob Currington - T. Lester - W. Lester - R. Brown - Joe Blunt) - 5:00
'It Really Hurts' and 'Helpless Man' were old fashioned slow grinds. The first sported some pretty harmonies and a great slow dance track, but lacked anything to distinguish it from the crowd. That didn't stop ATCO from tapping it as a single. 'Helpless Man' had the missing ingredient in the form of a killer hook. Another could've been a massive hit ... and perhaps the best song on the album. ATCO tapped 'It Really Hurts' as the single:
- 1973's ''It Really Hurts' b/w 'Whisper' (ATCO catalog 45-6954) rating:**** stars
3.) That's Where I'm Coming From (Bob Currington - T. Lester - W. Lester - R. Brown - Joe Blunt) - 2:40
Somewhat ironic that the upbeat title track was also the weakest song on the set. Bouncy and danceable, but thoroughly forgettable. rating:** stars
4.) Look At All The Lonely People (Bob Currington - T. Lester - W. Lester - R. Brown - Joe Blunt) - 4:40
The closer 'Look At All The Lonely People' featured the most MOR arrangement on the album. Pretty song, but it was all but swallowed up by the string and horn arrangement (blame Vince Montana). rating:** stars
So if you were keeping score you ended up with five great tracks, two that were okay, and one that was a clunker. Not a bad ratio ...
And that's all she wrote until 2005 when the Japanese Vivid Sound reissued the album in CD format (catalog number B000B8GICA).
Blunt and Coleman subsequently reappeared as members of The Persauders.
Leonard joined The Temptations and spent eight years recording and touring with the group. In 1986 he underwent a born again conversion, eventually becoming a licensed minister working in Houston, Texas. He has a MySpace site at: http://www.myspace.com/glennleonardformerlyofthetemptations
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