2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2007
I got a Joe Tex greatest hits in 1966 and loved it and continually played it till the cd age. This cd has all the tracks from my vinyl album plus a lot more, mostly from his later years.
Apparently Joe had 33 hits - I guess that must be mostly from the R'n'B charts but he had some US top ten hits.
I remember him getting some airplay for 'Show me' and 'sweet woman like you' but don't recall him troubling the UK charts until the 70s with maybe his worst song - the aforementioned 'ain't gonna bop no more...'
Whatever, he doesn't have any huge hits that everyone knows and loves like Percy Sledge or Otis Redding, but he has tracks of that calibre - 'the Love you save' is easily as good as ' Try a little tenderness','I've been loving you too long' or 'When a man loves a woman'.
And he has more good ones. I find that I never listen to more than 6 tracks each from Otis or Percy Sledge, but I can listen to nearly all of this over and over, and then there's 'Live and lively' another live album which has more essential stuff not featured here.
Joe's voice doesn't seem to have the higher register that we've come to expect soul stars to show their chops by soaring into now and again. Instead he has an astonishing bass register that he soars down into to show off sometimes. Indeed, many of his self-penned songs seem designed to show off his bass register, most notably the gorgeous ' the Love You Save '. There's also an oft-noted country influence in his songwriting; in fact he recorded an album of country covers 'Soul Country'.
His band are wonderful throughout - that Stax/Atlantic sound that no-one seems to be able to get these days; Joss Stone seems to be trying for it sometimes, and she does get a pretty decent approximation to 70s era Gladys Knight, but she never quite gets this. Special mentions are due to the piano player Bobby Woods (session man- the only one credited) and especially to guitar player Lee Royal Hadley, very much in the Steve Cropper mould, the type of guitar playing Jimi Hendrix cut his teeth on.
This cd has the later hits 'gotcha' and 'you said a bad word' which I was unaware of previously but seem to have attracted a lot of attention. My personal choice for a Joe Tex compilation would be the 'Skinny Legs and all' collection, for the inclusion of some very early gems like 'Meet me in Church', 'Sweetest woman in the world' and 'watch the one that brings the bad news'(on this one he sounds too much like early Taj Mahal for coincidence, but I don't know who influenced who - Joe's bluesiest number). But most people these days seem to want the later hits, so '25 greatest hits' is the one for them.
If you like this you'll also find 'Live and lively' indispensible, and you'll have to get 'Skinny legs and all' for those tracks I mentioned. You had better get it!