Thursday, 11 June 2009

“Atlantic Unearthed: Soul Brothers” by VARIOUS ARTISTS - A Review of the 2006 Atlantic/Rhino CD Compilation.


Arthur Conley, Otis Redding and Donny Hathaway are part of my "SOUNDS GOOD: Exceptional CD Remasters Soul, Funk & Jazz Fusion" Download Book available to buy on Amazon to either your PC or Mac (it will download the Kindle software to read the book for free to your toolbar). Click on the link below to go my Author's Page for this and other related publications:

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“…Just A Page In Your Book Of Memories…”

Subtitled “16 Lost Classics By The Greatest Soul Men Ever”, this 2006 Atlantic/Rhino compilation (8122-77625-2) is something of a lost gem in itself - as it seems to have gone largely unnoticed…

Here’s a detailed breakdown (49:56 minutes):
1. Can’t Stop A Man In Love – WILSON PICKETT (Recorded February 1972, Previously Unreleased)
2. How Does It Feel – BOBBY WOMACK (February 1967, B-side of the USA 7” single “Find Me Somebody” on Atlantic 2388)
3. You Left The Water Running – SAM & DAVE (Recorded July 1969, a Previously Unreleased track 1st issued on the “Sweat ‘N’ Soul Anthology” CD set in 1993)
4. Rome (Wasn’t Built In A Day) – ARTHUR CONLEY (Recorded June 1967, Previously Unreleased)
5. Book Of Memories – PERCY WIGGINS (1967 USA 7” single on Atco 6479) [A?]
6. That’s How It Feels – THE SOUL CLAN [feat Arthur Conley, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, Don Covay and Joe Tex] (June 1968 USA 7” single, B-side to “Soul Meeting” on Atco 2530)
7. I Love You More Than Words Can Say – OTIS REDDING (March 1967 USA 7” single on Volt 146 [A])
8. Baby, Baby, Baby – PERCY SLEDGE (Recorded September 1969, Previously Unreleased cover of the Aretha Franklin song)
9. Hold On – JAMES CARR (May 1971 USA 7” single on Atlantic 2803 [A]) (His lone single on Atlantic)
10. Pouring Water On A Drowning Man – OTIS CLAY (April 1970 USA 7” single on Cotillion 44068 [A])
11. Lovebones – MIGHTY SAM (January 1970 USA 7” single, B-side of “I’ve Got Enough Heartaches”)
12. The Love Of My Woman – DARRELL BANKS (1968 USA 7” single on Cotillion 44006, B-side to “I Wanna Go Home”)
13. Coldest Days Of My Life – WALTER JACKSON (1970 USA 7” single on Cotillion 44077, B-side to “Bless You”)
14. Whiter Shade Of Pale – R.B. GREAVES (November 1970 USA 7” single on Atco 6789 [A])
15. Change With The Seasons – CARL HALL (1972 USA 7” single on Atlantic 2856, B-side to “Need Somebody To Love”)
16. What A Woman Really Means – DONNY HATHAWAY (Recorded January 1973, “Extension Of A Man” Album Outtake, Previously Unreleased)

The compilation is produced by DAVID NATHAN who also does the informative and affectionate liner notes - with the remastering done by long-time tape maestro and Rhino associate DAN HERSCH. Being from differing time frames, the sound ranges from very good (R.B. Greaves’ rare cover of the Procol Harum classic “A Whiter Shade Of Pale”) to full on fantastic (Otis Redding’s lovely ballad “I Love You More Than Words Can say” is beautifully clear).

As you see from the track list above, there are some previously unreleased songs, rare non-album B-sides and rarities like the one-off single James Carr did for the label. The choices are clever (many first time on CD) and heavy on ballads, which I personally like. “Book Of Memories” is a lovely organ-driven slow song (lyrics above) while The Chi-Lites would redo Eugene Record’s “The Coldest Days Of My Life” to great effect on Brunswick in 1972. Besides – any hint of a new Donny Hathaway track and I have to own it…

On the downside, the playing time is a bit short and you can hear why some of the unearthed tracks were unreleased – they’re good, just not great. But, for Atlantic fans and lovers of soul, this is a little sweetheart of a compilation – and after a few listens, even the lesser tracks have grown on me.

To sum up – a tasty little set then – and I was so impressed, I bought it’s 16-track companion “Atlantic Unearthed: Soul Sisters” straight after it…

Recommended.

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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