Today, the Main Ingredient is best known for their big hit “Everybody Plays The Fool,” with lead vocalist Cuba Gooding, father of the actor by the same name.
Donald McPherson, Tony Silvester, and Luther Simmons formed the Poets in 1964 but by the late 1960s had changed their name to the Main Ingredient and signed with the RCA label. Their 1970 debut album, L.T.D. was a fusion of soul and do-wop. Their 1971 album, Black Seeds, was a cutting edge album that was very connected to the black culture of the era. Both albums have now been reissued by Real Gone Music as a two for one CD package.
While McPherson shared writing credit, he was the sole composer and L.T.D. bears his imprint with six original compositions. Songs such as “Can’t Stand Your Love,” “I Was Born To Lose,” “Brotherly Love,” and “You’ve Been My Inspiration” are basically a lead vocalist out front of layered do-wop type harmonies. It all adds up to a smooth and sophisticated soul approach.
Their cover of the Glen Campbell hits, “By The Time I Get To Phoenix/Wichita Lineman” is somewhat mundane but they take the Beatles “Get Back” for a psychedelic soul ride.
Black Seeds was their third release for the label and was a change of direction for the group. It had a grittier sound and the lyrics are more in tune with the times. McPherson again penned six tracks but passed away from leukemia at the age of 29, just before the album was released. He was replaced by friend Gooding, who continues to lead the group down to the present day.
The Main Ingredient was an exceptional soul-oriented vocal group that was more creative than many of their contemporaries. This new release presents their best two albums, which have been out of print for decades. They are well-worth a visit.