Album Details

July 01, 2003
Rhythm & Blues, Southern Soul, Soul, Contemporary Blues, Soul-Blues

Album Review

This posthumous album from the chitlin circuit soul/bluesman is comprised of previously unreleased songs left over from his various Malaco albums. But even though there has been some overdubbing, remixing, and touching up of these original sessions recorded from 1984-1999, the disc flows remarkably well. The usual Malaco embellishments of slick horns, slicker backing vocals, and inconsistent material plagues some of the music, but in general this is as solid a collection of songs as any he released for the imprint. Tracks ten through 16 were recorded in 1999 for his last album, Gotta Get the Groove Back, which was released shortly before his death. They feature the cream of the Muscle Shoals studio musicians, including bassist David Hood, guitarist Jimmy Johnson, and occasional Rolling Stones saxman Jim Horn. The sound remains polished, but Taylor is in terrific voice and spirits throughout, and he, like his idol Sam Cooke (who he imitates briefly in "Where Is Your Woman Tonight"), elevates even the most lackluster material with his malleable pipes. One of the most interesting tracks is a 1988 cover of Paul Simon's "Take Me to the Mardi Gras," a duet with his son Floyd, who added harmony vocals after his dad's death. Although these were leftovers, there is nothing second-rate about them. Slow, swampy burners such as "Please Sign the Dotted Line" and the gospel-ish "I Reach for You," along with upbeat funk like "Con Lover," rank with his finest work for Malaco. His blues are downplayed in favor of the label's soul orientation, but this is still prime Johnnie Taylor. This project is obviously a labor of love, and a fitting coda to an underappreciated career for one of America's best Southern soul singers.
Hal Horowitz, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. If You're Lookin' for a Fool
  2. This Is the Night for Makin' Up
  3. Crazy 'Bout You Baby
  4. Take Me to the Mardi Gras
  5. Too Wise to Be Your Fool
  6. Baby Sittin'
  7. You Know It Ain't Right
  8. I'm in a Midnight Mood
  9. If You Take Your Love Away
  10. I Found These Things
  11. Please Sign the Dotted Line
  12. Where Is Your Woman Tonight
  13. Con Lover
  14. Is This Love or Is This Business
  15. I Reach for You
  16. The Second Time Around
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