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Can't Break the Habit

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Album Review

Anyone lucky enough to own this ultra-rare album has grabbed themselves a piece of the finest British psychedelic soul and superb pop-soul in any category. In 1967, while Motown was still coming to grips with the psychedelic boom going on around them, the British-based Ferris Wheel was doing a gently trippy, soaring, and occasionally searing brand of soul music that made them favorites on the club scene in London. "I Can't Break the Habit" is a case in point, a bright, memorable dance number that manages to recall Martha & the Vandellas at their most alluring and ornamented, with a Revolver-style guitar break and choruses as smooth as anything generated by the 5th Dimension. Diane Ferraz's voice is the focal point of the sextet's sound, though two of the guys also turn in solid lead performances — the group's range is astonishing and their experience shows in the fact that none of the 12 songs on this album sounds like anything around it, and they even make the old Leiber & Stoller chestnut "Three Cool Cats" sound fresh. This was reissued in 2000 by Sequel Records in England with eight bonus tracks (three of them single versions of album tracks) that are as strong as anything on the original album.


Formed: 1967 in London, England

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s

The Ferris Wheel were one of England's great lost musical treasures of the mid- to late '60s -- immensely popular among club audiences, they were never able to translate their ability to win over crowds into chart success, but they made some great records while they were trying. The group came together out of the remnants of two earlier British bands, Emile Ford & the Checkmates and West Five. Dave Sweetman (saxophone), George Sweetman (bass, vocals), and Barry Reeves (drums) had played in the Checkmates,...
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Can't Break the Habit, The Ferris Wheel
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