A wise man once said that 'true genius lies in simplicity'. He might have been speaking about Ace/Kent Records' excellent idea to compile this fabulous album, together with its sister volume "Sweet Dreams". In a recent radio interview I heard someone describe the idea as a 'no-brainer'. I do hope he meant it as a compliment, because great ideas like this always look easy in hindsight. Interestingly, however, the musical marketplace, isn't exactly awash with albums like this.
More's the pity.
I endorse every word written by the good people who have already submitted reviews. Their comments are right on the money. Suffice to add that there are too many highlights here to comment on each one individually. Indeed, if you buy this CD, I bet that, like me, you will always play it right through without skipping a single track. And if you need further encouragement, just look at a list of the contents. Twenty three glorious examples of the best in country soul, ranging from Esther Phillips to Solomon Burke, via the heartbreaking genius of Arthur Alexander, the gospel shadings of Percy Sledge and the yearning tones of Clarence Carter. Sprinkle on some ZZ Hill, Ann Peebles and Joe Simon, add a seasoning of Al Green and garnish with the late great James Carr - who, alone, is worth the price of admission.
How can you possibly go wrong?
My fervent wish is that this idea culminates in an on-going series of releases, licensing permitting. Possibly one that extends to a dozen volumes or more, like the great 'Golden Age of American Rock'n'Roll?'
Now there's a thought!