There is little to no information about The Winstons today, despite the fact that there is one song in particular on this album that changed the musical ball game forever, which will be discussed later on in the review. Despite that, this group pioneered their own fusion of African American styled music which was based heavily on the trends of all music up until the late 1960s. Let’s take a listen to the music and hear where it takes us.
Color Him Father begins the album, with some slow drumbeats, nice horns, string sections and some soulful vocals. This music here is actually fairly good, it is overlooked in the history books and deserves recognition. This album is obviously directed to an African American audience, but this song isn’t bad at all. There is a hint of Burt Bacharach to the music, and the lyrics are strange, but it is a good piece of music nonetheless. An enjoyable listen, the colour is love indeed.
I’ve Gotta Be Me begins with some fingerpicked acoustic guitars, brushed percussion and raw vocal delivery. This is a very surprising and good piece of music. Sure, it’s not overly original in retrospect, but the effort and listening experience are much to be appreciated. This is a good fusion sound, and also this ballad is really awesome and lovely. A great piece of retrospective music with an epic vocal finish.
The Chokin’ Kind begins with a percussion and bassline interaction, before launching into a soulful Pop piece. There is some trippy organ in the background as well. The lyrics are really confrontational, yet the whole thing sounds really glorious. It has a strong and punchy feel to it as well, a nice and enjoyable song to listen to. An upbeat, positive and smooth listen, this is a good song. Worth hearing.
The Greatest Love begins with piano in the left channel, clean electric guitar and some killer harmonies. Sure, this music was not the most popular music at the time, but it sounds excellent and fantastic on its own. This is a song about disappointments and broken hearts in romance, but believing in eternal love in any case. A great, gentle and smooth sounding piece of music that still sounds excellent today. A nice tune, all the same, this is retro 1960s Pop and Soul for those who dig this sort of thing. Excellent music, and certainly underrated in today’s terms. A very nice effort. The repeated vocal harmonies at the end are audibly delicious.
A Handful Of Friends begins with some excellent drumming, nice guitars and a solid piano part. The music here is very much, once again, along the lines of Burt Bacharach. It is a deep and meaningful tune about love and romance being shattered, once again. A very good song, and certainly overlooked and underrated in the history of music. Sounding really nice and well done. Love often comes with sacrifice, and this is no different within this song. Good tune.
Everyday People begins with a punchy drum pattern, some cool keyboard sounds and singing about the life scenarios that one can get into. This is an often-quoted piece lyrically, and it is a good piece of music to hear nonetheless. A must-listen for this reason, this is a surprising listen for ordinary people.
The Days Of Sand And Shovels begins with some saxophone being played that sounds ridiculously good, along with some nice clean electric guitar. This song is a devotion sort of thing to a lover, and it sounds really majestic. A beautiful string section then enters, and this lyrical piece of music is melodramatic and sweet. It eventually lyrically goes sour, but all the same is a very nice listen which owes a lot to Burt Bacharach. A beautiful ballad, nonetheless, a really good one. A smooth and sensual outro is here, which is nice to finish this tune with.
Birds Of A Feather begins with an awesome drum and piano intro, which is wonderful and upbeat. A very casual and lovely piece about sharing a lot in common with a lover. This is a short, sweet and joyful piece of music that still sounds very surprisingly fresh and listenable today. The music on this album is very varied and great sounding as well. Great to enjoy and to listen to, this sounds amazing and is a strong contribution to this album. The song ends with the repeated chorus chanted with extra harmonies on top. Great stuff.
Only The Strong Survive begins with some soulful and decent singing, followed by some rich sounding instrumentation. This piece eventually changes tempo and gets sounding brilliant. This song is about using one’s guts and will to survive through relationships. This is the 1960s version of Nirvana, with stop/start and slow/fast sections. There is an organ keyboard sound in the solo section, which sounds rather different before the song resumes. In any case, a really enjoyable and listenable piece of music. Underrated for sure, and definitely worth your time.
Traces begins with some good horn parts, before a keyboard and electric guitar takes over. This song, once again, follows the Burt Bacharach musically inspired template, which suits the group’s abilities well. It is a sad piece of music but sounds consistent and excellent nonetheless. There are layers of beautiful sound, plus a saxophone solo in the second half. An enjoyable melancholy listen.
Amen Brother has the most sampled breakbeat in music history during this song, dubbed the Amen Break. It has been used on countless records, such as N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton and Oasis’ D’You Know What I Mean? to name just a couple. The song itself begins with some different drum rolls, before launching into a groovy and deliciously melodic piece. All the usual instrumental suspects are here, although no singing is present. A very nice listen with a variety of instrumentation, the drumbeat itself (for those of you who need to know) that has been widely sampled is in the second half of the song as a solo beat. Nonetheless, even history aside, this is a fun listen regardless of sampling. Nice work.
Love Of The Common People begins with some nice guitar fills, before a bunch of additional instrumentation enters and singing gets going. This is a really great song with a catchy and memorable piece of singing in the chorus. A nice and old fashioned piece of awesome music, this is a great tune. The song itself is about a family who loves one as much as they can. Very listenable and catchy, too. Excellent song.
Wheel Of Fortune is not the cheesy TV show here, although it seemingly references it. It is a nice, gentle and enjoyable slow ballad. In any case, this is another pretty and consistent sounding song that hits the spot nicely. The music and sound, again, sounds a lot like inspired by Burt Bacharach. Nice and lovely music, it sounds really sweet. Great music with a great melodic touch and approach to it, this piece sounds very melodramatic and glorious. The Winstons are definitely underrated, and this album proves that. Great music. The lengthy fade-out is great.
Say Goodbye To Daddy begins with a female singer who does a fantastic job of expressing goodbyes to a metaphorical father of sorts before the rest of the group returns to create this magical music. It’s about departing from a family whilst one goes elsewhere. Musically, this is a more uptempo listen that incorporates a wider array of instrumentation and key changes within. This is a very sweet and pretty tune, very nicely accomplished here. A brilliant effort.
Mama’s Song begins with uplifting piano, horns and a nice piece of music that sounds really fantastic and top. This is another really fine listening experience that hasn’t aged at all. It sounds like some really fantastic and decent music that is devoted to all the mothers out there. Once again, there is a key change in the second half. A really decent and fine piece of music that wraps up the album nicely with its own fusion music that sounds great. It ends with hummed harmonies and a lively string section to boot. Nice way to finish off a great album.
This is a really underrated and great album. In fact, it is great on its own, even without Amen Brother and its background history. If you wish to hear a mixture of Pop, Soul, Funk and Burt Bacharach style leanings, this album is definitely for you. Too bad that these guys didn’t get the recognition that they deserved in the late 1960s. That must end today, give this album a listen.
Interesting and excellent.
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