Leave no 45 unturned is my motto.
In the Sixties many a Soul 45 would pair an uptempo attention grabbing A side – insert your favourite style here: gritty R&B mover, “Northern” stomper – with a ballad style B side. Many of those B sides are deep soul gems and to my ears are far superior to their DJ friendly A side.
Jump forward in time around 10 years and although R&B in its original incarnation, and deep soul, may have both been things of the past it seems the general A/B idea hadn’t. This 45 is a good example. It was released (in the UK) in 1976. The A side, “Keep On Rolling (Disco Train)” leaves you in no doubt what to expect: and yes, it’s an uptempo track aimed fair and square at the Disco floor, it leaves the station but doesn’t really go anywhere and is ultimately very dull. The B side though is something else entirely. A really well arranged ballad, on the sweet side, but by no means too sweet. This has been on the turntable a lot in the last few days.
Dig deep, and turn those 45s over, and the gems are still there to be found.
Ujima – Still Hooked On You 1975 (1976 in the UK)
Ujima is an African term meaning "collective work and responsibility". Ujima, the group, came from Richmond VA. You can read more about them here.