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Swamp Dogg's Southern Soul Girls

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Album Review

It's a bit of a stretch to categorize this as a various-artists compilation, since it only includes the work of two performers, Sandra Phillips and Bette Williams. Indeed, it's almost something of an expanded CD version of Phillips' sole LP, since songs from that album comprise 12 of this disc's 21 tracks, most of the rest being devoted to cuts from early-'70s Williams singles. Still, it is a way for deep Southern soul fans — and more particularly fans of Swamp Dogg, who produced the records and wrote or co-wrote virtually all of the material — to collect these rare recordings in one place. Though Sandra Phillips was a decent soul singer, her sole LP, 1970's Too Many People in One Bed, is as notable for the contributions of Swamp Dogg as it is for Phillips herself. Swamp Dogg was reserving his more unusual and distinctive compositions and arrangements for his own releases, but this is still a fairly strong Southern soul record, if a little modestly so. As the title implies, some of the tunes are more forthright about squabbles over romantic partners than was the norm in soul and pop music at the beginning of the '70s, especially on "To the Other Woman (I'm the Other Woman)" (a song more renowned to soul fans in the version sung by Doris Duke). Phillips might have missed out on a potential hit on what's apparently the original version of "She Didn't Know (She Kept on Talking)," which Dee Dee Warwick had a Top Ten R&B hit with in 1970. The more risqué elements of the lyrics aren't too obvious without paying close attention, however, and some of the songs are pretty typical, straightforward, energetic, period soul numbers. Phillips has a clear, strong voice, and the production has commendably brassy arrangements with a touch of gospel. Overall, however, it (like some other Swamp Dogg productions from the era) falls into the category of a record that's decent without being close to qualifying as a worldbeater. Filling out the CD are six tracks from 1970-1971, 45s by Bette Williams, as well as a previously unissued Williams outtake and the instrumental backing track for her "He Took My Hand" (titled "Robin Right On") that was used on the B-side of that single. These songs, too, sometimes play into Williams' liking for assertive tunes about love triangles and extramarital affairs, like "Another Man Took My Husband's Place," "A Feeling (For Someone Else Has Grown)," and "If She's Your Wife (Who Am I)." Again, they're OK and certainly well-produced and powerfully sung (in a voice rougher than Phillips'), but not remarkable, and perhaps a little less distinctive even than the Sandra Phillips sides.


Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Southern soul singer Sandra Philips only released one album, Too Many People in One Bed, on the Canyon label in 1970. Even though the album was produced by Jerry Williams, aka Swamp Dogg, it lacks the eccentricity usually associated with his own material. Often compared to such other Southern soul singers as Ann Sexton, Doris Duke, and Tommie Young, Philips...
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Swamp Dogg's Southern Soul Girls, Sandra Phillips
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Soul
  • Released: 29 October 2007

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