March 21, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 52: The Main Ingredient ~ Greatest Hits








The Main Ingredient
Greatest Hits
detail photo by Styrous®



 I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes in addition to my 20,000 Vinyl LP collection I'm selling (see link below). Interested? Contact me by email please, not by a comment.

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The Main Ingredient is an American soul and R&B group best known for their 1972 hit song, Everybody Plays the Fool. The group was formed in Harlem, New York in 1964 as a trio called the Poets, composed of lead singer Donald McPherson, Luther Simmons, Jr., and Panama-born Tony Silvester. They made their first recordings for Leiber & Stoller's Red Bird label but soon changed their name to the Insiders and signed with RCA. After a couple of singles, they changed their name once again in 1968, this time permanently to The Main Ingredient, taking the name from a Coke bottle.


The Main Ingredient
Greatest Hits
reel-to-reel tape box cover
photographer unknown
photo by Styrous®


Working with talented producer Bert DeCoteaux, the group began a string of moderate soul hits, the best of which was the sensitive ballad "Spinning Around" (recently remade by Ray, Goodman & Brown). But when things appeared to be looking up for the trio, McPherson became ill and died suddenly, leaving a hole that was soon filled by Cuba Gooding, Sr. (father of the Oscar winning actor). With Gooding at lead, the group scored what would be its signature hit, 1972's Everybody Plays a Fool, a terrific single that shot to the top of the Pop and Soul charts.




The Main Ingredient
Greatest Hits
reel-to-reel tape box back
photo by Styrous®



The Main Ingredient landed another major crossover hit in 1974 with a remake of Ronnie Dyson's Just Don't Wanna Be Lonely and hit the Soul top 10 with Happiness is Just Around the Bend. But group tensions led to a split in 1977, with Silvester and Gooding recording solo albums. They reunited in 1980 for a couple albums and some moderate Soul hits, including an unusual cover of the classic I Only Have Eyes For You, but their hitmaking days were behind them. They continued to tour and record for a few more years. 




The Main Ingredient
Greatest Hits
reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®




Gooding went solo again in the 90s, recording on occasion (most recently in 2004). Silvester and Simmons reunited and released Pure Magic in 2001 with Carlton Blount rounding out the trio. The album received some notice on the indie soul circuit. This version of the group continues to tour, as does Gooding, who most recently hit the road with the Stylistics and Blue Magic.



The Main Ingredient
Greatest Hits
reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®




Silvester was replaced by Carl Tompkins, and Gooding departed for a solo career on Motown in 1977, which produced two albums; Simmons, meanwhile, left the music industry to work as a stockbroker. Gooding, Silvester and Simmons reunited as the Main Ingredient in 1979, and recorded two more albums, 1980's Ready for Love and 1981's I Only Have Eyes for You (the latter featured a minor hit in Evening of Love). The trio reunited for a second time in 1986, but their Zakia single Do Me Right flopped, and Simmons returned to his day job. He was replaced by Jerome Jackson on the 1989 Polydor album I Just Wanna Love You. In the wake of Aaron Neville's Top Ten revival of Everybody Plays the Fool, Gooding resumed his solo career and issued his third album in 1993. Silvester and Simmons re-formed the Main Ingredient in 1999 with new lead singer Carlton Blount; this line-up recorded Pure Magic in 2001.



The Main Ingredient
Greatest Hits
photo by Styrous®

  

Silvester died after a six-year struggle with multiple myeloma on November 27, 2006, at the age of 65 and Luther Simmons retired shortly thereafter. The current line-up of the group consists of Cuba Gooding Sr., Larry Moore and Donald Black.



The Main Ingredient
Greatest Hits
reel-to-reel label detail
detail photo by Styrous®



Track List:

Side 1:

1 - You've Been My Inspiration - 2:55
2 - Spinning Around (I Must Be Falling In Love) - 3:12
3 - I'm So Proud - 3:33
4 - Black Seeds Keep On Growing - 3:31
5 - I'm Better Off Without You - 3:10

Side 2:

1 - Everybody Plays The Fool - 3:23
2 - You've Got To Take It (If You Want It) - 3:28
3 - No Tears (In The End) - 3:57
4 - Make It With You - 3:40
5 - Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me) - 4:48







reel-to-reel listings on eBay


Styrous® - Friday, March 21, 2014

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