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Rolling With The Punches-The Allen Toussaint Songbook

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (29 Oct. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ace
  • ASIN: B0098I7TRM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,289 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. HERE COME THE GIRLS - Ernie K-Doe
  2. HERCULES - Boz Scaggs
  3. WHAT IS SUCCESS - Bonnie Raitt
  4. OCCAPELLA -Lee Dorsey
  5. LET'S LIVE - Aaron Neville
  7. RIDE YOUR PONY - The Meters
  8. SOUL SISTER - Allen Toussaint
  10. GET OUT OF MY LIFE WOMAN - Solomon Burke
  11. SWEET TOUCH OF LOVE - Irma Thomas
  12. SHOORAH - Frankie Miller
  13. YES WE CAN CAN - The Pointer Sisters
  14. FORTUNE TELLER - Benny Spellman
  16. SNEAKIN' SALLY THRU' THE ALLEY - Robert Palmer
  19. WHAT DO YOU WANT THE GIRL TO DO - Lowell George
  20. I'LL BE ROLLING (WITH THE PUNCHES) - Millie Jackson
  21. TAMPIN' - The Rhine Oaks
  22. A CERTAIN GIRL - Warren Zevon
  23. HOLY COW - Lee Dorsey
  24. SOUTHERN NIGHTS - Glen Campbell

Product Description

Who is better qualified than Allen Toussaint to feature in Ace s Songwriter Series? Toussaint songs span seven decades of popular music. His prolific catalogue boasts an incredible number of hits and Pop/R&B standards, and he might well be the only composer whose songs have topped the Pop, R&B and country charts at various times. Toussaint songs have advertised everything from Coca Cola and chocolate to Boots The Chemist. They have been used as TV themes and featured in film soundtracks. He s scored hits in every decade from the 1950s onwards and is still doing so in the 21st century. In addition he either discovered or nurtured the talents of a raft of pivotal R&B acts, among them Aaron Neville, Benny Spellman, Irma Thomas and Lee Dorsey, all of whom recorded some of Toussaint's best songs. The two dozen songs on Rolling With The Punches - a CD which carries the personal approval and endorsement of Mr Toussaint himself focus on a 20-year period that covers the 1960s and 1970s. The diversity of performers shows just how adaptable to all sorts of genres Toussaint s work is and offers an affectionate salute to his lyrical and melodic supremacy that has long been overdue. It would be impossible to fit all of his most famous songs on one CD but our overview embraces several of his biggest as well as showcasing some beautiful songs that are no less worthy of great public acclaim.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Allen Toussaint has undoubtedly been THE seminal figure of New Orleans music since the early '60's and has justifiably achieved legendary status. This 24-track CD goes some way to explaining why with a fair sampling of artists performing Toussaint's songwriting efforts with performances from 1961 to 1992 and there is even one track from the great man himself ('Soul Sister') and its a good'un.

It is possible to nitpick endlessly with the track selection for a CD like this, especially since Mr. Toussaint has penned enough classic tunes to fill several CDs but overall Ace do a good job with some excellent surprising choices like Bill Medley's version of "Freedom For The Stallion" and more amazingly The Judds version of Lee Dorsey's "Working In A Coalmine" which is almost funky (!) despite their country credentials and it emanating from the mid-80's when being 'funky' wasn't on top of anyone's agenda! Most of the tracks are from the '69 to '79 time period and mesh pretty well together which makes the few early to mid-'60's tracks sound a little out of place fine songs though they are (eg. Lee Dorsey's "Holy Cow"; Aaron Neville's "Let's Live"). It'd probably been a better move to stick to the '69-'79 decade especially since this time period is relatively unanthologised in regard to the Toussaint canon as opposed to the '60s where there are numerous Toussaint compilations, both multi- and single-artist.

That said there are numerous top-notch performances from admitted Toussaint admirers like Boz Scaggs, Bonnie Raitt, Lowell George (pretty much the cream of the 70's SoCal singers and players....) and even our own Robert Palmer, with help from Little Feat, and Frankie Miller (who even hired Toussaint to produce his excellent "High Life" album).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x95d4f450) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x961fb624) out of 5 stars the master of vibrant New Orleans soul from the 1960s, '70s (and beyond) 7 Aug. 2013
By TheNoomz83 - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If 76 minutes of this 79-minute CD were nothing but "Wayne Newton Sings Barry Manilow" I would still give it five stars just for the inclusion of Bill Medley's majestically soulful version (a Herb Alpert-produced 1972 A&M single) of what I consider to be Allen Toussaint's greatest song, both lyrically and melodically, "Freedom for the Stallion," which I first heard in '72 on Boz Scagg's "My Time" LP. I knew the Medley version existed but didn't think I'd ever find it on CD. That's what these Ace [U.K.] songwriter compilations can do: gather together in one place some of the most collectible and enjoyable versions of songs by the greatest American pop and soul songwriters of the rock era.

Allen Toussaint has been the leading light of New Orleans R&B/soul songwriting since the turn of the 1960s. But it's not just one major chart of the '60s and '70s that could contain him: he topped all four of the U.S. singles charts in that era, particularly due to the phenomenal crossover success of Glen Campbell's cover of his "Southern Nights" that went to #1 pop, country and adult contemporary. That record is here, and while not really a "collectible," I'm guessing that not many connoisseurs of Southern soul have extensive Glen Campbell collections. No less an expert than Allen Toussaint himself calls Campbell's hit rendition "wonderful" and "much more entertaining" than his own. This latter nugget of information is from compiler Tony Rounce's 17 pages of comprehensive liner notes contained in the colorful [or "colourful" because it's British] 20-page photo-filled booklet.

The 1960s are very well represented by the early (1961) Aaron Neville single "Let's Live" (it's amazing how great he still sounds 52 years later on his "My True Story" CD and DVD from earlier this year, covering R&B hits from this same time period and earlier); Benny Spellman's "Fortune Teller" from 1962 (which belongs in the B-side Hall of Fame!); Lee Dorsey's "Holy Cow" from 1966 [#10 soul/#23 U.S. pop and an unexpected #6 chart placement in the U.K.]; Solomon Burke's superior (although non-charting) cover of Lee Dorsey's "Get Out of My Life Woman" from 1968; and a terrific 1969 trumpet-led, reverbed guitar and electric piano (by Toussaint) soul-jazz instrumental titled "Tampin'." What a treat to hear this for the first time a mere 44 years later!

15 of the 24 tracks are from the 1970s when a greater diversity of artists (not just R&B/soul) were discovering Allen Toussaint's remarkable songs. Besides the aforementioned "Freedom for the Stallion" and "Southern Nights," there's Toussaint's second biggest hit of the decade, the bouncy and optimistically anthemic "Yes We Can Can" (1973)[#11 pop/#12 soul] that put the Pointer Sisters (sounding a lot like the Staple Singers here) on the map. On the deep soul side are a couple of stellar obscurities (a 1974 B-side and a 1976 LP track, respectively) that deserve to be savored: Z.Z. Hill's "Whatever's Thrilling You (Is Killing Me)" and Millie Jackson's "I'll Be Rolling (With the Punches)," which inspired this collection's title. The leadoff track, the propulsive and hook-laden "Here Come the Girls," reunited Toussaint with Ernie K-Doe -- of course, ten years earlier they got to #1 both R&B (5 weeks) and pop with the classic novelty "Mother-in-Law." 1974 brought Bonnie Raitt's really fine cover of Toussaint's "What Is Success" (catch the award-worthy Jerry Ragovoy production and arrangement on this), as well as Robert Palmer's funkily soulful U.S. début single "Sneakin' Sally Thru' the Alley" (which belongs in the song title Hall of Fame!). Closing out the decade in magnificent style is Lowell George channeling his inner Al Green on "What Do You Want the Girl to Do?" Speaking of "Girl" and just previously of Ernie K-Doe, Warren Zevon landed a #57 hit the following year with the cover heard here of K-Doe's impossibly catchy 1961 B-side "A Certain Girl" (yet another "Hall of Fame" Toussaint B-side!). Jackson Browne, Glenn Frey and Don Henley provided the backing vocals.

Skipping to 1992, a real sweet touch is the Soul Queen of New Orleans Irma Thomas's revival of the 1970 Toussaint song "Sweet Touch of Love." She began recording Toussaint songs three decades earlier, and in all that time it's clear that neither had lost their touch.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x95c7730c) out of 5 stars proof of Greatness 6 Feb. 2013
By Donald E. Gilliland - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Wow, oh wow! This is simply an amazing collection of songs, all written by the talented Allen Toussaint, a man who is a musical all-rounder: a brilliant songwriter, bonafide ace musician, soulful singer, and great live performer. Just looking at the impressive list of artists on this compilation shows the sheer breadth and diversity of Toussaint's songs. There are not many other "tribute" albums that can boast such a wide variety of artists. On this one we have Boz Scaggs, Bonnie Raitt, Lee Dorsey, Aaron Neville, The Meters, The Judds, Solomon Burke, Frankie Miller, The Pointer Sisters, Robert Palmer, Z.Z Hill, Maria Muldaur, Lowell George, Warren Zevon, Glen Campbell, and others. Maybe the mix of different musical styles on here won't please every listener, but there is no denying the quality and power of these recordings. It's a mix of predictable covers and fun surprises, and it all sounds splendid. But as good as these versions are, it's hard to top the originals by the man himself: Mr. Allen Toussaint. If you are impressed with the songs on this CD, you should definitely seek out some of his older solo recordings. It's all good, and so is this compilation from Ace, which includes an informative booklet with track details and liner notes. Another job well done!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96337474) out of 5 stars Wonderful collection - worthy of 10 stars 10 Nov. 2012
By Luigi Facotti - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Allen Toussaint has been one of the backbones of New Orleans R N B since the 1960s. This CD collates some of his more famous songs often by unexpected vocalists. This is a terrific compilation by Tony Rounce and while one could probably second guess every song and every version that Mr Rounce has selected with a 'why not him (or her)", or "why not this song" , this is just a reflection of the prolific productivity of Mr. Toussaint. The songs are so carefully and cleverly written with wonderful orchestration there is little fear of this CD becoming aural wallpaper which some of the other Ace Songwriter CD sets tend towards. The choice of Z.Z. Hill's "Whoever's Thrilling you" written and produced by Mr. Toussaint is an inspired choice leading me to dust off the Capitol/UA CD set to capture the rest of Z.Z. Hill's Toussaint-produced output. The notes on the songs are up to Mr Rounce's usual high standards. All in all, a great set that will hopefully lead to a second Toussaint compilation from Ace.
HASH(0x960af90c) out of 5 stars Five Stars 19 Feb. 2015
By Theresa I. Gillespie - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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