ARTIST: The Dramatics
TITLE: Millennium Collection – 20th Century Masters
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Top 10: Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get (#9, #3 R&B), In the Rain (#5, #1 R&B), Hey You, Get Off My Mountain (#43, #5 R&B), Me & Mrs. Jones (#47, #4 R&B), You’re Fooling You (#87, #10 R&B), Be My Girl (#53, #3 R&B), I Can’t Get Over You (#101, #9 R&B), Shake It Well (#76, #4 R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No, not really.
LINEUP: Ron Banks, William Howard, Elbert Wilkins, Willie Ford, Larry Demps. LJ Reynolds and Larry Mayes replaced Howard and Wilkins when they went rogue.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Long standing R&B vocal group had some essential early 70’s hits, and some good R&B radio songs until the disco era.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After logging serious time in the Detroit circuit with just a few singles, the Dramatics hit it big in 1971 with “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get”. Then “In the Rain” hit and the Dramatics legacy was pretty much cemented with those two tracks.
As the decade went on, the Dramatics and their producers added a bit more funk, then disco, into their songs, but their vocal blend was still pretty tasty. The only misstep early on was a cover of “Me & Mrs. Jones”, which hit big but really added nothing to the original.
These 12 tracks show the Dramatics as a group that tried to survive as long as they could as R&B moved to funk and then disco. They put out some classic numbers and deserve not to be forgotten.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The group played a big role in the 1967 incident at the Algeirs Hotel that sparked the Detroit riots. Their valet was killed in the ensuing violence.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No, but there are longer comps.
GRADE: B: It’s not 100% essential but the early tracks need to be in a basic catalog.