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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 25 November 2001
James Carr's is the perfect soul/rock 'n' roll mystery story - unless you
happened to be James Carr. To many deep soul aficionados, Carr is the greatest
soul vocalist of all time, better than Otis, Aretha, Marvin, the lot. For the soul obsessive, this
collection of every A- and B-side from Carr's peak 1966-70 period is a bona
fide Event.
Don't feel too disappointed if the music doesn't hit you hard on first listen.
The Memphis-derived horns, organ and guitar is so like Stax you can almost call
the chord changes, as well as hearing how Van Morrison, Bob Dylan and The Band
picked up and ran with Carr's spooky country-soul ball. But Carr is addictive,
and he defines deep soul because he is not as extravagantly showy as a Redding
or an Al Green. His definitive performances - 'A Man Needs A Woman', 'Life
Turned Her That Way', the Bee Gees' 'To Love Somebody', 'You've Got My Mind
Messed Up' and his best-known classic, the infidelity-as-existential-doom
masterpiece 'The Dark End Of The Street' - showcase a swelling yet restrained
baritone, a desire to inhabit and submit to the depth of the lyric, an
interpretive mastery. When the screams and wails do come, they are not ecstatic
releases of tension, but the last gasps of a drowning man.
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on 30 January 2005
The last review ("row, row your boat elsewhere") is one of the stupidest I've read in 5 years of buying CDs on Amazon. I can only conclude that the reviewer either (a) doesn't like southern soul music (in which case, why bother reviewing this album?) or (b) has listened to too much of it and lost the plot.
James Carr is widely regarded by people who know what they're taliking about (eg respected roots music writer Peter Guralnick: if you're interested, try reading his "Sweet Soul Music") as one of the great southern soul singers.
This compilation has several excellent examples of the southern soul style - Carr's impassioned vocals, great Stax-ish horn lines, tasteful Steve Cropper-style guitar licks, etc. All the ingredients of the classic southern soul sound.
"Dark end of the street" is Carr's best-known song, but also listen to "These ain't teardrops", "A man needs a woman", or my favourites "Pouring water on a drowning man" and "Fool for you", both of which demonstrate that Carr could handle up-tempo numbers just as well as the ballads which were his trademark.
Ignore the last review and check this out.
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on 21 October 2005
I've always been a fan of 60's soul music and am amazed that I've only recently discovered James Carr, thanks to a recent BBC series.
What a voice! There are some real classic soul tracks on this album and I give it 5 stars for that reason.You must own "Dark End of the Street" if you love this type of music.The whole arrangement is just perfect.
The album is, as it says, the complete singles, so there are all the B sides and sometimes it's clear which these are. However, the gems are worth the purchase price.
Don't expect Otis - this guy is different.
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VINE VOICEon 16 August 2005
Just a vote of thanks to the other reviewers of this collection ( with one exception ! ) for encouraging me to check this man out. My only regret was that I'd heard precious little of his work up until now and as someone who's been listening to soul music for 20-odd years I'm just wondering how on earth that happened ! The quality just doesn't let up throughout and it's recommended to you therefore without a shred of hesitation.
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on 19 November 2008
Collecting music is always full of surprises's, I have never come across James Carr before even though I have loved all the Atlantic & Stax Soul stuff back in the day. Although one reviewer has stated, 'Don't expect Otis' that's exactly who I'm reminded of from the first play of this cd, certainly I think his voice is no less than many of the well known artists of the last century. I heard Brian Matthews play 'That's The Way Love Turned Out For Me' on the way to work one Saturday morning, I thought what a great version, I've known & loved this song from the Terry Evans rendition, given a softer approach but just as good. There are a handful of songs here which most people into this genre will recognise, but they are all good, even 'Row, Row Your Boat' which one reviewer picked up on, o.k. it's not of the same calibre as 'Dark End Of The Street, but it's still listenable. I am amazed how young this guy was and the relative extent of the singles that charted for him, even more amazed that he was so young when he passed, just a mere 58 years. All the tracks feel so fresh a real quality recording, if you like Soul music you'll find that none of this disappoints!
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on 11 July 2006
As stated by others it seems strange James Carr is not better known, as his version of Dark End of The Street is definitive (and that's saying a lot when you hear Aretha Franklin). Only a few other songs are near this quality but overall if you like southern soul, or any 60's soul, then you must have this.
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on 5 January 2011
This is a great collection from James Carr, who has a very powerful and soulful voice, and knows how to deliver a song. Quite why he is not recognised as being up there with the best of them is a mystery to me, but then neither are Spencer Wiggins or O. V. Wright, two other wonderful soul singers.

This album is a must for any lover of good soul in the Stax/Memphis style.
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on 25 June 2005
I purchased this for Grand dad for Fathers day. i'd been looking for that prfect present, and I knew I found it when he put it in his set and began to do a little two step dance. Im sure i saw a tear as he went into his own little world down memory lane. Gran loved it too so im sure that my baby daugher will definatly know who James Carr is!
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on 20 June 2008
...and if you don't feel moved by ' That's the way love turned out for me ', then you don't have a heart..you have a swinging brick!
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on 24 January 2013
James Carr Is Very Good Southern Soul Singer. I Like "The Dakk End Of The Street", "I'm A FoolFor You", & "I Can't Make It"
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