The Soul Survivors one big hit was Expressway (To Your Heart) from 1967, an early Kenny Gamble/Leon Huff song which has been compiled on many compilations including the box set Beg Scream & Shout: The Big Ol' Box of '60s Soul and the compilation Philly Sound: Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and the Story of Brotherly Love.
When the Whistle Blows Anything Goes, The Soul Survivors first album, was originally reissued on Collectables in 1994 with 4 bonus tracks as Expressway to Your Heart, but has now been reissued under its original title by Vampi Soul, with the same 4 bonus tracks. There are a few moments where the original master tapes seem to have some degradation, usually during the quiter moments, but overall the sound quality is good.
The Soul Survivors mined a blue eyed soul sound similar to The Young Rascals and have a fantastic live sounding soul sound. In fact, The Soul Survivors even cover two songs The Young Rascals recorded: the Young Rascals original tune Do You Feel It which starts out this album, and the Motown tune Too Many Fish in the Sea which was covered by many groups in the day. The Soul Survivors mix their version of Too Many Fish In The Sea into a medley with a cover of Sam Cooke's Shake for a fiery brew of soul blasting music.
The Soul Survivors also slow down a bit for another Sam Cooke cover, of A Change Is Gonna Come. They don't slow down often though, also offering up sweet sounding covers of James Brown's Please, Please, Please, Aretha Franklin's Respect, and Donovan's Hey Gyp. The only time the album careens into shady territory is on the two Soul Survivors originals, the slower soul walk of Dathon's Theme, the oddly percussive Taboo-India (both of which sound like soundtrack tunes), and the Gamble/Huff penned oddity The Rydle which ends the album on a sour note as the group perform a take on the traditional I Gave My Love A Cherry tune. But really the centerpiece of this album is the fantastic Expressway (To Your Heart), which combines together so many great aspects to create a song that will stick in your head in a good way.
The bonus tracks include two versions of Explosion In Your Soul, the follow-up to Expressway (To Your Heart) which sounds exactly like Expressway (To Your Heart), and a couple other Gamble/Huff penned tunes (Impossible Mission and Poor Man's Dream) which aren't nearly as distinctive but are still nice to hear for fleshing out this album.
---Patrick, May 19, 2006