Ray, Goodman & Brown: Harry Ray, Al Goodman, Billy Brown (vocals).
Additional personnel includes: Lou Toby (arranger, conductor, background vocals); Walter Morris (background vocals).
Producer: Vincent Castellano.
Compilation producers: Harry Weinger, Donald Cleveland.
Recorded between 1979 and 1982. Includes liner notes by Amy Linden.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
This is part of Polydor's "20th Century Masters/The Millenium Collection" series.
Personnel: Harry Ray (vocals, background vocals); Billy Brown (vocals); W. Brown, Lou Toby, Walter Morris (background vocals).
Photographer: Gary Gershoff.
Arranger: Lou Toby.
In 1979, veteran soul vocal group the Moments discovered that, by departing Stang Records, they had lost the rights to their name, and they were forced to bill themselves as (Harry) Ray, (Al) Goodman & (Billy) Brown. Happily, Ray, Goodman & Brown made a triumphant debut on Polydor Records with "Special Lady," which hit number one on the R&B chart and the Top Five of the pop chart, while going gold. The Best of Ray, Goodman & Brown, an entry in Universal Music's mid-priced 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection series, samples from the group's four-album tenure on Polydor, 1979-1982. There are four more Top 40 R&B hits, "Inside of You," "My Prayer" (a revival of the Platters song), "Happy Anniversary," and "How Can Love So Right (Be So Wrong)." ("Shoestrings," a minor R&B chart entry, is not included.) The disc is filled out with tracks from the LPs Ray, Goodman & Brown (1979), Ray, Goodman & Brown II (1980), Stay (1981), and Open Up (1982). They mark a gradual decline in the group's popularity, as their brand of creamy black vocal music became pass?; in 1982, Ray departed. Goodman and Brown hired a new "Ray" (Kevin Owens) and mounted a comeback on EMI America Records that included the 1986-1987 hit "Take It to the Limit." That period in their career is not featured here, nor is any of their early career as the Moments. As such, this is just a slice of the music of the Moments/Ray, Goodman & Brown, actually the final work of the original trio. The hits will be recalled by fans of late-'70s and early-'80s soul music, and the album tracks are in the same sweet, romantic ballad style. ~ William Ruhlmann