Blue Notes & Ballads

by: Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes/Teddy Pendergrass

It doesn't get much better than Blue Notes & Ballads. The only way they could have improved this was by including some of Teddy Pendergrass' solo sides, like "Come and Go with Me" or "Turn Off the Lights." These are the cream of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes' '70s ballads on Philadelphia International Records. Two delicious selections feature Sharon Paige and Harold Melvin on leads: "I Hope That We Can Get Together Soon" and the sexy, shuffling "You Know How to Make Me Feel So Good" are to love songs what Godiva is to chocolate. Can a song get any more real then "I Miss You"? Lloyd Parks starts the mournful drama wailing like a wounded dog; Harold delivers the coolest begging monologue ever, and Teddy sings like he's going to self-destruct before the song ends. The much-recorded "If You Don't Know Me by Know" is accompanied by gems like "I'm Weak for You," "To Be True," "Let Me Into Your World," and the motivating "To Be Free to Be Who We Are." The only glaring omission is the epic "Be for Real," one of their most memorable numbers. It's a shame this incarnation of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes didn't stay intact longer, yet it's a blessing they hung around enough to give us priceless treasures like these. ~ Andrew Hamilton

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