Most Wanted! The Rhythm Makers – Soul On Your Side (Vigor Records)
‘Soul On Your Side’… But first and foremost on the one of The Rhythm Makers!
‘Soul On Your Side’… Of course, you, Disco heads, have already heard the riff countless times. A reality that shouldn’t come as a surprise. This when knowin’ this Bronx-based fortet, originally known as Sabu & The Survivors, sung like an updated version of it. Meanwhile makin’ their debut as GQ on Arista two years later.
‘Soul On Your Side’… This Soul/Funk groove comin’ from the ultra sought after 1976 album of the likes on Vigor Records bein’ nothing but its so to say draft. Although with different lyrics as you might have noticed. With both the aforementioned and ‘Disco Nights’ being their biggest successes ever!
Hailing from the Bronx, NYC, Emanuel Ranson “Rahiem” LeBlanc, Keith Raymond Crier, Kenny Banks and Herb Lane joined forces together back in 1968 as Sabu & The Soul Survivors. Keith Crier using his Sabu moniker for the material he produced on his side.
The group signed 8 years later on De-Lite Records’ subsdivision Vigor Records under The Rhythm Makers guise. There, they released one album titled ‘Soul On Your Side’. Its title cut and ‘Zone’ being their strongest successes from then.
1978 saw them joining Arista Records as GQ (standing for Good Quality), with Paul Service replacing Kenny Banks the same year. Their 1979 released album, ‘Disco Nights’ bringing them to the forefront. With thanks to ‘Disco Knights (Rock Freak)’, an updated version of ‘Soul On Your Side’. But also to ‘Boogie Oogie, a cover version of A Taste Of Honey‘s classic of the likes.
‘GQ Two’, the second of their 3 albums on Arista, featured the boiling ‘Standing Ovation’ as heavily championed back then by UK broadcaster Al Matthews on his weekly ‘Discovatin’ show on Radio 1. Meanwhile Paul Service, who fractured his wrist in a car crash in 1980, got ultimately replaced by Steve Adorno. GQ delivering their final album – ‘Face To Face’ – the year after. And, as a part of it, another masterpiece by the likes of ‘Shake’ with mixing work – just like on ‘Standing Ovation’ – courtesy of Jimmy Simpson.
Emanuel LeBlanc, who signed a solo deal with Capitol Records, relased an album – ‘Always Be Around’ – back in 1991, which included the outstanding ‘Drifting’.
Keith Crier sadly died on Sept. 29, 2013, at the age of 58.