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03/09/2009 - par Marc Tungate (tungateinparis@hotmail.com)

Marketing, as we all know, is about telling a good tale. So I was happy to read in Libération the other day about a new release by obscure 1970s soul band 24 Carat Black. I'd vaguely heard of this bunch thanks to a friend who has a stack of vinyl albums and good taste. In 1973, 24 Carat Black recorded a disc called Ghetto: Misfortune's Wealth, which sounds like a soundtrack to a blaxploitation movie (give Quentin Tarantino a call if you don't know what I'm talking about). Then they vanished from the face of the Earth.

Until now, because their «second lost album» has mysteriously been found! The tapes were apparently rescued from the attic of a former member of the group. As the article in Libé made clear, no trendsetter worth the name could pass up an opportunity of buying the album. After all, it's completely different from, say, an album recorded by a bunch of newcomers but lacking a good story.

24 Carat Black actually existed, but it reminded me of an incident in the UK, when a soul track called Road Block was released. It was initially thought to be an undiscovered example of 1970s «rare groove». All the hipsters rushed out to buy it. And then the truth came out: the track was made by Stock, Aitken and Waterman, the producers of Kylie Minogue. Oops.

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