Mojo (Publisher) - p.1213 stars out of 5
-- "[Gooding] added pop to their harmonic sheen. Fans Stevie Wonder and Leon Ware provided material."
Liner Note Author: Tony Rounce.
True to its title, this CD includes 22 tracks taken from singles the Main Ingredient released between 1967 and 1975 (including three pre-1969 cuts that they released when they were called the Insiders). Whether or not it's the intention, it ends up being a best-of CD, the Main Ingredient certainly being a singles-oriented soul group. While the 2005 collection Everybody Plays the Fool: The Best of the Main Ingredient has all of the well-known hits, as well as some songs that didn't make it onto Spinning Around, this U.K. import is nonetheless a superior compilation in several important respects. It has six more songs and more comprehensive liner notes, and the inclusion of more late-'60s material (starting with the tracks from 1967 Insiders 45s) gives listeners a deeper appreciation of the group's roots. And it still has all the key hits, largely ones that exemplify the Main Ingredient's status as one of the slickest sweet soul harmony groups. One of those hits is the 1971 Top 20 R&B single "Black Seeds Keep on Growing," which remains a tantalizing glimpse of an African-American pride-oriented lyrical direction that the group didn't follow up on, perhaps because songwriter (and bandmember) Don McPherson died shortly after it was recorded. While the CD might be a little harder to find in the U.S. than other Main Ingredient best-ofs, it's worth the slight extra effort and expense if you want the best anthology of their work available. ~ Richie Unterberger