Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
...But..."You Don't Have to Shop Around"?..
yygsgsdrassil | Crossroads America | 07/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...yes, you do. For the aforementioned cut. It would have made a great addition to this collection, but it is not here. This is, however, some of the best Al Jackson/Don Davis style Stax/Volt 'Sookie-sookie, now' street corner soul. You can here the Detroit City influence. And you can see the foreshadowing of great Stax/Volt vocal groups like the Dramatics, the Temprees and the Soul Children. You will dig the heck outta this."
Not mentioned in discussions nearly enough!
D. L. Adger | Philadelphia | 03/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Temps, the Four Tops, The Delphonics. Those and a lot of others seem to garner their fair share of mention when talking great male singing groups. Why not the Mad Lads?? While they may not have been as prolific as a lot of their contemporaries, they certainly had as much talent. This collection underscores that fact with some of the best classic soul singing and harmonizing you'll ever hear. "Seeing Is Believing", "Cry Baby" and "So Nice" are prime examples of a classic soul ballad, a must if a group is to be taken seriously. "Love Is Here Today And Gone Tomorrow" almost rivals any of the Temps uptempos down to the very "Ruffinesque" lead vocals, and no disrespect to Isaac Hayes, the Lads version of "By The Time I get To Phoenix" is the ultimate in my opinion. The only real misstep on the album is their cover of William Bell's classic "I forgot To Be Your Lover". It's almost a totally different song, and I mean that in a bad way. Otherwise a phenomenal collection of tunes here, one no soul afficianado should be without. I even was shocked to hear 2 instances of De La Soul sampling from "Make This Young Lady Mine" and "No Strings Attached", a lil something for diverse music heads like me! Oh, did I mention this was a Stax/Volt release?? Don't hesitate, the Mad Lads are fire!"
Utterly Ridiculous As A "Best Of" Compilation
(1 out of 5 stars)
"In terms of the music contained herein this is a nice compilation of the Detroit quartet's recordings for the Volt label. But to call it "The Best Of The Mad Lads" is nothing short of ludicrous.
Not only does it omit Don't Have To Shop Around [only their first hit ever and their second-best at # 11 R&B/# 93 Billboard Hot 100 in late 1965], as well as its flipside, Tear Maker, it also excludes their NEXT FOUR hits, including their best ever, and all of their flipsides as well. How anyone can label something like this a "best of" collection and get away with it is beyond me.
As a follow-up release, I Want Someone became their greatest hit single, going to # 10 R&B/# 74 Hot 100 early in 1966 b/w Nothing Can Break Through. Several months later I Want A Girl topped out at # 16 R&B b/w What Will Love Tend To Make You Do? while in December 1966 Patch My Heart reached # 41 R&B b/w You Mean So Much To Me.
There were no hits in 1967, but in June 1968 Whatever Hurts You made it to # 31 R&B b/w No Time Is Better Than Right Now. Later that October So Nice peaked at # 35 R&B b/w Make Room, and in July 1969 they had their seventh and final hit single, a cover of By The Time I Get To Phoenix which hit the # 28 slot on the R&B charts and # 84 Hot 100 b/w No Strings attached. Only these last four sides are included here.
Never mentioned in the same breath as the likes of The Miracles, Four Tops, or Temptations, the foursome of Julius Green, Robert Phillips, John Gary Williams, and William Brown (the last two replaced at one stage by Sam Nelson and Quincy Clifton Billops, Jr.) nevertheless had a nice, tight harmounious sound, as you will readily hear from this collection which would rate 5 stars if it were labelled anything other than their "best." That just isn't true, and for that reason I had to deduct 4 stars for the missing hits, including their two best by any definition.
For the record, Billops later recorded as part of Ollie & The Nightingales as well as The Ovations."