In The Basement
Let’s Groove; I Could Dance All Night; I Won’t Leave You Honey, Never; Dance Your Troubles Away; The Soul City Walk; Let’s Go Disco; I Love You (But You Don’t Even Know It)
Archie Bell & the Drells hooked up with the Gamble-Huff empire in 1975 after a lengthy spell at Atlantic from 1967 to ’72 and a brief stopover at Glades. Initially assigned to TSOP, this #11 r&b album was preceded some six months earlier by the zingy ‘I Could Dance All Night’, an appropriately typical Philly dancer which did indeed dance its way up the charts, attaining a #25 peak with ‘Billboard’ and #35 with ‘Cashbox’. Maybe the powers-that-be had higher hopes as they waited until coincidental release of the album for the next 45, ‘The Soul City Walk’, Philly smooth meets the Bell/Drells funk. Although it stalled at #42 r&b ‘Billboard’ (#29 Cashbox’), its follow-up, the two part ‘Let’s Groove’ was an r&b top tenner (#7 ‘Billboard’, #6 ‘Cashbox’). For those wanting to kick off their dancing shoes, ‘I Won’t Leave You Honey, Never’ is a nine-minute marathon slowie - produced by Bunny Sigler and penned by Sigler with Ron Tyson, with Archie ‘testifying’ two thirds in - and ‘I Love You (But You Don’t Even Know It)’, written and produced by Gene McFadden, John Whitehead and Victor Carstarphen, is further evidence that Archie Bell & the Drells (with plenty of support from the Sweethearts of Sigma) make fine balladeers. Shame that ‘King Of The Castle’ could not have been included as a bonus track as it was used as the flip to both of the first two TSOP singles.
Originally from Houston, Archie Bell and the Drells topped the US charts in Spring 1968 with debut single Tighten Up on Atlantic.
The follow-up, I Can't Stop Dancing was also a big hit Stateside but it took until 1972 before the band found success int he British charts with Here I Go Again.
Three years later, they signed to Philadelphia and recorded this album, now on CD for the first time.