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Artist: Various Artists
Date Released: 1994
- Isley Brothers - This Old Heart of Mine (is Weak for You)
- Wilson Pickett - 634-5789
- Percy Sledge - When a Man Loves a Woman
- The Temptations - Ain't Too Proud to Beg
- Billy Stewart - Summertime
- Eddie Floyd - Knock on Wood
- Lou Rawls - Love is a Hurtin’ Thing
- Aaron Neville - Tell It Like It Is
- Otis Redding - Try a Little Tenderness
- James Carr - The Dark End of the Street
- Aretha Franklin - Do Right Woman - Do Right Man
- Sam & Dave - I Thank You
- Clarence Carter - Slip Away
- Johnnie Taylor - Who's Making Love
- B.B. King - The Thrill is Gond
- Brook Benton - Rainy Night in Georgia
- Ike & Tina Turner - Proud Mary
- The Spinners - I'll Be Around
The tail end of the R&B golden years, which according to the R&B Box Set is 1942-1972, was a hodge-podge of styles and ideas all deriving from the soulful and upbeat blues that was born in the American south during the early 40s. By this time styles of soul alone included smooth-, blue-eyed-, brown-eyed, country-, northern-, pop-, uptown-, southern-, deep-, psychedelic-, Latin-, New Orleans-, Philly-, Memphis-, and Chicago- to name a few, not to mention funk, go-go, doo-wop, blaxploitation and the up-and-coming disco. Too boil down the wide range of music into 18 representative songs of R&B during that era is an impossible task, but the good people at Rhino decided to do it anyway. Their list is a decent collection of songs that includes everyone from a peaking Wilson Pickett to an aging B.B. King, but hardly a proper representative for the era. With tracks like The Isley Brothers’ This Old Heart of Mine (is Weak for You), Percy Sledge’s When a Man Loves a Woman, and Brook Brenton’s Rainy Night in Georgia, it plays like any other oldies compilation you would find on a late night infomercial. Though the inclusion of tracks like Wilson Pickett’s 634-5789, Eddie Floyd’s Knock on Wood, and Lou Rawls’ Love is a Hurtin’ Thing reminds me that even the most popular music from that time had infinitely more depth than what passes for it today. As a whole, this is definitely an enjoyable listen, echoing back to popular soul radio of the time, but as far as a definitive representation, it falls way short. Though it does include Aaron Neville’s quivering rendition of Tell It Like It Is, and you can’t hate on a Neville. Mpardaiolo