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Between 1964 and 1968, Loma Records, an imprint of Warner Brothers that began as a commercial enterprise, became the conglomerate’s soul division under label head Bob Krasnow (formerly of Del-Fi, Autumn, and King Records). For the first time, this long-coveted label’s singles have been collected on CD beginning with this first of four installments.
The first volume of The Complete Loma Singles fully delivers on everything a soul aficionado would desire. In fact, it’s the most perfect blend of Motown, Stax and Phil Spector you’re likely to hear in one place. Classic r&b merges with girl group sounds while doo-wop stylings battle brazen blues for the rank of most brokenhearted. There’s even a handful of Booker T-inspired instrumentals to keep the party going. Powerful early singles by Ike & Tina Turner, Swamp Dogg (under the moniker Little Jerry Williams), as well as the entire recorded output of The Olympics (of “Good Lovin’” fame), appear here, alongside Bob & Earl’s Sam & Dave/Otis Redding worship, Lucky Carmichael’s BB King stomp and Brenda Hall’s girl group straddle of Spector and Shangri-Las producer Shadow Morton. Billy Storm lives up to his name by alternating between a refined Sonics attack and a cover of Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger, and The Apollas give The Supremes a run for their money with their four sides. Both sides of Sugar ‘N’ Spice’s classic “Come Go With Me” round out the collection, along with numerous lesser-known artists whose voices are probably heard for the first time in fifty years.
Loma didn’t last long, but their output was essential to the global development of rock and soul music. Just ask any serious record collector. It’s not merely a piece of history, it’s one of the best collections of music you’re ever likely to buy in your lifetime.
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