Sunday, April 02, 2006

Richard Popcorn Wylie Lost Time ABC

I was listening to Richard Searling's Soul Sauce radio show last night when he played this piece of atmospheric music which captures to perfection for me a certain time in mid 70's soul music.

Though I love 60's soul, I am a sucker for all those big productions whether it is Isaac Hayes and David Porter's opuses at Stax, Gamble and Huff's creations in Philly, Jerry Butler's Songrwriter's Workshop productions and Curtis Mayfield's messages from Chicago or the West Coast magic which was usually a combination of former Detroit players and West Coast musicians. Popcorn Wylie was one of those former Detroit artists who hooked up with West Coast labels such as ABC to produce his "Extrasensory Perception"album in 1974 from which "Lost Time" was a track.

"Lost Time" opens with the mournful wail of a guitar before the orchestra and rhythm section blast in with a "Shaft" type groove as the guitar continues to wail. This a serious piece of blaxploitation film soundtrack and makes you wonder whether the writers Popocorn Wylie, Reggie Dozier and McKinley Jackson were influenced by then trend for this type of sound. There are wonderful breaks in here as well as some gorgeous solos especially Chuck Findley on piccolo sax. There are also a bank of guitar geniuses playing away including Melvin Ragin, Dean Parks, David T. Walker, Ray Parker and Dennis Coffey. There is even a harpsicord thrown by McKinley Jackson who produces this opus with Gene Page and Paul Riser.

When you hear the dross that masquerades as soul music these days it lacks so much including writing, arranging and playing ability and all you have to do is place it against the likes of the above.

"Extrasensory Perception" was one of those albums will always be dear to me because I picked it up from the now defunct record shop Skeleton Records shop in Birkenhead, Merseyside as a virtual new release. I used to walk up from the Meresy Ferry after work and spend an hour pouring through a wealth of albums before heading home via few pubs. I will be featuring this shop and my finds at this shop over on my River Of Soul blog.


  1. I'm surprised that you didn't notice the identity of one of the guitarists -- "Melvin Ragin" is the real name for the legendary Wah Wah Watson.

  2. Thanks for reminding me and dropping by!!