Archie Bell & The Drells ‎– Where Will You Go When The Party's Over/Hard Not To Like It/Strategy

Edsel Records ‎– MEDCD 811
2 × CD, Compilation


Where Will You Go When The Party's Over
CD1-1 Don't Let Love Get You Down 4:20
CD1-2 Where Will You Go When The Party's Over 4:07
CD1-3 Right Here Is Where I Want To Be 5:01
CD1-4 Dancin' Man 5:29
CD1-5 Everybody Have A Good Time 6:15
CD1-6 I Swear You're Beautiful 5:21
CD1-7 Nothing Comes Easy 3:09
CD1-8 I Bet I Can Do That Dance You're Doin' 3:17
Hard Not To Like It
CD1-9 Glad You Could Make It 5:36
CD1-10 Disco Showdown 3:03
CD1-11 Disco Fever 4:11
CD1-12 On The Radio 4:32
CD1-13 It's Hard Not To Like You 4:01
CD1-14 There's No Other Like You 4:45
CD1-15 Real Good Feeling 3:43
CD1-16 I've Been Missing You 3:59
CD2-1 Show Me How To Dance 5:06
CD2-2 I Can't Get Enough Of Your Love 6:04
CD2-3 How Can I 4:13
CD2-4 We've Got Somethin' 3:55
CD2-5 Tighten Up At The Disco 5:41
CD2-6 Strategy 6:58
CD2-7 You're The Only One 5:13
CD2-8 We Got 'Em Dancing 3:58
CD2-9 Old People 3:48

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Scanned): 440155181123
  • Barcode (Text): 4 40155 18112 3
  • Matrix / Runout (Disc 1): |MEDCD811/A|*035149|
  • Matrix / Runout (Disc 2): |MEDCD811/A|*035202|
  • Mould SID Code (Disc 1 + 2): IFPI 5077
  • Rights Society: MCPS
  • Barcode (Scanned): 740155181123



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January 15, 2016

Allow me to tell you my history of listening to Archie Bell and the Drells. When I was 13, 17 years ago now, and was discovering disco, my bemused mother bought me a couple of cassettes. On one was “I Can’t Stop Dancing”, not really disco in hindsight, but it was groovy and it introduced me to Archie Bells unique voice. It wasn’t, however, until about 6 or 7 years later when I heard him again, this time on a funk compilation with the fabulous “Soul City Walk”. What a tune! Funky as hell. Then, on a compilation of Philly stuff on vinyl, he showed up again with the too-short “I Could Dance All Night”…another beauty. Then a couple of years later, “Where Will You Go When The Party’s Over” showed up on a Tony Humphrey’s compilation…he described it as the perfect end of the night song; I concur. Then I heard “Strategy” around the same time…it’s mellow sophisticated groove mesmerized me. And a couple of years later, around 2006 I guess, I heard the thrilling “Everybody Have A Good Time”, which may be my favourite Archie Bell tune of all. But it’s taken all this time for me to finally go and buy and album from the group. So here are my thoughts on this compilation from Edsel, compiled in 2006…
The first of the three Philadelphia International Records (PIR) albums featured here is one of their strongest. It opens with “Don’t Let Love Get You Down”, a mellow groover which later was snatched up by rare soul afficianodos in the UK. The title track is up next, which I have already mentioned, and I wish they could have included the nine minute Tom Moulton mix of it, because it really allows the groove to sink into your brain. Nevertheless, it has a great groove, stabs of strings and the rhythm is dynamite. Onto a ballad, “Right Here Is Where I Want To Be”, a pleasant tune for canoodling with someone you love perhaps? Nothing mindblowing but nice all the same. “Dancin’ Man” is up next, another strong dance tune from the album, featuring synthesizer in all it’s early glory, but also another strong rhythm section and some great female back up vocals. Would have shook the floors I would imagine. Onto the thundering Bunny Sigler penned “Everybody Have A Good Time”, which is the fastest one on here, and just bristles with excitement. There is a clip on Youtube from TOTP, since is was a modest hit in the UK, (#46), but that is a much tamer version that doesn’t do justice to the tune on here. Terrific. “I Swear You’re Beautiful” is up next, another so-so ballad, not filler, but doesn’t really do much for me. “Nothing Comes Easy” follows, and apparently was a single, though it flopped, however, I don’t mind it, and the lyrics are quite motivating (“Nobody give me nothing, go out and get it, etc”). And finally, “I Bet I Can Do That Dance You’re Doing” opens up with a very porno sounding intro, and settles into a very funky groove. The album artwork is also my favourite of the three sets on here, the guys looking very dapper, and it reached No. 47 on the US R and B charts, without troubling the pop charts.
The album followed in 1977, and opens with a very funky “Glad You Could Make It”, not by any means a classic, but perfectly in tune with the disco sound of early ’77 and a good rhythm section. “Disco Showdown” is up next, and is a disappointment, because the title suggests something much funkier than what we are actually dished up. Although it does have funky parts to it, the calypso feel in parts of it are a real turn off for me, and I couldn’t see myself dancing to this unless on some really happy drugs. Same goes for “Disco Fever”. Obviously disco was at it’s height at this time, but with several other artists having the same title (Tina Charles, John Davis and the Monster Orchestra, Rhond Durand etc), this is not of the best examples of having disco fever. It’s just basic, the lyrics are simplistic to the point of being boring. My favourite song of the album is up next, “On Your Radio”, a funky groove that works very well for me, more singing by the Drells than Archie here, but this one has a real Blaxploitation feel that has a great growling bass. “It’s Hard Not To Like You” is a ballad that, like a lot of the PIR stuff in the late 70’s sounded dated by the time it would have came out. Pleasant, but no more than that. “There’s No Other Like You” is slower, and a bit more soulful and rates a little higher for me. “Real Good Feeling” is up next, a midtempo disco tune that doesn’t really go anywhere exciting, although it does have some nice female back up singing and some cool synth and percussion. And finally “I’ve Been Missing You” which hit #56 on the R & B charts in early 1978. It is one of those old school sounding soul tunes you can see people slow dancing to. The album’s artwork is garish; The O’Jays did it with “Family Reunion” and Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes did it with “Tell Everybody”, but the whole cartoon look just looks tacky to me. The album is not of my favourites, but if I had to pick a fav it would be “On Your Radio” and “Glad You Could Make IT” would be it’s follow up. The album peaked at US R & B #63.
“Strategy” is definitely better than the last album, but opens up with a very weak “Show Me How To Dance” which suggests something much funkier than what eventuates. I knew “I can’t Get Enough OF Your Love” from a Dimitri from Paris compliation and although by 1979 it would have sounded dated, it actually is a nice little groover, with gorgeous strings, and a great break. “How Can I” is a limp ballad. “We’ve Got Something” is a great tune, nice and fast hustle kinda tune, that is one of my favourites and would have probably found favour in the discos. “Tighten Up At The Disco” is not quite as funky as it sounds, but it is certainly better than the disco named tunes on “Hard Not To Like It”. “Strategy” is a classic, oft sampled, and just hypnotic in it’s groove…definitely one of the groups best. “We Got Em Dancin” is again a very effective dance song, with a nice break, I just wish when he says to clap your hands, a handclap would start up, I just ache for that each time I hear it. Still a great tune. And “Old People”, despite it’s off putting title is quite nice. The artwork I feel looked dated, and looked as if it would have been about five years out of date, but that is just me. It is a good album. It reached No.21 on the R & B charts.
The album has extensive, excellent liner notes by Blues and Soul writer Tony Rounce, and some great pics of the band. It was also cheap for me (13 dollars for three albums and liner notes), so it is a good bargain and whilst it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, for soul fans, you will get a lot out of it, and for disco fans there is enough on the three albums for you to get out on the floor to. Archie is happily still going strong.