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G.C. Cameron - G.C. Cameron

G.C. Cameron - G.C. Cameron

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Title:  G.C. Cameron
Company: Motown
Catalog: M6-855S1
Year: 1976
Country/State: Jackson, Mississippi
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: still in shrink; opened and torn

I've been a G.C. Cameron fan since his 1960s/early-1970s heyday with The Spinners. When the rest of the group signed with Atlantic and went on to enjoy mega-fame working with Thom Bell and others, engaged to Berry Gordy's sister Gwen, Cameron remained with Motown where he found himself stuck with a low-keyed solo career before eventually jumping ship in the late-1970s. 

I'll be perfectly upfront and tell you that 1976's cleverly-titled "G.C. Cameron" was a middling effort. Working with a slew of producers (Cameron produced one track himself and co-produced a number of other tracks), the set was all over the musical genre roadmap, never really finding a consistent groove to showcase Cameron's considerable talents - something that would plague his entire Motown tenure. As a songwriter Cameron was a hit or miss commodity; the album including three originals which served to showcase his good and bad sides: the good exemplified by Strong Love' and the bad being the hideous down and dirty 'Don't You Want To Give It Up'. The album also served to underscore Cameron's strengths and weaknesses as a singer. At his best when he simply laid back and didn't push it, on way too many tracks Cameron felt the need to underscore his talents by trying to turn up the power. The results were seldom very impressive.

- With an instantly memorable melody and a killer refrain, the opener 'Dream Lady' was probably the album's most commercial track. The up-tempo track also served as a nice showcase for Cameron's rugged, gospel-tinged vocals. The most Spinner-like song on the album, it was easy to see why Motown tapped it as a single. rating: **** stars
- 'Not necessarily a bad song, but Me and My Life' was simply too disco-tinged for my ears. The chirpy female backing vocalists were particularly irritating. rating: ** stars
- Originally 'If I Ever Lose This Heaven' didn't do a great deal for me, but I'll admit that the track's seductive groove has grown on me. rating: *** stars
- While I've always liked Cameron's voice, he can be guilty of over-singing and 'Include Me In Your Life' served as a perfect example of that weakness. Horribly over-orchestrated, kicked along by some painfully screechy falsettos, this ballad just reeked of 'trying-too-hard'. rating: ** stars
- Complete with moaning female sound effects, 'Don't You Want To Give It Up' found Cameron trying to get down and funky. The result wasn't particularly endearing, though the song sported a great fuzz guitar solo ... Dennis Coffey ? rating: ** stars
- Side two opened with another Spinners-esque number in 'Truly Blue'. I can't really articulate it, but for some reason Cameron sounded way better when he laid back and simply didn't try to hard. That talent was spotlighted on this classic slice of old school soul. One of the album's highlights. rating: **** stars
- The second Cameron composition, 'The Joy You Bring' could have been a great track except for the lackadasical lyric - essentially Cameron repeating the title time after time ... it got old quickly. rating: ** stars
- 'Share Your Life (Let Me In)' was a pretty ballad, but Cameron sounded very uncomfortable trying to handle it in an extremely high register ... Shame since it could have been a standout performance had he sounded more comfortable. rating: ** stars
- The third and best Cameron composition, 'Strong Love' sported a nice melody and found Cameron using his most rugged delivery to good effect. This one would have made a better single than the two tracks Motown tapped as 45s. rating: **** stars
- 'It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday' was included on the soundtrack to the film "Cooley High" and tapped as the album's first single. Curious choice since the song itself was a plodding and largely anonymous ballad. rating: ** stars

Motown tapped the album for a pair of quickly forgotten singles:

- 1975's 'It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday' b/w ''Haulin, Cold Blooded' (Motown catalog number M 1364F)
- 1975's 'Dream Lady' b/w 'Tippin' (Motown catalog number M 1397F)

"G.C. Cameron" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Dream Lady (Terri McFaddin - Lawrence Brown - Victor Caston) - 3:30
2.) Me and My Life (T-Boy Ross - Rouglass Gibbs) - 3:39
3.) If I Ever Lose This Heaven (Leon Ware - Pam Sawyer) - 3:20
4.) Include Me In Your Life (Marilyn McLeod - Mel Bolton) - 4:11
5.) Don't You Want To Give It Up (G.C Cameron) - 3:13

(side 2)
1.) Truly Blue (Terri McFaddin - Lawrence Brown) - 2:59
2.) The Joy You Bring (G.C. Cameron) - 3:21
3.) Share Your Life (Let Me In) (Elgie Stover - Kenneth Stover) - 3:58
4.) Strong Love (G.C. Cameron) - 3;33
5.) It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday (Freddie Perren - Christine Yarian) - 3:10
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