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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'Lookin' For A Love: The Complete SAR Recordings'
Artist - The Valentinos

Again, and much like I did for the new The Soul Stirrers CD, I have to fully admit that going into this new The Valentinos album, appropriately entitled for the upcoming Valentine's Day, Lookin' For A Love: The Complete SAR Recordings, I knew next to nothing about the band; other than that both these historically significant albums are a reflection of soul legend, and music pioneer Sam Cooke's role as a musical visionary more than half a century ago.

These Lookin' For A Love complete recordings span the three years between June 1961 and September 1964, and feature soul and R&B guru Bobby Womack and his brothers as both The Valentinos and the Womack Brothers.

Having done my homework - for both you and myself - it seems the family R&B group The Valentinos were based out of Cleveland, Ohio. Subsequently now famous for launching the careers of brothers Bobby Womack and Cecil Womack, the former brother finding bigger fame as a solo artist and the latter finding success as a member of the husband and wife team of Womack & Womack with Linda Cooke, The Valentinos have long since been relegated (unwisely) to the dark, dusty halls of what-time-forgot.

But, the children of the Reverend Friendly Womack had quite the career as The Valentinos as during their 22-year existence, the group brought out such R&B hits as, 'Lookin' For A Love,' notably covered by the J. Geils Band, and later a solo hit for Bobby Womack, and 'It's All Over Now,' covered by the Rolling Stones.

Much like what I said about The Soul Stirrers, they just don't make them like this anymore. Barely remembered, save for a few hard-core 60's R&B fans, and many fans of the popular "Northern Soul" music scene across the pond in England, they were once revered as one of the best. Indeed, as the old mantra goes, you may not remember the band by name, but you have definitely heard their songs. And if not their originals, then almost certainly by the many cover versions of their hits, some that were detailed above, and so many more.

This new compilation set contains all the songs they recorded for Cooke's SAR label, including the gospel sides they recorded as the Womack Brothers and other unreleased tracks. Such as the Womack Brothers' 'Somebody's Wrong,' 'Darling, Come Back Home,' the previously unreleased 'Don't Go Away,' 'Baby, Lots Of luck,' 'Rock In The Cradle Of Love,' 'Bitter Dreams,' and both the previously unreleased 'Shakin' This Way And That (Lassie)' and the Womack Brothers' 'Somewhere There's A God.'

ABKCO Records has gone to great lengths to uncover many treasures in the SAR catalog, and alongside this new compilation, they have also just released Joy In My Soul: The Complete SAR Recordings, a double CD compilation from The Soul Stirrers; who are notable for making soul legend, and music pioneer Sam Cooke a star! [Desmond Speaks]