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Westbound Number 9

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Album Review

Flaming Ember's name rarely comes up in blue-eye soul discussions, neither Hot Wax nor Ric Tic before them — where they cut six singles — never marketed them as such. Many who bought their records simply didn't know or don't care, they liked the heavy soul sound and never gave much thought to their ethnicity. Yet, they were more successful then most of the known blue-eye soul artists and Westbound #9 proves that. Their first Hot Wax recording, "Mind, Body and Soul made noise wherever it was played. The sweet ballad with the rough edge introduced the Detroiters to the world. (The Ric Tic singles were poorly promoted and only received scant air play in the Motor City area.) Another excellent slow single, "Shades of Green" didn't do as well but it gave further credence to their singing prowess. The explosive "Westbound #9 became their biggest seller, the lead singer proved he could wail with the best and was a vocalist to reckon with. Excellent versions of "Going in Circles," and "Spinning Wheel" fit in well with originals like "The Empty Crowded Room," "Why Don't You Stay," "Heart On (Loving You)" "Flashbacks and Reruns" and others.


Formed: 1967 in Detroit, MI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '70s

A blue-eyed Detroit soul group that enjoyed a short time in the spotlight during 1970-1971, they were initially known as the Flaming Embers. The band included guitarist Joe Sladich, pianist Bill Ellis, bassist Jim Bugnel, and drummer Jerry Plunk. They first recorded for Ric-Tic in 1968, then moved to Hot Wax and dropped the "s." The songs "Mind, Body and Soul," "Westbound #9," and "I'm Not My Brother's Keeper" each made the pop Top 40 and R&B Top 20. But "Stop the World and Let Me Off" flopped, despite...
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Westbound Number 9, Flaming Ember
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