Listening Booth

Rare Finds

Leo’s Sunshipp – We Need Each Other. Released in 1978 on Lyon’s Records.

Inscribed on the back cover:
THE TRUTH AND LIVING
To live and breathe isn’t living it’s life
To learn the truth and live is living
The riches of all
by Alvin Few

“Leo’s Sunshipp is one of those remarkable one-offs that pepper R&B history. The group’s name sounds far more cosmic than it is. Those expecting a P-Funk rollercoaster ride will be sorely disappointed, as this is more a glide down the jazzy, soulful byways of mid-70s Leon Ware or Marvin Gaye. The group was so named because all three of its main protagonists – Kenny Stover, Johnny Simone and Alvin Few – were born between 22 July and 22 August, in the star sign of Leo. It was the 70s, after all. The group’s Marvin Gaye feel ran deeper than mere admiration; Stover and Simone had been backing vocalists for Gaye, for whom Stover’s brother, Elgie, had a long-standing working relationship. Hooking up with Few, Leo’s Sunshipp began to record an album, of which four tracks were completed before, tragically, lead vocalist Simone fell ill and died. Stover blocked the album’s release and moved on to sing with Finished Touch. And that could have been it, until Lyons Records took the four tracks, added four instrumental/alternate mixes and We Need Each Other, the group’s only release, came into being” – Daryl Easlie