Thursday, September 25, 2014

E.L. Overton I Am Here For You b/w Angel Neco Records 1984

E.L. Overton I Am Here For You b/w Angel Neco Records 1984 CAT# NC 1001

This little 7" has a lot going on and there's a lot to say about it.  Most of it, I'd like to save for related releases, however, those releases are so rare I might not have the chance.  This is also extremely rare.  Currently this little private press piece of Kansas City soul is bringing in $200 to $300 in top condition.  Someone is asking close to $1000 for it on  There's a growing disco/boogie collectors market and this fits in on the tail end of the scene, it's decent, but I think most the value stems from it's perceived rarity.  Neco Records, was just E.L. Overton's custom label, so it's likely there was only between 500-1000 copies to begin with.

It also has the benefit of being produced and co-written by Keith Montgomery.  Keith Montgomery and fellow musician, Eugene Smiley started K City Records in the late 70's in Kansas City.  A third songwriter, Albert White, was part of the K City team as well.  The small outfit wrote and produced a number of songs with Kansas City soul musicians and cut a few records on their K City label.  Those 45s are well-regarded in the modern boogie genre and sought after for their obscurity.

Further, going back to the late-70's, there was a local vocal group called Smoke in Kansas City.  The group cut two 45s and a full-length LP.  The sound was pure 70's soul, sounds vintage compared to the K City stuff.  One of the group's songwriters, Elmer Overton, is in fact the E.L. Overton featured here.  I can't say there's a lot of information out there on the web stating the same, but collectors are a crafty bunch and I think they've figured it out, likely increasing the value for this 45 even more.

The track people are after, "I Am Here For You," is better than average production for a limited budget.  The beat, solid.  The background vocals, well done.  The feel and groove, better than average mid-80's boogie.  However, E.L. Overton's vocals just don't match.  He's bordering on a baritone and this production screams for somebody up near falsetto.  It detracts from an otherwise great track, I bet people would shit themselves to get a hold of an instrumental version of it.

The B-side, "Angel," doesn't need to exist.  Sappy, sentimental, same low-end vocals.  Just doesn't go anywhere and isn't by any means a  heart-stirring or heart-warming ballad; comes off more as a bad pick up attempt.  Production though, on point.

I Am Here For You

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