Q - 10/94, p.1303 Stars
- Good - "...building through the usual raindrops-are-really-tears-actually malarkey to a near-hysterical climax. Worth the price of admission here alone..."
Rap Pages - 3/99, p.1444 (out of 5)
- "...THE BEST OF THE DRAMATICS gathers hits from the latter part of the group's career....The ballads, however, set the group apart from the soul-turned-quasidisco pack..."
Producers: Tony Hester, Jimmy Roach, Don Davis.
Engineers include: Jim Vitti, Dean Mounts, Don Davis.
Digitally remastered directly from the original analog master tapes by Phil De Lancie (Fantasy Studios, Berkeley).
Includes original liner notes by Jack Sbarbori.
Compilation producer: Roger Clayton.
Liner Note Author: Jack Sbarbori.
In the 1960s, Stax Records was best known for raw southern soul that rejected the type of sleekness and pop sensibilities favored by the northern soulsters at Motown. But by the early '70s, Memphis soul was losing its popularity, and Stax's A&R department started to emphasize northern and so-called "uptown" soul in order to stay competitive. One of Stax/Volt's biggest sellers was the Dramatics, a Detroit group that, like the Temptations at Motown and the O'Jays in the Gamble & Huff camp, effectively combined gritty soul belting with a sleek production style. Thanks to major hits ranging from the delightfully funky "Whacha See Is Whacha Get" to slow jams and ballads like "Hey You! Get Off My Mountain," "Toast to the Fool" and the melancholy "In the Rain," the Dramatics were on quite a roll in the early-to-mid-'70s. All of those gems are included on the hour-long CD, The Best of the Dramatics, which offers a fine overview of the quintet's Stax/Volt years. Many Dramatics albums are worth owning, but if a listener were allowed to own only one Dramatics CD, this would be it. ~ Alex Henderson