Chip Taylor is one of the not so well known Brill Building songwriters. His typical work is mid-tempo soul with a country tinge. This CD is well put together by the excellent Ace Records, with Chip's own reflections and anecdotes. There are good vocal performances from the likes of Lorraine Ellison, Madeline Bell, Barbara Lewis, Reparata & the Delrons, and even Peggy Lee. Dusty Springfield is up to her usual standard, though Aretha Franklin, of all people, isn't. Licensing hassles meant that they couldn't get hold of the best recordings of Chip's favorite singer, Evie Sands, except for her great original version of the Hollies' UK No 1, I Can't Let Go. The Hollies make up for it with an unexpectedly good country number. But some of the best here are by largely unknown singers - check out tracks by Walter Jackson, Kathy McCord, Arthur & Mary, Debbie Rollins (like Ronnie Spector at her best), and Tina Mason (Any Way That You Want Me) - and Chip himself shows he can sing, despite the limited voice you hear on his YouTube clips.
The obvious songs are here, starting with The Troggs' Wild Thing. And of course the seminal Angel of the Morning - though sadly I've yet to hear a version that really nails this song. I rate Billie Davis's the best vocal, but with a too clever string arrangement, though omitting Chip's over-long ending - "...through the tears of the day...", a classic example of a songwriter not knowing when to stop writing. That mistake sadly isn't avoided by the version here, the merely-OK Merrilee Rush hit, complete with the fluffed line "I see no reason to take me home". (It's '..no need..', or you spoil the metre, and she does!)
But I'm nitpicking. This collection grows on you. You won't regret buying it.