Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Very Best of Solomon Burke (1998)


Southern soul music from a singer from the Northeast.  Solomon Burke (1940-2010) was a powerful singer with the nickname "The King of Rock 'n' Soul."  Legendary Atlantic Records executive Jerry Wexler once referred to Burke as "the greatest male soul singer of all time." Burke just never had that one timeless hit single to place himself among names like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke.  That's a real shame; it seems his only fault was picking less-than-stellar material (although I love what he does with any country song).  This is an excellent 16 track collection that features his work from 1961-1968.  I wish there was an app that could make CDs sound like they were being played on an AM radio because that would be the perfect way to listen to this.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks:  It's all good, every bit of it, all 16 tracks.  He had an affinity for mid-tempo ballads in which his voice could let loose with feeling (e.g., I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You and Goodbye Baby).  My top picks are Cry To Me (just ignore the background vocals), Everybody Needs Somebody To Love, and his biggest hit, Got To Get You Off My Mind.  Track 16 is a true diamond among the R&B treasures here: the June 1968 single Soul Meeting cut by the Soul Clan, which consisted of Burke, Arthur Conley, Don Covay, Ben E. King, and Joe Tex, the super-session product of a short-lived experiment in raising money for the black community.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  I've learned not to pass up a Rhino compilation if I see one in a used bin.  Got To Get You Off My Mind reminds me of Nick Hornby's novel High Fidelity (which I recently read for the third time).  That track is a favorite of Rob Fleming as it is the song that brought him together with Laura.

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