Each compilation is assembled around a critical hub of the soul scene back then: producers and label owners Mike Lenaburg and Hadley Murrell. Lenaburg recorded and released records by Phoenix's finest soul outfits even if he had to assemble them himself as well as managing groups, owning two record stores, and DJing on the radio. Murrell was one of the first black radio personalities in town, bringing R&B to the airwaves in the mid-'60s, and went on to produce soul outfits like Eddie & Ernie, Roy & the Dew Drops, and the Soulsetters.
Murrell's disc feels funkier, while Lenaburg's is smoother and silkier soul. Lenaburg had the laid-back grooves of Michael Liggins, whose "Standing on the Corner," "Loaded to the Gills," "Black and Beautiful," and "Loaded Back" are included (Liggins' original 45s are among the most valuable of old Phoenix collectibles; hold on to 'em if you've got one). Murrell's Soul Side of the Street takes its name from a track by Roy & the Dew Drops, a young Chicano band he was booking in the late '60s, along with the Soulsetters, whose weirdly endearing novelty track "Cecil, the Unwanted French Fry" closes the album.
Both Lenaburg and Murrell were visionaries, though their accomplishments are largely forgotten. These two compilations serve to give a little more respect where it's due.