The Independents - Just As Long: The Complete Wand Recordings 1972-74

Published Monday 15th August 2016
The Independents - Just As Long: The Complete Wand Recordings 1972-74
The Independents - Just As Long: The Complete Wand Recordings 1972-74

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 161327-23938

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

With a career that could fit between Coldplay albums, Chicago soul group The Independents existed for a mere three years in the early '70s and their complete recorded output - originally released on the Wand label - has been lovingly re-issued by the folks at Kent Records. Formed by songwriting team Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy who both went on to write for the latter's first wife Natalie Cole, The Independents' sound is satisfyingly lush and has all the hallmarks of classic '70s soul with sweeping strings, busy bass lines and schmaltzy spoken parts all acting as a veritable tick box of all that made this now bygone strand of the soul genre great. For the most part, the overriding theme is one of love - more specifically good lovin' - and therefore there's perhaps not much the Christian music fan may initially be drawn to except that Yancy went on to become a Baptist pastor and released a gospel solo album just weeks before his untimely death in 1985. From that viewpoint, the likes of "Let This Be A Lesson To You" can be seen as a prayer of forgiveness whilst the exemplary "Here I Am" seems to take inspiration from Christ's unconditional love in what is arguably the highlight of this release. Set firmly in smooth mid-tempo soul territory, proceedings do get a bit repetitive after a while but the punchy blues of "The Same Old Way", some uncharacteristic pace in "One Woman Do Right Man" and two versions of the delightfully intense "I Love You, Yes I Do" make this an enjoyable listening experience as well as a worthwhile document of the career of a short-lived but no less important group.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Interested in reviewing music? Find out more here.

Be the first to comment on this article

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.