Mary Love’s vocals topped and tailed the first two groundbreaking UK Kent LPs in 1982 and she has had a place in the hearts of Kent collectors ever since. Her recordings for Los Angeles’ Modern label covered the golden age of soul music, 1965-1967, and ranged from Motown-inspired dance tracks to beautiful ballads, raunchy blues-based numbers and even a gospel-tinged rave-up on ‘Dance Children Dance’. We have collected them all on to a vinyl LP for the first time and added two highlights from her self-produced soulful gospel tracks, recorded in the 80s. That era was indeed her second coming, musically as well as spiritually, with ‘Come Out Of The Sandbox’ taking on anthemic status among European soul fans. ‘You Turned My Bitter Into Sweet’, ‘Lay This Burden Down’ and ‘Let Me Know’ had already achieved that standing among Northern Soul fans, who have danced along for many years. The more tender side of her work can be heard in Ashford & Simpson’s ‘Baby I’ll Come’, while her only Modern hit, the sensual ‘Move A Little Closer’, is another show-stopper.

Lay This Burden Down

Mary loved the family atmosphere that Modern Records created at their South Normandie Ave complex. Los Angeles soul was booming and producers, writers and arrangers of the calibre of Maxwell Davis, Arthur Wright, Frank Wilson, Marc Gordon, the Pipkin brothers and Richard Parker were employed by the company to bring out the best of this vivacious young singer. Sales were healthy but not spectacular and, like many artists, Mary only found out later in life that her work was revered across the ocean in Europe. That said, we then got to meet her and see her perform several times. Ace/Kent and the Love family continue to have a great relationship. Ady Croasdell

Available in store and online.

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