Eccentric Soul: TWINIGHT’S LUNAR ROTATION takes a look beyond their hit maker Syl Johnson, and instead focuses on the records that never had a shot at the charts. It’s the story of struggling disc jockeys moonlighting as producers, high school talent show winners, major label cast offs, minor label upgrades, girlfriends with decent voices and master purchases traded for chart position. It happened after midnight and it happened right here in our backyard. Comprising 40 tracks in all by 22 artists, among them Renaldo Domino, Dynamic Tints, Annet Poindexter, Nate Evans, Radiants and many more, this two CD set includes a complete label history, a bakers dozen of unpublished photos and three unreleased tracks, including two that were only rumored to exist.
Chalk up another shoot-the-moon collection of long-lost soul to the master excavators at the Numero Group. Upping the ante to a two-disc set accompanied by trivia-filled liner notes, Twinight’s Lunar Rotation is a treasure chest–40 tracks of sweaty, sassy R&B goodness, churned out by the prolific and independent Chicago-area Twinight Records in the late ’60s and early ’70s. Committed to producing anything they thought could sell or merit radio airplay, the producers at Twinight generated ballads, minor gems like George McGregor and the Bronzette’s “Temptation Is So Hard to Fight,” hip-shaking instrumental soul workouts and smoky psychedelic guitar grooves. Tight funk ensembles Pieces of Peace and the Dynamic Tints come off like a mini-Tower of Power, and the teenaged Mystiques (discovered at a high school talent show) capture the urgency of adolescent obsession with “Put Out the Fire.” This lunar rotation is worth taking for a spin. –Ben Heege
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