24 page booklet by Keith Rylett including track by track annotation
The sub-title of the set is the Definitive Falcons Collection – The Complete Recordings – and that’s just about right. This is the complete deal for Falcons fans! – Fred Rothwell Blues & Rhythm
To this day, tracks come out on the Falcons that I had no idea existed. The last set I heard about managed to compile four CDs worth of various Falcons and Robert West recordings. We never see any money from these releases, but I figure there can’t be that many people looking to buy a four-CD box set on the Falcons, and putting together such a package can’t come cheap either. It’s good to know people still care. And I appreciate that Robert West has finally received some of the credit he deserves for all that he did for the Detroit music scene. – Eddie Floyd (from his biography My Life in Soul)
Goodies abound across all four cds, whether flat-out group recordings or by way of guest appearances and/or the many collaborations…’I Found A Love’ appears in a number of guises and I particularly liked the distaff treatment by Maxine Davis and the truly fervent rendition by the wailing Joe Woods (so good that the less than pristine reproduction couldn’t spoil the enjoyment) – but you really have to put this release high up on your shopping list and listen for yourselves. – David Cole In The Basement
Mid 50s Detroit was a hotbed of teen talent, all aspiring to sign a recording contract, get famous and buy a big car. Scores of young black vocal groups practiced their harmonies in stairwells or under street lamps, dreaming that one day their time would come. The Falcons were one of these but because of their gospel background and thanks to the guiding influence of manager and mentor, Robert West, they went on to become the first soul group. Who knows: if Eddie Floyd, Mack Rice, Wilson Pickett/Joe Stubbs, Willie Schofield and Lance Finnie had stuck together, they may well have rivalled other Detroit super groups such as the Temptations and Four Tops for success.
This 4CD set brings together all known recordings by the original Falcons, along with alternate takes, guest appearances, cover versions and songs musically supervised or written by members of the group. Solo recordings by group members are also included from 1956 to 1963, the time they were recording together.
The set is also, in a sense, a history of soul itself, showing how the genre develops from its early stirrings in doo-wop, taking in R&B and gospel along the way and culminating in two of the very first records that can definitively be described as soul: the Wilson Pickett-led tracks Take This Love I’ve Got and I Found A Love, the first two tracks on this compilation.