Chairmen of the Board – Greatest Hits (1973): Forgotten Series

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The early ’70s has regularly been referred to as the golden age of soul music, and Chairmen of the Board were one of many magnificent groups contributing to the creative well.

Orginating in Detroit, Michigan, Chairmen of the Board came together in 1969 and were soon signed to the local Invictus label, which was formed by the fabled Motown songwriting and production trio of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland.

Members of Chairmen of the Board alternated lead vocals, although General Johnson took center mic on the majority of the tunes. He also authored a fair amount of the group’s material, and further had his compositions recorded by the likes of Honey Cone, 100 Proof Aged in Soul, Clarence Carter and Freda Payne.

By the time Greatest Hits (Invictus Records) was released, Chairmen of the Board’s commercial success was on the wane. But that was certainly no fault of the band, as they always maintained a strong sense of quality and integrity.

The year 1970 especially fruitful for Chairmen of the Board. The group scored four hits that year, which naturally appear on this collection. Pronounced by stuttering vocals and a kicking rhythm, “Gimme Just a Little More Time” reached No. 3 in February, while the hopping and bopping “(You’ve Got Me) Dangling on a String” and the sweet and spunky “Everything’s Tuesday” both peaked at No. 38 that summer. And then there was the funky fury of “Pay to the Piper,” which climbed to No. 13 in December.

All thriller and no filler, Greatest Hits additionally entails nuggets such as the anti-war cry of “Men Are Getting Scarce,” the supremely catchy “Working on a Building of Love” and the bluesy “Chairmen of the Board.” Those acquainted only with the group’s chart entries are guaranteed to approve of the lesser-known cuts included on the album.

Spirited harmonizing, complemented by shapely melodies and red-hot grooves were responsible for making Chairmen of the Board tick and click. From beginning to end, Greatest Hits asserts the heartfelt sounds and sensations of a group primed for rediscovery.


Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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