CD Extrasensory Perception (CD 4366313),
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1. Singing About You & Me
2. Georgia's After Hours
3. How Did I Lose You
4. Lost Time
6. I Can Take the World on with You
7. Both Ends Against the Middle
8. Trust in Me
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 3018
McKinley Jackson; McKinley Jackson
Reggie Dozier; Barney Perkins; Reggie Dozier; Barney Perkins
Personnel: Richard Wylie (vocals, piano, harpsichord); Ray Parker, Jr. (guitar, percussion); David T. Walker, Dean Parks, Dennis Coffey, Melvin "Wah Wah" Ragin (guitar); Ernie Watts (tenor saxophone); Chuck Findley (piccolo trumpet); Sylvester Rivers (piano); McKinley Jackson (harpsichord); Emil Richards (marimba, percussion); James Jamerson, Scott Edwards (bass instrument); Ollie E. Brown (drums, drum, percussion); Ed Greene, James Gadson (drums, drum); Kenny Rice (drum); Leslie Bass, Eddie "Bongo" Brown (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Barney Perkins.
Liner Note Author: Rob Moss.
Recording information: ABC Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Ron Slenzak.
Released in 1974 on ABC, EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION was the lone LP cut by Detroit soul legend Richard "Popcorn" Wylie, best known as a recording artist in the early days of Motown. But his role there was also one of songwriter, producer, pianist, and the first bandleader of the Funk Brothers. Wylie played on the Miracles' "Shop Around" and the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman." He also recorded for the label, but left in 1962 for Epic as a solo artist and staff writer. This set was recorded for ABC during the same period Lamont Dozier was at the label as an artist and producer. Cut in Los Angeles, PERCEPTION has a stellar cast and keeps the Detroit vibe flying hot and heavy. Influenced deeply by Isaac Hayes and Johnny Pate, Wylie's own melodic genius is woven throughout and deeply entrenched.
The set fits together as a well-constructed and designed piece, but there are some clear standouts, mainly in the middle. First there is the righteous heartbroken soul midtempo ballad called "Lost Time," which walks a wonderfully groovy line between what Motown was issuing at the beginning of the '70s and what Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff were pouring out in buckets from Philly International. The string arrangements by Gene Page and Paul Riser are brilliant, and the choruses and horns assembled by Wylie and Jackson are instantly memorable. Then there's the killer breakbeat that kicks off the title track, leading into its dynamite choral refrain and harpsichord (very uncharacteristic of a soul record at the time). Wylie's vocal is big and full and soars above the whirl of instruments. The beautiful shuffling guitar lines that introduce the album--via Coffey and Walker on "Singing About You & Me"--have been sampled on countless hip-hop recordings.
Chicago's wonderful Dusty Groove imprint rescued this from Universal's vaults where it had been languishing since it was deleted. The bittersweet thing about this reissue is that Wylie participated in the reissue plans but passed away in September of 2008 before it was re-released. This is a wonderfully fitting tribute to his genius, which has always been presented in compilations of his singles.
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Dusty Groove DTG 785232
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