Mojo (Publisher) - p.1224 stars out of 5
-- "Opulent vocal harmonies combine with Stepney's shimmering orchestration as the group radically rework easily listening classics like 'I'll Never Fall In Love Again,' 'Close To You,' and 'Walk On By'..."
The Dells: Verne Allison, Johnny Carter (tenor); Chuck Barksdale, Mickey McGill, Marvin Junior.
Personnel: The Dells (vocals); Johnny Carter (tenor); Mickey McGill, Marvin Junior (baritone); Chuck Barksdale (bass voice); Roland Faulkner, Phil Upchurch, Cash McCall (guitar); Ed Druzinsky (harp); Samuel Magad, Ruth Goodman, Roger Moulton (violin); Bruce Hayden, Harold E. Kupper (viola); Karl B. Fruh, Leonard Chausow (cello); Robert "RX Lord" Lewis, Arthur Hoyle (trumpet); Ethel Merker (horns); Charles Stepney (piano, Fender Rhodes piano, harpsichord, congas, percussion); Morris Jennings (drums); Derf Reklaw-Raheem, Ealee Satterfield (congas, bongos); Bobby Christian (percussion).
Additional personnel: Ed Druzinsky, Edward Druzinsky (harp); Jerry Babransky, Zattoff Mirsky, Elliott Golub, Sol Bobrov, Irving Kaplan (violin); Harold D. Klatz, Arthur Ahlman (viola); Robert Lewis (trumpet); Paul Ondracek (horns); Joseph Gudstafeste, Johnny Frigo (bass guitar); Donny Simmons (drums); Ealee Satterfield, Oye "Nalls" Bisi (congas, bongos); Ethel Merker, Bruce Hayden, Derf Reklaw-Raheem, Karl B. Fruh, Samuel Magad, Roland Faulkner, Phil Upchurch, Arthur Hoyle, Leonard Chausow, Harold E. Kupper, Morris Jennings, Ruth Goodman, Roger Moulton, Bobby Christian, Cash McCall, Charles Stepney.
Recording information: RCA Studios, Chicago, IL (01/26/1972).
Photographer: Joel Brodsky.
Arranger: Charles Stepney.
The Dells, one of Chicago's greatest soul groups of the classic period, were all set to step into another era at the beginning of the 1970s. In 1972, they issued this unlikely masterpiece. Produced and arranged by Charles Stepney for Cadet, this set is, without question, not a tribute to Dionne Warwick but to the man who wrote her songs, Burt Bacharach. Stepney plays Rhodes, acoustic piano, harpsichord, and percussion, and a string section is also employed. If anything, this set sounds more in tune with what's happening in the present day than it did in the '70s. The sense of adventure and that anything was possible is reflected in the clean, fresh energy. not only in the performances and arrangements, but in the production as well. A must for fans of Bacharach, Stepney, the Dells and, well, everybody who has even a passing interest in innovative soul from its golden era.