James Carr – The Complete Goldwax Singles (2001)

James Carr – The Complete Goldwax Singles (2001)
Artist: James Carr
Album: The Complete Goldwax Singles
Genre: Soul, Rhythm’n’blues
Released: 2001
Quality: APE (image+.cue)
The Dark End Of The Street
These Ain’t Raindrops
A Man Needs A Woman
Life Turned Her That Way
Freedom Train
Pouring Water On A Drowning Man
Everybody Needs Somebody
That’s The Way Love Turned Out For Me
To Love Somebody
You’ve Got My Mind Messed Up
I’m A Fool For You
A Losing Game
Stronger Than Love
Lovable Girl
Forgetting You
Love Attack
She’s Better Than You
Coming Back To Me Baby
That’s What I Want To Know
Talk, Talk
I Can’t Make It
Only Fools Run Away
You Don’t Want Me
Lover’s Competition
Row, Row Your Boat
Gonna Send You Back To Georgia
Let It Happen
A Message To Young Lovers


All 28 songs from Carr’s 1964-1970 Goldwax singles are here, which is enough to make it a fair bid for a good best-of compilation, although it doesn’t have everything he recorded. About half of the songs on this British import are not on the most well-known American CD compilation of Carr’s work, The Essential James Carr, and those tracks are consistent with the level of his other Goldwax recordings, although they don’t include anything on the level of “The Dark End of the Street” or “Pouring Water on a Drowning Man.” This disc is particularly valuable for filling in some of his earliest 1964-1966 sides, which have a very slightly poppier and more up-tempo bent than his most esteemed songs. “That’s What I Want to Know”‘s groove is pretty Motown-ish, for instance, while “I Can’t Make It” and “Only Fools Run Away” have Marvelettes-like chirping in the background. The 1970 funk update of “Row, Row Your Boat” isn’t much to cheer about, though. There are plenty who will argue the point, but this doesn’t quite live up to Carr’s billing as the greatest ’60s deep soul singer; Otis Redding (who Carr resembles in some respects) was better, and others had better and more imaginative material. It’s good, certainly, and recommended to fans of artists like Redding who are looking for similar stuff that doesn’t get played on the radio anymore.
Review by Richie Unterberger

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