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Mel & Tim were an American soul music duo active in the 1960s and early 1970s, and best known for the hit, "Backfield in Motion" (1969). They are also well known for: "Hope, Life's Goal" and "Starting All Over Again" (1972).
Mel Hardin and Tim McPherson were cousins from Holly Springs, Mississippi, who traveled to Chicago where they were discovered by Gene Chandler. Hardin's mother and McPherson's aunt, Yolanda Hardin, helped the duo with their publicity, as she was once a singer herself. She signed them to a recording contract with her Bamboo Records record label, and they recorded their own song, "Backfield in Motion". It was immediately successful, reaching #3 on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart and #10 in the pop equivalent in 1969. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Their follow-up song was "Good Guys Only Win in the Movies", which was also the name of their first album.
Hardin and McPherson subsequently moved to the Stax label, where they recorded a second Top 5 R&B hit with the ballad "Starting All Over Again". Released in the U.S. in June 1972, this also climbed to #16 on the Hot 100, and stayed in that chart for 22 weeks. It was their second million seller, taking five months to shift that number of gramophone records. This was also the title track of their second album in 1972, recorded in Muscle Shoals and produced by Phillip Mitchell. They performed at the Wattstax charity concert that year, but later recordings could not repeat their earlier successes.
Mel & Tim were a classic Chicago soul vocal duo, recording in Muscle Shoals in the deep South for Stax and making records that fit comfortably next to those made in Philadelphia. It may sound incongruous, but their 1972 album, Starting All Over Again -- released on CD with four bonus tracks -- is a wonderful record that blends the sweet production of Philly with tight southern rhythms and Windy City harmony. And that's not even mentioning an impeccable set of songs; many written or co-written by Phillip Mitchell, along with sharp covers of soul classics like "Wrap It Up" and "I'm Your Puppet." The title track is a stone masterpiece -- an epic tale of a couple trying to repair their love -- but the rest of the album isn't far behind. In fact, it ranks as one of the finest soul albums of the early '70s.
01. Don't Mess With My Money, MyHoney or My Woman Mitchell 3:38
02. Starting All over Again Mitchell 4:05
03. I May Not Be What You Want Mitchell, Shelby 3:07
04. Carry Me Mitchell, Shelby 3:43
05. Free for All Shorter 2:38
06. Heaven Knows Banks, Hampton, Jackson 3:52
07. Wrap It Up Hayes, Lennox, Porter, Stewart 2:21
08. What's Your Name? Johnson, Johnson 2:52
09. I'm Your Puppet Oldham, Penn 2:58
10. Too Much Wheelin' and Dealin' Banks, Jackson 2:48
11. Forever in a Day Clements, Mitchell 4:33
12. It's Those Little Things That Count Mitchell 3:02
13. The Same Folk Mitchell 3:20
14. Yes We Can Can Toussaint 4:12