Following his much publicised artistic renaissance over the past few years, this is a welcome Bobby Womack compilation. Featuring every A & B side that he released on the Minit, Liberty & United Artists labels in America between 1967 and 1976, the quality of the music across the 50 tracks is at times outstanding. Presented in chronological order with each A-side followed by the B-side, it's a selection of original compositions, covers and a few live recordings and Womack retains his own unique sound throughout. A talented guitarist and vocalist he is, despite the covers versions, also a very talented songwriter.
Highlights include much of his early work where the sound is predominately of the Southern Soul variety and showcases his guitar playing skills. His interpretations of 'Californian Dreamin'' and 'I Left My Heart In San Francisco' are superb with the former being stripped back in comparison to the original but still very funky. 'Across 110th Street' is a master class in song writing and with Womack's rich vocals it is the defining sound of Blaxploitation. Things get seriously smooth at times on the second disc and you do wonder how '(If You Don't Want My Love) Give It Back' was deemed only worthy of being a B-side. Given that this collection includes flip sides there are naturally a few fillers but, on the whole, the standard rarely falters.
Whether you're a newcomer to Womack's music or a long standing fan, there's something to enjoy for everyone on this collection. Clocking in at a generous 2 hours and 35 minutes, the two discs are housed inside a book style digipak with well written liner notes that feature brief individual notes on most of the 50 songs.
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