Mon. Nov. 29, 2021

Brenda & The Tabulations – Let’s Go All The Way

Lost but not least! Brenda & The Tabulations – Let’s Go All The Way (Down) (Casablanca Records)

Hailing from the capital of Pennsylvania, PA Brenda & The Tabulations released 3 albums between 1967 and 1977. They started as a fortet, with Brenda Payton along with Eddie Jackson, Jerry Jones and Maurice Coates). They came through a change of line-up back in 1971. This, with the arrival of Pat Mercer and Deborah Martin who replaced the 3 males singers back in 1971. Meanwhile Payton took the centerstage on the third album.

Taken from their last in the series – ‘I Keep Coming Back For More’ – the timeless although underrated ‘Let’s Go All The Way (Down)’. A cut which Vinnie Barrett co-wrote with Bobby Eli. Meanwhile, the latter produced it, bringin’ us to funky Philadelphia Sound intoxicating territories. With Brenda singing her heart out. Something you definitely can tell from the first listen…

Kinda strange to notice it didn’t get any single release by the time the album went out on Chocolate City. But some 17 years after as a part of a 12″ promo pack featuring Parliament‘s ‘Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)’.

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With 3 male singers on board, Brenda & The Tabulations had something of a Doo Wop group when they first appeared in the mid-60’s. A feeling which lasted until 1970 with the release of their second album. 1971 marking a change with female singers Deborah Martin and Pat Mercer replacing them. Makin’ of the group a female band around Brenda Payton.

From then, B & TT went on to sign with Epic. But none of their singles from that time managed to make real noise in the charts despite the presence of Van McCoy in charge of the production.

Brenda & The Tabulations‘ last album came up back in 1977 on Chocolate City/Casablanca. As a matter of fact, Brenda had become a solo act back then, keeping the group name alive. Eventually working with Philly producers John Davis, Bobby Eli and Norman Harris. The album – ‘I Keep Coming Back For More’ is most likely remembered for the presence of ‘Let’s Go All The Way (Down)’. A cut which only got a single release some 17 years after, backed with Parliament‘s ‘Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)’.

Brenda Payton sadly died on June 14, 1992, at the age of 46. Meanwhile Eddie L. Jackson passed almost 18 years later – on May 03, 2010 – from a brain aneurysm, aged 63.

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