Thursday, September 25, 2014
E.L. Overton I Am Here For You b/w Angel Neco Records 1984
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 discogs.com. 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