Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The 3 Degrees - Love of My Life/Are You Satis-fied

The Three Degrees are undoubtedly best known for their huge 1974 smash, "When Will I See You Again". They had their first Top 40 chart success in 1970 with "Maybe", a remake of the Chantels' 1958 hit. But their recorded legacy reaches back to the mid 1960's for the Swan label, with whom they made a string of singles. Various discographies scattered around the web list today's record as the first release of 1967 for the label, though it looks like "Are You Satis-fied" originally appeared on 45 a couple of years earlier.

In somewhat typical girl group fashion, the Three Degrees had a revolving lineup through the Swan years. You definitely need a scorecard to tell the players. Check the group's discography at the terrific Soulful Kinda Music site for additional info.

As for the songs, "Love of My Life" is upbeat and hooky, with the typical girl group sound of the time, not unlike the Supremes. In fact, the lead vocal is quite reminiscent of Diana Ross. It has the ring of an AM radio hit, though the record didn't chart nationally. "Are You Satis-fied" is tougher sounding, with a pounding beat and a bit of guitar running throughout. It has handclaps on the break. This time, Martha Reeves is the more applicable Motown influence. I'd call it the better of the two sides, a stomper indeed. But you really can't go wrong tracking this one down for either side.

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