The Natural Four - Try Love Again

"Try Love Again"

I've started my 'Blogg-life' with a classic Chicago album by The Natural Four and although the group originated in the mid-60's from the San Francisco area with Willie Hoskins' Boola Boola label and they later only had minor success with an album and single for ABC Records, "Why Should We Stop Now" in 1969.

Earlier the band recorded the popular Northern Soul tunes "I Thought You Were Mine" and "Hanging On A Lie" for Boola Boola in 1967+68 and then the later remixed in 1969 on an ABC 45 and the ABC album Good Vibe.

The early Boola Boola 45's:-

Hanging On To A Lie/Twelve Months Of The Year (WH 1001)
You Did This For
Me/Why Should We Stop Now ( WH 1001 & WH 6384)
You Did This For Me/I
Thought You Were Mine ( X 2382)

The above tracks in mint condition fetch up-to £400 ($800 usd), with the ABC remix 45 at about half the Bulla Bulla value. The 'a' and 'b' sides of these singles have different numbers thus confusing dealers and collectors alike. The group though with little success had broke-up by the early 1970 and group member Chris James soon relaunched the band in 1971 along with a new crew; Steve Striplin, Darryl Cannady and Delmos Whitley singing the fine ballad "Give A Little Love" leased to Chess Records sadly at a time when the label was failing and thus gave them little attention.

Later that year Marv Stewart auditioned the Natural Four at an Oakland concert and signed them with Curtis Mayfield's Curtom label in 1972 and released the first of three albums and nine singles with his label; Natural Four (1974), Heaven Right Here On Earth (1975) and Nightchaser (1976) the lesser great of the bunch and least valuable of the four albums thus far. The first Curtom album was produced by Leroy Hutson who had replaced Curtis Mayfield as the lead singer for a while with the Impressions and later to lay down some classic steppers himself that we shall visit soon.

The standout 2-Step tracks here are; "Try Love Again", "Can This Be Real" and "Love's Society", all in that similar funky groove. Can This Be Real is considered one of Leroy Hutson's finest compositions and went to Number 10 on Billboard's R&B charts and lasted 18 weeks at the end of 1973 and early 1974.

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