The Dells “Open Up My Heart” (Cadet 5657, R&B#5 Pop#51, 1970)
Some of the most underrated men in Soul Music are The Dells. Even during their time of recording, it took them a long laboring 13 years before they scored a significant chart entry. But in that time they crafted some of the most rich and well bodied ways of harmonizing and interpreting songs in the realm of Soul Music.
Even their classic hit material didn’t continuously rise to the top of the charts, long overlooked as they waded through a crowded field that featured so many luminaries of Soul Music.
You would think this amazingly vulnerable ballad would be heralded as one of the top 10 classic male group performances, but in most circles outside of my brain and heart it isn’t. Few even remember that it was a Top 5 R&B smash as Spring swung into Summer 1970, perhaps that fade in memory pushed along by the mild mannered Pop chart showing that didn’t grace the Top 40. As it goes, it’s one of the most prayer like performances ever laid to vinyl, a virtuous reminder that no matter how hard life becomes, how much one’s heart can be shellacked with grief and hurt, that we all owe it to ourselves to open our love muscle again and give this world another try.
Some people need Churches and Crosses to get the good word, all I need is a good record. Here’s hoping this Dells records gives you some blessing too.