Black And Blue

by: Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes

Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' second album found the group continuing to ride its early peak, featuring the hit "The Love I Lost" (in a six-minute version longer than the one that made the pop Top Ten) and an additional Top Ten R&B hit in "Satisfaction Guaranteed (Or Take Your Love Back)." The album and its "The Love I Lost" single also became milestones for Gamble & Huff productions and Philadelphia soul in general for introducing the dance groove that became so integral to disco. But while the two hits and "Is There a Place for Me" were forceful uptempo tracks, they were balanced by a good number of effective ballads, the only misstep (and a most curious one) being the decision to lead off the album with a cover of "Cabaret." The 2010 CD reissue adds the "Pt. 1" single versions of "The Love I Lost" and "I'm Weak for You" as bonus tracks, and, more importantly, very interesting liner notes spotlighting detailed recollections by MFSB guitarist Bobby Eli. ~ Richie Unterberger

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