Sister Sledge Circle of Love
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- by Sister Sledge ~ Together ~ $11.35
- Released: September 18, 2007
- Label: Wounded Bird Records
- 1.Circle of Love (Caught in the Middle)
- 2.Cross My Heart
- 3.Protect Our Love
- 4.Give in to Love
- 5.Love Don't You Go Through No Changes on Me
- 6.Don't You Miss Him Now
- 7.Pain Reliever
- 8.You're Much Better off Loving Me
Personnel: Jeff Mironov, John Tropea, Jerry Friedman (guitar); Isadora Kohon, Noel DaCosta, Louis Stone, Louis Haber, Sanford Allen, Harold Kohon, Gene Orloff, Irving Spice (violin); Julien Barber, Seymour Berman, Alfred Brown (viola); Seymour Barab, Kermit Moore (cello); Frank Wess, Buzz Brauner, George Marge (reeds, woodwinds); James Sedlar, Ernie Royal, Jimmy Owens (trumpet); Donald Corrado, James Buffington (French horn); Alfred Cobbs, Garnett Brown, Allen Ralph, Jack Jeffries (trombone); Pat Rebillot (keyboards); Jimmy Young (drums); Billy King, Carlos Martin (congas, bongos); George Devens, Dave Carey , Joe Venuto, Phil Kraus (percussion).
Recording information: Media Sound Studios, New York, NY.
Photographer: Kwame Brathwaite.
When Sister Sledge recorded their debut album Circle of Love in 1974, all four members of the group were still in their teens -- Debbie Sledge, the oldest member, was 19, while the youngest, Kathy, was only 15. However, there's nothing bubblegum about Circle of Love. If Sister Sledge sounded like a female equivalent of the early Jackson 5 on 1973's "Mama Never Told Me," this vinyl LP found the Philadelphians sounding more like a younger version of the Three Degrees (who were also from Philly). This LP had a gem of a single in the haunting "Love, Don't You Go Through No Changes on Me," which wasn't huge but did reach number 31 on the R&B charts. The rest of the album isn't that strong, nor is it in a class with Sister Sledge's late-1970s/early-1980s work with Chic and Narada Michael Walden. Nonetheless, it's a decent, if uneven, collection of Philly soul, and the siblings handle themselves well on material ranging from the Gamble & $Huff-minded "Pain Reliever" and the charming "Cross My Heart" to the Thom Bell/Linda Creed ballad "Give in to Love." Out of print since the 1970s, Circle of Love isn't among Sister Sledge's essential albums, but it has historic value and deserves to be reissued on CD. ~ Alex Henderson
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