Early ‘70s NYC outfit cut choice covers alongside memorable originals.
Real Gone Music (in association with SoulMusic Records) is prepping an early January release for The Main Ingredient: L.T.D./Black Seeds, which compiles two rare albums by ‘70s soul maestros The Main ingredient on CD for the first time worldwide. Included will be a bonus B-side, “Psychedelic Ride,” long a prized item among collectors. Remastering is handled by Vic Anesini at Sony’s own Battery Studios, with liner notes by acclaimed writer Kevin Goins documenting the early years of the group.
Let us refresh ourselves sonically:
The backstory: Originally formed in 1964 and known as The Poets, the New York-based trio of Luther Simmons Jr., Tony Silvester and Donald McPherson recorded a couple of singles for RCA Records before a name change in 1968 to The Main Ingredient. Their first album, L.T.D. (from the initials of each member), was released in 1970 and consisted of six original songs penned by the group along with a medley of two songs written by Jimmy Webb, ‘By the Time I Get to Phoenix’ and ‘Wichita Lineman,’ both originally recorded by Glen Campbell; and a cover of The Beatles’ ‘Get Back.’ Production was primarily by renowned arranger Bert DeCoteaux (who would later become a co-producer with Tony Silvester of hits for Ben E. King, Sister Sledge and others), with one track produced by acclaimed New York conductor/arranger Horace Ott. The album contained four singles, one of which, ‘You’ve Been My Inspiration,’ was a Top 30 R&B hit.
After a follow-up album, Tasteful Soul, the group self-produced their third release, 1971’s Black Seeds, which boasted two singles including ‘Black Seeds Keep On Growing’ a black empowerment anthem penned by McPherson, reaching No. 15 on the U.S. R&B charts. Sadly, after a sudden and unexpected illness, McPherson succumbed to leukemia before the LP was released. The album was dedicated to his memory by the two remaining members, who added Cuba Gooding, Sr. as their third member in 1972.