Similar artists

Albums

€13.49

R&B - Released January 1, 2011 | Concord Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
The Dramatics had been around in one form or another for nine years before the members got to release their first LP, and the result was a pair of breakthrough hits over the spring and summer of 1971, beginning with the title track, a Top Ten single that boasted not only extraordinary singing from bass to falsetto, but a soaring, punchy horn arrangement and some of the best fuzztone guitar heard on a hit record since the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction." The Afro-Cuban-flavored "Get up and Get Down" followed it into the R&B Top 20, and the Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get album followed them both. It was the third hit off of the album, "In the Rain," a delicate ballad that was issued separately as a single in early 1972, topping the R&B charts and reaching number five on the pop charts, that solidified the group's reputation and elevated them to the front rank of '70s soul acts. The album showcased the group equally well doing up-tempo dance numbers ("Mary Don't Cha Wanna") and ballads ("Thank You for Your Love," "Fall in Love, Lady Love"), melding very attractive vocals to arrangements that instantly grabbed the listener, all of it pulled together by songwriter/producer Tony Hester. Even the lesser material, such as "Gimme Some (Good Soul Music)" -- on which Hester knew that one minute and 34 seconds was all that was needed to make its point -- were so attractive and rousing that they easily carried their portion of the album, whose short running time was its only flaw. All of the members, from Willie Ford's powerful bass to Ron Banks' airy falsetto, were presented to best advantage, but none more so than William "Wee Gee" Howard's lead vocals; ironically, this would be Howard's only completed album with the group, and their only album for two years to come because of the accompanying personnel problems. Still, it's a match for any soul album of its era. In 2002, ZYX Records of Germany issued a new CD edition of Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get with its original cover art re-created and remastered in 24-bit digital audio, which is so crisp that it has to be heard to be believed. ~ Bruce Eder
€9.49

Dance - Released January 1, 2007 | Concord Records

As part of Stax's Very Best series the Dramatics are spotlighted on 18 tracks recorded between 1969 and 1974 for the Memphis based label. This set is aimed at the casual listener and includes the group's first Top Five hit from 1971, "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get," followed by the original Top Ten versions of "In the Rain," "Hey You! Get off My Mountain" and "Shake It Well." This 2007 compilation is slightly superior than the 1976 version Best of the Dramatics, also on Stax, due to overall improved sound quality and the addition of the tracks "Your Love Was Strange" from 1969 and their last R&B charted single "Bridge Over Troubled Water" from the late '80s. ~ Al Campbell
€13.49

Pop - Released January 1, 1986 | Concord Records

In the 1960s, Stax Records was best known for raw southern soul that rejected the type of sleekness and pop sensibilities favored by the northern soulsters at Motown. But by the early '70s, Memphis soul was losing its popularity, and Stax's A&R department started to emphasize northern and so-called "uptown" soul in order to stay competitive. One of Stax/Volt's biggest sellers was the Dramatics, a Detroit group that, like the Temptations at Motown and the O'Jays in the Gamble & Huff camp, effectively combined gritty soul belting with a sleek production style. Thanks to major hits ranging from the delightfully funky "Whacha See Is Whacha Get" to slow jams and ballads like "Hey You! Get Off My Mountain," "Toast to the Fool" and the melancholy "In the Rain," the Dramatics were on quite a roll in the early-to-mid-'70s. All of those gems are included on the hour-long CD, The Best of the Dramatics, which offers a fine overview of the quintet's Stax/Volt years. Many Dramatics albums are worth owning, but if a listener were allowed to own only one Dramatics CD, this would be it. ~ Alex Henderson
€14.49

R&B - Released May 19, 2017 | Concord Records

€13.49

R&B - Released January 1, 2014 | Concord Records

Booklet
€1.99

R&B - Released November 13, 2012 | Goldenlane Recrods

The Dramatics had been around in one form or another for nine years before the members got to release their first LP, and the result was a pair of breakthrough hits over the spring and summer of 1971, beginning with the title track, a Top Ten single that boasted not only extraordinary singing from bass to falsetto, but a soaring, punchy horn arrangement and some of the best fuzztone guitar heard on a hit record since the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction." The Afro-Cuban-flavored "Get up and Get Down" followed it into the R&B Top 20, and the Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get album followed them both. It was the third hit off of the album, "In the Rain," a delicate ballad that was issued separately as a single in early 1972, topping the R&B charts and reaching number five on the pop charts, that solidified the group's reputation and elevated them to the front rank of '70s soul acts. The album showcased the group equally well doing up-tempo dance numbers ("Mary Don't Cha Wanna") and ballads ("Thank You for Your Love," "Fall in Love, Lady Love"), melding very attractive vocals to arrangements that instantly grabbed the listener, all of it pulled together by songwriter/producer Tony Hester. Even the lesser material, such as "Gimme Some (Good Soul Music)" -- on which Hester knew that one minute and 34 seconds was all that was needed to make its point -- were so attractive and rousing that they easily carried their portion of the album, whose short running time was its only flaw. All of the members, from Willie Ford's powerful bass to Ron Banks' airy falsetto, were presented to best advantage, but none more so than William "Wee Gee" Howard's lead vocals; ironically, this would be Howard's only completed album with the group, and their only album for two years to come because of the accompanying personnel problems. Still, it's a match for any soul album of its era. In 2002, ZYX Records of Germany issued a new CD edition of Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get with its original cover art re-created and remastered in 24-bit digital audio, which is so crisp that it has to be heard to be believed. ~ Bruce Eder
€6.99

R&B - Released January 1, 2009 | Concord Records

In 2009, Universal Music Group devised Soul Six Pack, a digital-download-only series of bite-size samplers that cover a handful of well-known Stax label artists. With identikit artwork and semi-arbitrary track selections that included some -- but never all -- of a given artist's major hits, the series seemed more like an experiment than a service to casual listeners. The Dramatics' Soul Six Pack is decent, if only in a relative sense, because it has a nice chunk of the group's essential songs, including "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get," "In the Rain," and "Get Up and Get Down." Still, it's no substitute for a proper anthology, or even a sharp budget compilation of ten or a dozen cuts. ~ Andy Kellman
€18.99

Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | Concord Records

Ask a group of Dramatics fans what the group's most productive decade was, and the vast majority of them will agree that the Motor City soulsters reached their creative peak in the '70s (which was also when they reached their commercial peak). However, the Dramatics were around before the '70s -- the group's original lineup was formed in 1962 -- and they were still active when the 21st century arrived. Greatest Hits Live documents a 2001 concert at the Palace Theater in New Haven, CT, where the five-man lineup consists of Ron Banks, L.J. Reynolds, Lenny Mayes, Willie Ford, and Wenzell Kelly. Few surprises occur, but Banks and friends are in good form on '70s gems like "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get," "In the Rain," "Be My Girl," and "Hey You! Get Off My Mountain." Saying that few surprises occur isn't saying that no surprises occur; a bit of dancehall-style toasting (not the sort of thing one ordinarily expects from the Dramatics) finds its way into "Stand Up Clap Your Hands," and the concert takes a hip-hop detour with a Snoop-less performance of "Doggy Dogg World" (the 1994 Snoop Dogg hit that found the Dramatics making an unlikely guest appearance on a gangsta rap tune). But most of the concert is devoted to songs from the group's '70s heyday, and while Greatest Hits Live tends to be predictable, it is predictable in a good way -- "Thank You for Your Love" and many of the other soul classics that they perform have held up impressively well over the years. Greatest Hits Live falls short of essential, although the soul veterans' more devoted fans will find it to be a satisfying document of their 2001 tour. ~ Alex Henderson
€13.49

R&B - Released January 1, 1998 | Geffen

€9.49

Soul/Funk/R&B - Released January 1, 1997 | Fantasy Records

The Dramatics went through their share of personnel changes over the years, and when the veteran Motor City soul group recorded its first Christmas album in 1997, the lineup consisted of Ron Banks, L.J. Reynolds, Willie Ford, Lenny Mayes, and newest member Winzell Kelly. Recording a Christmas album was something the Dramatics had talked about in the 1970s, but it wasn't until 1997 that they finally got around to it. From originals like "The Very Best Christmas" and "The Days Before Christmas" to versions of "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and Mel Torme's "The Christmas Song," the group is in good form and opts for a 1970s-type soul sound instead of trying to appeal to urban contemporary tastes. A Dramatics Christmas isn't quite essential, and casual listeners would be better off with a compilation of their dynamic 1970s hits. Even so, this is an enjoyable CD that the group's more devoted followers will want. ~ Alex Henderson
€9.49

R&B - Released January 1, 1988 | Concord Records

Some fine love songs and excellent harmonizing, although the uptempo tunes are a bit weak and the production and material uneven. Few soul groups have ever done great live albums, and The Dramatics proved no different. ~ Ron Wynn
€9.49

R&B - Released January 1, 1985 | Concord Records

This Fantasy release doesn't compare to their Volt or ABC releases, but it has some enjoyable moments. Original lead William "Wee Gee" Howard ("In the Rain") reunites with Ron Banks, Lenny Mayes, Willie Ford, and L.J. Reynolds for a new twist: every member gets to lead at least part of a song. "Somewhere In Time" contains a medley of the group's biggest hits, but like onstage medleys, it's disappointing. Still, it was an interesting idea. Lenny, Ron, and L.J. swap leads beautifully on "When Love Is Over," and Ron and Wee Gee shine on "One Love Ago." ~ Andrew Hamilton