The Dells ‎– The Dells Musical Menu / Always Together

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Cadet ‎– LPS-822
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Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo, Gatefold
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Tracklist Hide Credits

Breakfast
A1 Always Together
Written-By – Bobby Miller
3:04
A2 Hallways Of My Mind
Written-By – Bobby Miller
3:05
Lunch
A3 Believe Me
Written-By – Bobby Miller
2:58
A4 I Want My Momma
Written-By – Bobby Miller
2:29
A5 Agatha Van Thurgood
Written-By – Bobby Miller, Sidney Barnes
2:40
Dinner
B1 Hallelujah Baby
Written-By – Bobby Miller
2:48
B2 Good-bye Mary Ann
Written By – Marijohn Wilkin, WilsonWritten-By – Fred Burch
2:19
B3 Does Anybody Know I'm Here
Written-By – Bobby Miller
3:15
Cocktails
B4 Make Sure (You Have Someone Who Loves You)
Written-By – Bobby Miller
2:34
B5 I Can't Do Enough
Written-By – Bobby Miller
3:30

Companies, etc.

Credits

Notes

Recorded at Tel Mar Studios, Chicago, November, 1968

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (side A runout etched): WR4S-2514-1A LPS-822 #17519 S-1
  • Matrix / Runout (side B runout etched): WR4S-2515-1A LPS-822 #17520 S-2
  • Rights Society: BMI

Other Versions (5 of 5) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
LPS-822 The Dells The Dells Musical Menu / Always Together(LP, Album, Mon) Cadet LPS-822 US 1968 Sell This Version
PLP-6066 / 6067 The Dells The Dells Musical Menu / Always Together(2xLP, Album, RE, Gat) Chess PLP-6066 / 6067 Japan 1985 Sell This Version
CAS 822 The Dells The Dells Musical Menu / Always Together(LP, Album, Gat) Cadet CAS 822 Canada 1968 Sell This Version
LPS-822, LPS-822 DJ The Dells The Dells Musical Menu / Always Together(LP, Album, Promo, Gat) Cadet, Cadet LPS-822, LPS-822 DJ US 1968 Sell This Version
LPS-822 The Dells The Dells Musical Menu / Always Together(LP, Album, Ter) Cadet LPS-822 US 1968 Sell This Version

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BadCatRecord

BadCatRecord

December 31, 2011
You wouldn't buy a Dells album to hear something cutting edge (or if you did you were liable to be in for a major disappointment). Instead, you bought a Dells album to hear a Marvin Junior's instantly recognizable voice on a ballad heavy collection of old school soul. With that said, 1969's "Musical Menu" captured the quartet at their prime. Produced by Bobby Miller, who also wrote most of the material (and came up with the hideous cover art showing the group pouring out of salt and pepper shakers on to someone's breakfast - you had to see the LP cover to get the fill impact), this was a prime Dells album, though coming on the heels of their breakthrough "There Is", pop audiences seemed to have missed it. What makes this one stand apart from most Dells releases is the set's surprisingly diversity. True, there were more than enough heavy handed ballads ('Always Together', 'Agatha Van Thurgood' and 'Does Anybody Know I'm Here'), but this time around Miller and Stepney broadened their aperture, allowing the group to recorded several up tempo numbers and even one track that was borderline funky ('I Want My Momma').

- 'Always Together' opened the album with a typical Dells ballad - the song was actually one of the better efforts with a beautiful Marvin Junior lead vocal and even better group harmony vocals. Very effective. rating: **** stars
- Showcasing an up tempo number with a clever lyrics, 'Hallways of My Mind' was a bit of a change in direction for the group. Just my opinion, but I'd argue the song would have been better with a stripped down arrangement, but given the great melody and the pounding rhythms it was still very commercial. Cadet clearly thought so, releasing it as a single. rating: *** stars
- With swooning harmony vocals, 'Believe Me' started out sounding like a Fifth Dimension throwaway, but once Junior's vocals kicked in the song was transformed into a pounding soul number. Again, Stepney's arrangements were heavy handed and the chorus was too MOR, but Junior saved this one all by himself. rating: **** stars
- Yeah the title was somewhat disconcerting, but 'I Want My Momma' opened up with some nice bass work that sounded like it might be going the Norman Whitfield psych-soul direction. Didn't happen. Instead the song morphed into an all-too-cute homage to moms, but managed to then turn into one of the funkiest things The Dells ever recorded/. Hum, don't think of The Dells and funk very often. Charley Stepney's cluttered arrangement didn't help this one. rating: ** stars
- I remember wondering why The Dells would be singing a composition with a title like 'Agatha Van Thurgood'. Based on the title it certainly didn't seem like the type of stuff their fan base was likely to get off on. I'm still not entirely sure why it was recorded, but seemingly written as an homage to a has-been starlet, this one sounded like a Richard Harris outcast (remember the British actor who recorded some of the most overblown, pompous pop ever heard - 'McArthur Park'). With Johnny Carter (?) handling lead vocals, this was one strange, up tempo MOR track that probably didn't appeal to either soul or pop fans, but was sooooo weird it was actually worth hearing. rating: **** stars
- An easy-going, breezy call and response number, with another nice Junior lead vocal, 'Hallelujah Baby' was actually a bit bluesier than your typical Dells number. Nice sax break. rating: *** stars
- With a distinctive '50s feel, 'Goodbye Mary Ann' harkened back to the group's roots. Strange, but for some reason to my ears this one actually sounded like a classic Ray Charles number. Not sure why I like this one so much, though it had a killer chorus/hook. rating: *** stars
- Big ballads are what The Dells are known for and that penchant tends to kill many of their albums, reducing them to sound-alike slices of vinyl. 'Does Anybody Know I'm Here' was another stereotypical ballad, but given how diverse the rest of the album was, this one actually stood out. Carter and Junior shared lead vocals with Verne Allison adding some nice harmony vocals. Very pretty song. rating: *** stars
- It got better as it went along, but the mid-tempo ballad 'Make Sure (You Have Someone Who Love You)' simply ran out of time before it could make a real impression one way or the other. rating: ** stars
- 'I Can't Do Enough' ended the album with the first real disappointment; namely a bland, heavily orchestrated '50s tinged ballad. Carter and Junior traded verses, but this one just never kicked into gear. rating: ** stars

As mentioned, the album spun off a single in the form of:

- 1969's 'Hallways of My Mind' b/w 'I Can't Do Enough' (Cadet catalog number 5636) A side # 82 pop; # 44 R&B; B side # 98 pop, # 20 R&B

Song for song one of their better releases, the album was a top-ten R&B hit, but on the pop charts it stalled out at # 146 (their prior release having hit # 29 pop).

"Musical Menu" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Always Together (Bobby Miller) - 3:04
2.) Hallways of My Mind (Bobby Miller) - 3:05
3.) Believe Me (Bobby Miller) - 2:58
4.) I Want My Momma (Bobby Miller) - 2:29
5.) Agatha Van Thurgood (Bobby Miller - Barnes) - 2:40

(side 2)
1.) Hallelujah Baby (Bobby Miller) - 2:48
2.) Goodbye Mary Ann (Wilkins - Burch - Wilson) - 2:19
3.) Does Anybody Know I'm Here (Bobby Miller) - 3:15
4.) Make Sure (You Have Someone Who Love You) (Bobby Miller) - 2:34
5.) I Can't Do Enough (Bobby Miller) - 3:30