New York vocalist Helena Ferguson is best known for her first release “Where Is The Party?” not just because it was a minor hit, but also as it is supposed to feature the Ohio Players (uncredited) as the rhythm section. It’s a pleasant tuneful ballad to be sure, on which Helena’s rather mannered vocal style comes across very well. A strong piece of uptown soul.
I like both sides of her subsequent single, on which the Players don’t figure - to my ears at any rate – the drummer really can’t be anybody but “Pretty” Purdie. “The Loneliness” is a super sweet soul track, with a full Horace Ott arrangement, which rather surprisingly didn’t get her back into the charts. But Don’t Spoil Our Good Thing is better suited to these pages thanks to a much more “open” orchestral setting, with horns only instead of strings, and some lovely “southern” style guitar fills (Eric Gale? Cornell Dupree?). I love the way Helena interacts with the girl background singers on this one, and her excellent “delay” timing.
Sadly Ms Ferguson’s final 45 for Congress didn’t have the fire of her earlier 45s. Even the superlative ballad "I'd Rather Go Blind" is given a rather tasteless uptempo treatment.
Where is the party / My terms ~ COMPASS 7009 (1968)
The loneliness (is coming again) / Don’t spoil our good thing ~ COMPASS 7017 (1968)
I’d rather go blind / I’m so glad ~ CONGRESS 6009 (1969)