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Everybody Plays the Fool: The Best of the Main Ingredient

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Album Review

The Main Ingredient were one of the best smooth soul groups of the early '70s, but they've never been given much respect in terms of CD retrospectives. They were given two comps in 1990 — Collectables' good but cheap Golden Classics and RCA's lengthier All Time Greatest Hits, which had more tunes but bad sound — and in 1996 RCA issued Quiet Storm, a collection of their romantic ballads, but the group still needed a well-produced, remastered collection of their biggest hits. With RCA/Legacy's 2005 release Everybody Plays the Fool: The Best of the Main Ingredient they finally get that, and while it is three tracks shorter than the 19-track All Time Greatest Hits (which is now out of print), it's overall the better package. While this doesn't have every single charting hit the group had — it's missing such smaller singles as "You Can Call Me Rover," "The Good Old Days," and "California My Way" (the latter two were on the 1990 CD), as well as their first charting single ("I'm Better Off Without You," 1970) and last ("Shame on the World," 1976) — it does have all the big hits, such as "Everybody Plays the Fool," "Just Don't Want to Be Lonely," "Rolling Down a Mountainside," "I'm So Proud," "You've Been My Inspiration," and "Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling in Love)." The sound is excellent, as are the liner notes from Ron Wynn, making this disc the closest thing yet to a definitive Main Ingredient collection.

Customer Reviews

these guys were underrated

these guys were smooth,hip,and groovin'.everybody plays the fool is there staple hit but they were some bad boys in their day. Hector V. ...peace

Great 70's Soul Music

The Main Ingredient did not receive the accolades of their contemporaries like the Stylistics, Dramatics, or Delfonics but they produced some wonderful music during the early to mid 70's - most of which is captured on this compilation. "Everybody Plays the Fool" and "Just Don't Want to Be Lonely" may have been their biggest hits but there are a number of songs in this collection that are even better: "Spinning Around (I Guess I'm Falling in Love)", "You've Been My Inspiration" and "You Got to Take It (If You Want It)" are Quiet Storm classics and among the finest love songs from the early 70's. "Happiness Is Just Around the Bend" is a disco-funk (club) classic with an intoxicating rhythm. "Rolling Down a Mountainside" is an uptempo message song with an impressive vocal by Cuba Gooding Sr. They do a very credible job covering Stevie Wonder's "Girl Blue" and "Superwoman". As the review notes, this collection leaves out a couple of important songs, especially "Shame on the World" and "You Can Call Me Rover"; however, I recommend this purchase to any serious, or even casual, fan of 70's soul. You won't be disappointed.

lost album

The album that always defined them for me was euphrates.Great songs. You just can't find it anywhere easily. And if you do you will pay a premium.Too bad its not recognized.


Formed: 1966 in New York, NY [Harlem]

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Main Ingredient toiled in obscurity for the better part of the '60s before making it big as a sweet, romantic soul outfit with a particular flair for ballads. Paced by the impassioned lead vocals of Cuba Gooding during their prime hitmaking years, the group is best remembered for their 1972 classic "Everybody Plays the Fool," but released a number of other fine singles, mostly during the first half of the '70s. The group was formed in Harlem in 1964 as a trio called the Poets, composed of lead...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by The Main Ingredient

Everybody Plays the Fool: The Best of the Main Ingredient, The Main Ingredient
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Contemporary R&B, Soul
  • Released: Jan 01, 2001

Customer Ratings