At The Club
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These songs seem to be packaged as soul cuts ideally suited for clubs, either in the '60s when they were originally released, or later, when the perennial soul cult among the British still thrives. For those of us who are just regular old soul fans without a particular yen for club culture, it's better to think of it as a fine collection of '60s soul from Atlantic Records, most of it not very easy to get on reissues. A few hits dot the 25-track program, like the Mar-Keys' "Last Night," Doris Troy's "Just One Look," and the Coasters' "Poison Ivy." There are also relatively underexposed items by a good number of Atlantic and Stax stars like Booker T. & the MG's, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, and Ben E. King. The real pleasure of this set for collectors, though, are the numerous rarities, chief among them Richard Barrett's Ray Charles-ish "Some Other Guy," the original version of the song covered live and on the BBC by the Beatles; the Soul Brother Six's "Some Kind of Wonderful"; Ray Sharpe's weird "Help Me (Get the Feeling) Part 1," which is like a soul version of Van Morrison's "Gloria"; Tami Lynn's maddeningly catchy "I'm Gonna Run Away From You," which was only a fluke hit in the U.K. six years after it was recorded; the Goodtimers' jazz-soul instrumental version of "Chain of Fools"; and King Curtis' cover of "Green Onions." There's even the rare and good 1965 white R&B single "He Don't Love You (And He'll Break Your Heart)" by Levon & the Hawks, who would soon change their name to the Band. Mel Torm 's "Comin' Home Baby" might seem like an odd choice in this company, its inclusion explained by its long-time status as a fave dance cut in English soul clubs. Some greater detail about the individual tracks in the liner notes would have been nice, but this is a fine investment for those who want soul as good as it is rare. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide
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