Loleatta Holloway ‘Queen of the Night’ (BBR) 4/5

Loleatta-Holloway-Queen-of-the-NightThe third in a trio of Gold Mine albums that have now resurfaced, this album repeats the winning formula of infectious soulful dance-floor grooves alongside beautifully crafted mid-tempo numbers with the odd gem of a ballad thrown in for good measure. Loleatta Holloway belongs to that elite category of singer who elevated 1970s dance music to higher climbs and in the process created some utterly timeless grooves. Today the music sounds even better and has never been more relevant since we can now with the benefit of hindsight appreciate what followed on and was directly influenced by underground disco. Once again the dynamic Sound of Philadelphia sound is on hand to accompany Loleatta with production chores shared evenly between Norman Harris, Bunny Sigler and Ron Tyson and all allow Holloway’s fabulous voice to be fully showcased. The opener ‘Catch me on the rebound’ sets the standard and is right up there with Loleatta’s very best performances and in a similar vein ‘I may not be there when you want me (but I’m right on time)’ is only marginally less successful. As ever it is the breadth of Holloway’s range that truly impresses the listener and modern soul fans will be delighted to hear a song such as ‘You light up my life’ which is now a collectable 45. Husband Floyd Smith makes an appearance as producer on the lovely ballad penned by Bobby Womack ‘I’m in love’. Three bonus cuts includes two separate mixes of the big dance-floor hit ‘Catch me on the rebound ‘ with Walter Gibbons’ remix especially memorable and another Gibbons re-interpretation on ‘I may not be there when you want me (but I’m right on time)’. Tim Stenhouse