Bobby Hutton ‘Piece of the Action’ (ABC) 5/5

What a fabulous reissue this is, having been in my collection for some 30+ years now, Bobby Hutton’s “Lend a Hand” off the album has been a constant play on the Northern Soul scene for what seems an eternity, in fact it was one of the first ‘modern’ sounding tracks to gain recognition with the 60’s crowd, a crisp beat with a lush production still fills dance-floors today however, it isn’t an easy album to find and never has been, it never got past demo stage, I’ve expected over the years to see an issue come to light but it never happened, so assuming this only made it to a few radio stations, one can only assume due to the sound presented it died a death. Remember this was 1973, the sound of the 60’s was only just beginning to recede, at the time this was a thoroughly modern album, strings ‘n’ things arrangements, mainly in the dance mode, almost Philly in sound. Bobby Hutton has a superb voice which fits perfectly with the sound presented, “Lend a Hand” became so in demand that it was released by ABC on a 45 over here in the UK, this has disappeared too and the value rising steadily. Produced by Dee Irvin and arranged by Clarence Johnson an array of musicians are listed and an even bigger list of backing singers which include Betty Jean Plummer no less. A wonderful snap shot of what was to become the norm music wise later on in the years to come and rightly is considered one of the finest 70’s soul albums to surface.

Brian Goucher