Possibly the least celebrated of all the male duos that worked in the 60s, the Swordsmen made several excellent deep soul sides which are well deserving of some greater recognition. Sadly however their music – like the Swordsmen themselves – seems to have completely disappeared from view.

The duo -  Eddie Anderson and Raymond Thompson – met while both of them were members of the Cleveland Male Vocal Choir in the early years of the decade. They were “discovered” by Nina Simone and Andy Stroud who released their first 45 on their own Ninandy label in 1968. ListenIt Seems I’m Never Tired Of You was a real peach of a deep soul ballad with the interplay between the voices especially tasty. The A side “Oh My Soul” entered the CashBox charts which led to the duo being placed for wider distribution by RCA, who recorded and issued all the guys’ other tracks.

The guys first album simply entitled “The Swordsmen” was released by RCA shortly afterwards, with an unfortunate cover which had the duo dressed up as extras for a “Three Musketeers” movie. The LP was rather better than its sales figures achieved, the vocals were uniformly of a high standard and the playing of some of New York’s finest sidemen was impeccable, as were the arrangements from Horace Ott. The set did included The hit side of their initial 45 and both sides of their two follow-up singles. The uptempo “Grow On Love” was strong Big Apple soul, very acceptable, as indeed was the funky little flip “That’s When A Woman Needs Her Man”.  

The third single had a top side ListenHere I Am which was another heartbreak deep soul ballad of which I’m very fond. The flip “Gimme Some” was the poor relation.



The Swordsmen’s fourth 45 coupled a uninspiring cover of George Harrison’s “Something” with a “You Don’t Know Like I Know” soundalike called “Sho-Be-Do-Da-Di” which also leaves me stone cold. Much better was their third deep soul offering ListenYou Came which was written by the singers themselves and which combined a fine melodic approach with a superb horn rich accompaniment courtesy of Bert De Coteaux. The guys also came up with a very tasty ballad flip in “How Could You Forget Our Love”.


All four sides were included on the second LP entitled “What’s It All About World”. This was a big disappointment thanks to the rock / pop covers – not just “Something” but also “California Dreamin’” and “To Love Somebody” – and some further poor material. The pick of the tracks was an overdue outing on an LP for the brilliant It Seems I’m Never Tired Of You which appeared again on their next 45, along with the indifferent album title song.


The Swordsmen had one final 45 issued in 1971 and they went out on a high with another strong, melodic slowie ListenI’m So Glad.




Oh my soul / ListenSeems I’m never tired of you ~ NINANDY 1014 (1968)
That’s when a woman needs a man / Grow on love ~ RCA 9745 (1969)
ListenHere I am / Gimme some ~ RCA 0240 (1969)
Something / Sho-Be-Do-Di-Da ~ RCA 0337 (1970)
ListenYou came / How could you forget our love ~ RCA 0421 (1971)
It seems I’m never tired of you / What’s it all about world ~ RCA 0492 (1971)
Hip thang / ListenI’m so glad ~ RCA 0561 (1971)


The Swordsmen ~ RCA LSP-4245 (1969)
What's it all about world ~ RCA LSP-4544 (1971)

Note ~ The group on Semac are a white doo-wop outfit and are not connected to the Swordsmen on this page in anyway.


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