The Moments - Love On A Two Way Street
The Whatnauts - Message From A Black Man

These two double CD Sets feature the complete works of two groups, The Moments and The Whatnauts, for the Stang Label (an offshoot of the All Platinum label) formed by Sylvia Robinson, which enjoyed much success in bringing the Sound of Eaglewood, New Jersey to the world.

The Moments collection is the stronger of the two sets, and illustrates the difference between the UK Pop Charts and the American Soul Charts. In the UK Charts the Moments scored with just three songs "Dolly My Love", "Jack In The Box" and the biggest UK hit "Girls", which is co-credited to the other group in this review, the Whatnauts, but in fact they do not feature on the record at all. In America the Moments achieved 27 chart entries which in the UK would only be familiar to people who constitute "the soul underground".

Both groups were exponents of the "Sweet Soul" genre which usually means the lead vocal is falsetto - think Smokey Robinson or The Stylistics. The Moments were formed in 1968 by the aforementioned Sylvia Robinson to launch her new label Stang. The first release was "Not On The Outside" featuring Mark Green on lead vocals backed by Richie Hersley and Johnny Moore. By the second release the groups line up had changed to Billy Brown, Al Goodman and John Morgan, this line-up producing the singles "Sunday" and "I Do". The next release was "Love On A Two Way Street", a huge hit in America in the early 1970s, but by the time the single was released Harry Ray had replaced John Morgan and the line-up remained unchanged and later became known as Ray, Goodman and Brown and are still recording today.

The Whatnauts also formed at the end of the Sixties consisting of Billy Hendon, Garnett Jones and Gerald Pickney and scored several US Hits and their collection and the Moments collection prove that both acts made far better records than the co-credited light pop-soul confection of the international hit "Girl".

Derek McCann

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