The Monthly Must-Have

The Honey Cone: Cone To The Bone

Sequel Records (1998) NEMCD 968

The Supremes they weren't, but Holland/Dozier/Holland's first star female group after breaking away from Motown were really something to get excited about. A girl super-group, members of this ensemble came from the Ikettes, the Girlfriends and Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans. And with Darlene Love's little sister Edna singing lead vocals, how can you go wrong? The Honeycone scored a handful of big hits in the early 70s, but returned to more lucrative session work once their touring dried up. A possible reunion in the 1990s failed to get off the ground, so reissues are probably the only place to find the group singing their soulful hearts out.

Cone To The Bone collects 20 of the groups best recordings, and while some album tracks seem a little dull or messy by my standards, the hit singles are well worth the price of admission. "Want Ads," "Stick Up," and "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show," are extremely catchy dance tunes which still sound as fresh today as they did back in 1971. The group's only other Top 20 hit, "The Day I Found Myself" is a gorgeous ballad with harmonies that are out of this world.

But other mid-charters definitely deserve a listen as well. "While You're Out Lookin' For Sugar," "Girls, It Ain't Easy," and "Sittin On A Time Bomb (Waitin For The Hurt To Come," explode (no pun intended) out of the speakers and will get you groovin'. Other standouts include "Take My Love," "If I Can't Fly," and a very Motownish cover of "You've Made Me So Very Happy."

Some of the other tracks don't live up to expectations, but the majority of this album is a prime example of where Motown might have gone if HDH had stuck it out. Be warned, dancing shoes are required.