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A Road Leading Home: Songs By Dan Penn [Original recording remastered]

Various Artists Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £11.58 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Jun 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Ace
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,083 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Without A Woman - Ted Taylor - Ted Taylor
2. You Left The Water Running - Billy Young - Billy Young
3. I Tried To Tell You - The Entertainers - The Entertainers
4. Break Up The Party - Linda Gail Lewis - Linda Gail Lewis
5. Is A Blue Bird Blue - Dan Penn - Dan Penn
6. Once More With Feeling - Jeanie Fortune - Jeanie Fortune
7. The Dark End Of The Street - Roy Hamilton - Roy Hamilton
8. (Almost Persuaded To) Give Him One More Try - Linda Carr - Linda Carr
9. Come On - Tommy Roe - Tommy Roe
10. Oh! What A Fool I've Been - The Sweet Inspirations - The Sweet Inspirations
11. Far From The Maddening Crowd - The Drifters - The Drifters
12. Up Tight Good Man - Laura Lee - Laura Lee
13. So Many Reasons - James & Bobby Purify - James & Bobby Purify
14. Do Right Woman - Do Right Man - Brenda Lee - Brenda Lee
15. Cheater Man - Esther Phillips - Esther Phillips
16. Long Ago - Bobby Patterson - Bobby Patterson
17. I Can't Stop (No. No No) - The Blues Busters - The Blues Busters
18. Rainbow Road - Percy Sledge - Percy Sledge
19. Zero Willpower # 2 - Irma Thomas - Irma Thomas
20. Tearjoint - Ted Roddy And The Tearjoint Troubadors - Ted Roddy and the Tearjoint Troubadours
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Product Description

The songrwiting skills of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham have already been celebrated in fine style on Ace's award-winning Sweet Inspiration compilation a highlight of the Songwriter Series , and still available on CDCHD 1284. Spooner was not Dan's sole collaborator during his most prolific years as a songwriter. The follow up to Sweet Inspiration shines its spotlight on great songs that Dan has written with other notable writers, plus one or two he wrote on his own. A Road Leading Home covers almost 50 years of Dan s songwriting, from his first ever hit, Is A Blue Bird Blue (written when Dan was 14) to What's Wrong With Right , a 21st century Penn copyright essayed by the Hacienda Brothers. The CD features a number of Dan's best known songs, including such Penn perennials as Rainbow Road , Do Right Woman - Do Right Man and the immortal Dark End Of The Street . As with every entry in the songwriter series, A Road Leading Home also features some lesser known (but no less good) recordings of songs from Dan s golden era, several of which appear here on CD for the first time. Beautifully mastered and with a now de rigueur booklet crammed full of rare label shots and illustrations, this is sure to appear to everyone who has purchased any of Ace's Dan Penn or Fame-related projects.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like A Road Leading Nowhere... 21 Dec 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Haven't raved about the first volume in this series "Sweet Inspiration" - it's rare instead that I wouldn't recommend Volume 2.
But in the case of 2013's "A Road Leading Home" - I'd avoid.

Ace Records CDCHD 1370 (Barcode 029667054522) runs to a generous 70:18 minutes - but there's too many lame covers on here by black and white artists trying to hook into a hip tune of the times and coming up with unconvincing and weedy results. The 24-page booklet is the usually classy Ace Records affair - track-by-track breakdowns by BOB DUNHAM and TONY ROUNCE with beautiful albums covers, publicity shots and Atlantic 7" demos pictured. The sound varies given the source - but again in most cases - it's fantastically clear and fulsome (more great work from NICK ROBBINS at Sound Mastering).

I just wish the material excited. Some of it even sounds like Girl-group pop and not Soul. The Dan Penn track "Is A Blue Bird Blue" is excellent with a hooky chorus and the Irma Thomas' take on "Zero Willpower" is lovely too. But the Tommy Roe and Brenda Lee are awful as are others.

Pen's reputation as a peerless songwriter remains in tact - but I'd hear this CD first before buying (even if your a fan)...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Peerless 22 Oct 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The greatness of a song rests in the ability of absolutely anybody to make it sound good - and there's not one bad version on this 24 song collection of 'alternate' takes. One of the reissues of the year.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 21 July 2014
Format:Audio CD
Partner loved it - big fan
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cd 30 Sep 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
the easiest way to buy cd's must be amazon. arrived in good time for a present and in good condition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ace's second Dan Penn songwriter compilation is a home run! 23 July 2013
By TheNoomz83 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is Ace's second collection of records penned by the phenomenal Dan Penn (in addition to his own "The Fame Recordings" from last year), who is among the greatest ever in the domain of Deep Southern soul. Ace's earlier excellent CD collection (from 2011) was "Sweet Inspiration: The Songs of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham." This one features Penn's collaborations with other writers, along with a couple of solo efforts. As always with these songwriter compilations by Ace, the sound mastering is nonpareil and the accompanying booklet (24 pages) is colorfully illustrated with photos of artists, records, record jackets and the like. The compilers of this collection, Bob Dunham and Tony Rounce, also wrote the very thorough notes which offer incisive background information on each of the 24 recordings and artists - rather amazing all they were able to come up with, given the relative rarity of so many of these records.

The rarity is a huge draw in and of itself for appreciators and collectors of this music. Beyond the title closing record by blues great Albert King from his classic 1971 Stax LP "Lovejoy," I only had a few odd ones here. It's unlikely that anyone other than hardcore collectors would be in prior possession of a significant number of these recordings.

In fact, only three records here ever made it onto a Billboard chart: Tommy Roe's "Come On" (1964) [#36 pop - it was the semi-soundalike follow-up to his self-penned #3 hit "Everybody"]; Laura Lee's "Up Tight Good Man" (1968) [#16 soul/#93 pop]; and Ronnie Milsap's very first country charter (that transitioned him from soul), "I Hate You" (1973)[#10 country - the first of his 64 country hits and 49 top tens]. Only two records here even saw action as B-sides of 1960s charters: "Far from the Maddening Crowd" by the Drifters was on the flip side of their #51 hit from 1965, "I'll Take You Where the Music's Playing"; and James & Bobby Purify's "So Many Reasons" was the Sam Cooke-esque B-side of their 1966 crossover smash "I'm Your Puppet" [#5 soul/#6 pop].

There are gems galore that you can't believe were unable to get any traction. First and foremost, Percy Sledge should have had his four-year chart drought interrupted with his excellent version of "Rainbow Road" from 1972, which is taken over the top by the terrific horn arrangement. And since James Carr's stone soul classic 1967 recording of "The Dark End of the Street" (my favorite of all Dan Penn's co-penned songs) could only rise to #77 on the pop chart, one would have thought that two years later (in the final year of his life as it turned out) the incomparably resonant voice of Roy Hamilton (so admired by Elvis Presley) could have had a comeback hit with his rendition. Brenda Lee pulls the biggest surprise here with her astonishingly soulful take on "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" from 1970. The problem of course was that this song had already become indelibly associated with Aretha Franklin from three years earlier. Hard to top Aretha in her prime, but Little Miss Dynamite comes incredibly close on this one.

I really enjoy the slightly off-kilter attempts to come up with a hit. Take Jerry Lee's little sister Linda Gail Lewis who finds herself on "Break Up the Party" in a similar situation to Lesley "It's My Party" Gore two years earlier - only Linda Gail just wants to be alone, not necessarily to cry. Linda Carr's "(Almost Persuaded to) Give Him One More Try" sounds oddly like the Shangri-Las meet Burt Bacharach; Bobby Patterson's "Long Ago" is a near-clone of Percy Sledge's "Warm and Tender Love," while Ted Taylor's "Without a Woman" splits the difference between Percy Sledge's and Joe Tex's "Woman" songs but adds his vibrantly soulful high tenor.

Near the end of the CD there are four tracks that bring Dan Penn into this century: Irma Thomas's "Zero Willpower" from 2000 is breathtaking in its deep soul beauty for all of its nearly six minutes; likewise (although at half the duration), Bobby Purify [real name: Ben Moore] on "Better to Have It"; the Mex-country-soul of the Hacienda Brothers on "What's Wrong with Right," featuring the warm raspy quaver of the late Chris Gaffney; and the all-out country weeper "Tearjoint" by Ted Roddy & the Tearjoint Troubadours.

This is great stuff spanning 42 years. Let's hope that another installment in this Dan Penn series is not out of the question.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Temptation Strong 16 Sep 2013
By Lee Armstrong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
"A Road Leading Home" is a stunning collection of songs written by classic soul songwriter Dan Penn. From the liner notes to the technology that makes these songs sound fresh, the entire CD is a class act. Of the many wonderful tracks, four reach out & grab me. Billy Young's "You Left the Water Running" pounds & pumps, "You locked the door & left me outside and then you threw the key away, but honey, you'll regret it; You'll be upset when you get your water bill to pay." It's such an addictive track! The Sweet Inspirations' "Oh! What a Fool I've Been" snakes its way a lovely melody with an amazing punchy arrangement for the Inspirations' powerful vocals, "Your arms no longer reach out for me, now here I sit in solitude, a victim of the blues." Brenda Lee totally moves into "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" with such abandon that it rivets me to the speakers, "Take me for granted, leaving love unsure, makes willpower weak & it makes my temptation strong." I loved Chicago singer Steve Goodman who did a wonderful version of "Rainbow Road." Here, Percy Sledge's take on the track cries and weeps, "Then one night a man with a knife caused me to take his life; Though I plead with him so desperately, the judge showed no mercy when he passed sentence on me." The rest of the set is consistently strong. Enjoy!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Frankly, I'd give five stars to anything from Ace before it arrived. 17 Sep 2013
By Bruce - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Simply the kings of reissue. Bear Family is great, but they have a stereo fascination to the degree that they will bypass mono masters to re-mix multi-track session tapes. Ace is not anti-stereo, but (depending who is producing the project) they tend to the mono side of the ledger. The entire London-American Records series, for instance (eight cd's so far) has been in mono, which I wholeheartedly support. Ace also licenses or buys outright everything they issue. With copyright laws overseas the way they are, they would not have to do that, and the vast majority don't. Ace does, and I'm more than willing to pay a premium for it.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Dan Penn release from Ace 21 July 2013
By Bill Cornell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Ace's latest release of Dan Penn works after The Fame Recordings and Sweet Inspiration - The Songs of Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham is equally brilliant and will be appreciated by any soul music fan. These are versions of Penn songs done with collaborators other than Spooner Oldham. Not all of the performers are fantastic, but they're all good enough that I wonder if the "singer, not the song" mantra applies when singing one of Dan's songs. I especially liked the inclusion of more recent productions by The Hacienda Brothers, Ted Roddy, and Bobby Purify. They prove what we already knew - these are timeless songs by a great songwriter.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Penn is a legend! 16 Sep 2013
By Wade E. Boy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
You just can't go wrong with anything Dan has his hand in. I worked for him as a staff songwriter in the early 70's at his Beautiful Sounds Recording Studio in Memphis and he taught me at age 19 so many valuable music related lessons.
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