Rhythm & Views

Various Artists

The Numero Group's Eccentric Soul reissue series continues unabated with Twinight's Lunar Rotation, which collects a hefty 40 tracks on two CDs, all released between 1967 and 1972 on Chicago's prolific Twinight (originally Twilight) label. An incredible level of archival energy went into unearthing and securing these tracks, detailed in a gorgeous 32-page booklet full of photos and anecdotes, making Twinight's Lunar Rotation a story of dogged research and passion for rare soul music as much as a terrifically entertaining batch of almost-forgotten songs.

A collection of largely positive, upbeat soul tracks, the Twinight canon is wide enough to include Renaldo Domino's velvety smooth tearjerker "Not Too Cool to Cry," Stormy's hard-soul kicker "The Devastator" and Sidney Pinchback and The Schiller Street Gang's psychedelic funk workout "Soul Strokes." And that's just on disc one.

Disc two contains the sassy, Motownish backbeat of "Why Do You Want to Make Me Sad" by The Perfections, the Memphis funk-soul-styled shouter "Breaking Point" by Johnny Williams, Nate Evans' smoldering slow burner "Pardon My Innocent Heart" and Jo Ann Garrett's statement of fact "Goin' Man Huntin'." While, for the most part, the mood and grooves are upbeat and poppy, the subject matter is mostly romantic and personal; there are no calls to revolution, but lots of heartbreak and maneuvering for the attention of elusive lovers. Twinight's Lunar Rotation's nocturnal grooves play like home movies from a more hopeful, more soulful time.