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Milt Matthews Inc. - For The People (CD)


The group Milt Matthews Inc was signed to Ember in 1971 for one album, For The People (NR 5056), which had been released in the USA on the Catalyst label.
The album was an era piece that sought to span musical genres and appeal to both soul and rock fans, with powerful vocals in the Otis Redding mould and a lead guitarist who had obviously studied Jimi Hendrix.

It was produced in New York by Beau Ray Fleming with the strings overdubs arranged by Bert “Super Charts” DeCoteaux. Milt sang lead vocals, played rhythm guitar and wrote the original songs.

The remainder of this interracial band comprised his brother Carl Matthews on bass, Norman Harrison on electric piano, piano and organ, Randall Burney on lead guitar and drummer Tommy Byrd.

The opening track is an extended workout on B.B. King’s 1970 hit ‘The Thrill Has Gone’ with a menacing string arrangement provided by DeCoteaux, who had also embellished B.B.’s version. The bluesy ‘Can’t See Myself Doing You Wrong’ is the first of Milt’s compositions and features strong backing vocals, possibly by the Sweet Inspirations. Artists in the seventies frequently included a Beatles cover on their albums, Milt’s choice was to apply some funk to ‘Hard Day’s Night’ supported by outstanding fuzz guitar from Randall. ‘Oh Lord (You Gotta Help Me)’, another Matthews song, is a fine pleading soul ballad with tasteful strings and girl group sweetening. ‘Runaway People’ had been an R&B charter for Dyke & The Blazers the year before and Milt adds some screams that Dyke would have been proud of. Probably Milt’s best love song, ‘That’s The Way I Feel (Like A Burning Fire)’ also has the benefit of Burney’s scorching fuzz interjections. A plea for peace and love, ‘Disaster Area’ was much in the psychedelic soul style of the Dennis Edwards-led Temptations at the time. The closing selection is a sympathetic cover of ‘Presence Of The Lord’, Eric Clapton’s song from his tenure in the short-lived supergroup Blind Faith.

Ember opted for striking new black and white artwork and a gatefold sleeve when they released the album and Fantastic Voyage has lovingly reproduced that presentation for CD reissue. The child-like cartoon cover of the American version will be displayed in the booklet, along with new sleeve notes.

"Highly recommended: not just as a curio but something which bears repeated hammering. A stone classic" - Shinding

"Ultra-collectable 70s psych-soul gem" - 4/5 Record Collector

ミルト·マシューズ·インクは「フォー·ザ·ピープル」1枚で、エンバーと1971年に契約をしました。「フォー·ザ·ピープル」は、既にアメリカのカタリストレーベルからリリースされていました。このアルバムはソウルとロックのファンにもアピール出来るクラシック作品となりました。 マシューズ·インクのサウンドは、オーティス·レディング系のヴォーカルと、ジミヘンのようなリードギターを合わせたゴールドプレンドでした。とてもファンキーで生々しくて、最高


A1   The Thrill Is Gone 6:14  
A2   Can't See Myself Doing You Wrong 3:16  
A3   Hard Day's Night 4:57  
A4   Oh Lord (You Gotta Help Me) 3:47  
B1   Runaway People 3:56  
B2   That's What I Feel (A Burning Fire) 4:50  
B3   Disaster Area 4:10  
B4   Presence Of The Lord 5:15

1. The Thrill Is Gone
2. Can't See Myself Doing You Wrong
3. Hard Day's Night
4. Oh Lord (You Gotta Help Me)
5. Runaway People
6. That's The Way I Feel (Like A Burning Fire)
7. Disaster Area
8. Presence Of The Lord


Fantastic Voyage’s excavation of the Ember label’s venerable vaults has turned up a solid lump of gold with this reissue of a soul-rock curio which slipped under the radar when first released in 1971 (after being licenced from America’s Catalyst label). Milt Matthews Inc were an early 70s interracial soul-rock band who recorded this album in New York under the production auspices of Beau Ray Fleming (then enjoying success with Mandrill), with string arrangements by Bert “Super Charts” DeCoteaux.

The album is firmly of that post-psychedelic period when racial divides were being trampled in music, but stands above many similar efforts through the strength of Mathews’ Otis-meets-Winwood vocals, the stellar band and vibrant self-penned songs such as the impassioned That’s The Way I Feel (Like A Burning Fire) and Disaster Area, which alone would’ve gained them admission into The Temptations’ psychedelic shack, with Randall Burney’s omnipresent fuzz guitar interjections. Apart from an obligatory stab at A Hard Day’s Night, the covers are also excellent, particularly BB King’s The Thrill Is Gone and Clapton’s Presence Of The Lord, which seems made for this group. Matthews’ own compositions, however, make this an essential purchase for devotees of the genre.

4 stars 4 stars 4 stars 4 stars

Fantastic Voyage | FVCD 045

Reviewed by Kris Needs




オーティスを思わせるソウルフルでハスキーな歌声。この時代に数多存在した白黒混合バンドの中でも出色のユニットの唯一作。ビートルズの"HARD DAY'S NIGHT"をもろにATLANTIC~STAXスタイルの粘っこいアレンジで歌いまくり、サイケなギターが唸りをあげる驚愕のカバー!さらにはクラプトン作、BLIND FAITHの名曲"PRESENCE OF THE LORD"のゴスペルライクなカバーなど、エリック・バートンやスティーヴ・ウィンウッドが本当はやりたかったことを(ホンモノの)黒人がやってのけてしまった。この時代ならではの、輝きに満ちた仇花的傑作!


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Music. Warmth people. Good songs.Delight in female voice.YOU!

Kaki King