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Songs By Dan Penn
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The songrwiting skills of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham have already been celebrated in fine style on Ace's award-winning Sweet Inspiration compilation a highlight of the Songwriter Series , and still available on CDCHD 1284. Spooner was not Dan's sole collaborator during his most prolific years as a songwriter. The follow up to Sweet Inspiration shines its spotlight on great songs that Dan has written with other notable writers, plus one or two he wrote on his own. A Road Leading Home covers almost 50 years of Dan s songwriting, from his first ever hit, Is A Blue Bird Blue (written when Dan was 14) to What's Wrong With Right , a 21st century Penn copyright essayed by the Hacienda Brothers. The CD features a number of Dan's best known songs, including such Penn perennials as Rainbow Road , Do Right Woman - Do Right Man and the immortal Dark End Of The Street . As with every entry in the songwriter series, A Road Leading Home also features some lesser known (but no less good) recordings of songs from Dan s golden era, several of which appear here on CD for the first time. Beautifully mastered and with a now de rigueur booklet crammed full of rare label shots and illustrations, this is sure to appear to everyone who has purchased any of Ace's Dan Penn or Fame-related projects.
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Le truc, avec cette grandiose compilation, c'est qu'on a ici la crème réunie pour des morceaux pas vraiment connus, les belles découvertes sont assurées en abondance. La crème car les compos sont dantesques, les interprètes juste énormes et la production est juste parfaite. La quintessence d'un style, celui de la soul sudiste, inimitable et immaculée, jamais surchargée et avec de bons gros relents country (ce qui en fait une soul des plus terriennes). Ca fait très mal, ce volume vaut très largement le premier, déjà remarquable en tout point.
Premier morceau: il y a cet orgue churchy qui impose une ballade majestueuse et détrempée, "Without A Woman" par Ted Taylor. De la deep soul classe et imparable, tout est parfait et en place. Suit un morceau plus enlevé, l'infernal "You Left The Water Running" de Billy Young. Un morceau dément, d'une évidence classieuse, d'une grâce inouïe. Et ça va être comme cela pendant tout le disque, qui va alterner avec un égal bonheur les ballades et les titres plus up-tempo.
Et tout, tout, systématiquement excellent, parfois réellement insensé de perfection dans le genre.Lire la suite ›
Que j'ai acheté le cd de Dan Penn .je vous le
Conseille fortement .tout est bon rien a jeter...
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The rarity is a huge draw in and of itself for appreciators and collectors of this music. Beyond the title closing record by blues great Albert King from his classic 1971 Stax LP "Lovejoy," I only had a few odd ones here. It's unlikely that anyone other than hardcore collectors would be in prior possession of a significant number of these recordings.
In fact, only three records here ever made it onto a Billboard chart: Tommy Roe's "Come On" (1964) [#36 pop - it was the semi-soundalike follow-up to his self-penned #3 hit "Everybody"]; Laura Lee's "Up Tight Good Man" (1968) [#16 soul/#93 pop]; and Ronnie Milsap's very first country charter (that transitioned him from soul), "I Hate You" (1973)[#10 country - the first of his 64 country hits and 49 top tens]. Only two records here even saw action as B-sides of 1960s charters: "Far from the Maddening Crowd" by the Drifters was on the flip side of their #51 hit from 1965, "I'll Take You Where the Music's Playing"; and James & Bobby Purify's "So Many Reasons" was the Sam Cooke-esque B-side of their 1966 crossover smash "I'm Your Puppet" [#5 soul/#6 pop].
There are gems galore that you can't believe were unable to get any traction. First and foremost, Percy Sledge should have had his four-year chart drought interrupted with his excellent version of "Rainbow Road" from 1972, which is taken over the top by the terrific horn arrangement. And since James Carr's stone soul classic 1967 recording of "The Dark End of the Street" (my favorite of all Dan Penn's co-penned songs) could only rise to #77 on the pop chart, one would have thought that two years later (in the final year of his life as it turned out) the incomparably resonant voice of Roy Hamilton (so admired by Elvis Presley) could have had a comeback hit with his rendition. Brenda Lee pulls the biggest surprise here with her astonishingly soulful take on "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" from 1970. The problem of course was that this song had already become indelibly associated with Aretha Franklin from three years earlier. Hard to top Aretha in her prime, but Little Miss Dynamite comes incredibly close on this one.
I really enjoy the slightly off-kilter attempts to come up with a hit. Take Jerry Lee's little sister Linda Gail Lewis who finds herself on "Break Up the Party" in a similar situation to Lesley "It's My Party" Gore two years earlier - only Linda Gail just wants to be alone, not necessarily to cry. Linda Carr's "(Almost Persuaded to) Give Him One More Try" sounds oddly like the Shangri-Las meet Burt Bacharach; Bobby Patterson's "Long Ago" is a near-clone of Percy Sledge's "Warm and Tender Love," while Ted Taylor's "Without a Woman" splits the difference between Percy Sledge's and Joe Tex's "Woman" songs but adds his vibrantly soulful high tenor.
Near the end of the CD there are four tracks that bring Dan Penn into this century: Irma Thomas's "Zero Willpower" from 2000 is breathtaking in its deep soul beauty for all of its nearly six minutes; likewise (although at half the duration), Bobby Purify [real name: Ben Moore] on "Better to Have It"; the Mex-country-soul of the Hacienda Brothers on "What's Wrong with Right," featuring the warm raspy quaver of the late Chris Gaffney; and the all-out country weeper "Tearjoint" by Ted Roddy & the Tearjoint Troubadours.
This is great stuff spanning 42 years. Let's hope that another installment in this Dan Penn series is not out of the question.