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Where’s Your Love Been (CD Reissue)

Sandra Rhodes

Omnivore 2014

Review by David Bowling

 

One of the better unheard albums of the early 1970s has just been reissued on CD. Where’s Your Love Been by Sandra Rhodes is a slick album of country and soul performances. If there is a music category labeled country-soul, this album would fit it well.

The Rhodes family was local legends in the Memphis area during the 1960’s. They had a regional television show that was broadcast for 27 years. Sandra and her sister were in demand background singers who provided vocals for such artists as Al Green, Isaac Hayes, KC & The Sunshine Band, The Oak Ridge Boys, Widespread Panic and dozens of other artists. She and her former husband own a successful publishing company and she has composed songs that have been recorded by such diverse artists as Isaac Hayes, Conway Twitty, and Skeeter Davis.

Despite all her success; becoming a recording star just wasn’t meant to be. Why some albums become hits and others just disappear is never clear but her 1972 Where’s Your Love Been received little attention at the time of its release.

Rhodes has one of those voices that is at home in any number of musical genres. She grew up in a country music family but turned in a soul direction when she settled in Memphis. Both of these styles remained and fused together on her only solo album.

She has always been able to write a song and this was very apparent back in 1972. The best of the six original tunes are “No One Else Could Love You More,” “Never Grow Old,” and “It’s Up To You,” which all have a country feel in their structure and lyrics but are pushed in a different direction by her soulful vocals.

The four cover tunes are led by a scintillating version of the Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.” The energy continues on “Sowed Love And Reaped The Heartache” with backing by the Bar-Kays horn section.

The release contains a booklet that gives a quick biography of Rhodes and the recording process.

Sandra Rhodes proves that you don’t have to be commercially successful to produce quality music.  Where’s Your Love Been was released over four decades ago but the music remains fresh and alive. It is an album that deserves some attention.

 

Rating: ***1/2

 

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