Bobby Womack

Everything's Gonna Be Alright: The American Singles 1967-76

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Charly's 2013 collection fulfills an underappreciated hole in Bobby Womack's somewhat cluttered discography: it rounds up the A- & B-sides of every single Womack released between 1967 and 1976. There have been many similar compilations that cover this territory, but most focus on his '70s recordings for United Artists, which is understandable, as that's his best and most popular work, but this Charly double-disc set is distinguished by those late-'60s sides for Minit and Liberty. Some collections, such as Razor & Tie's 1994 set Lookin' for a Love, dipped a toe in this water, but this is the most thorough immersion into an underappreciated part of Womack's career, when he was cranking out cool, grooving uptown soul with echoes of Chicago and Detroit. As he got closer to the end of the '60s, funk and progressive psychedelic soul started to edge out this pop-soul -- the grooves got deeper and funkier, plus he took a stab at more ambitious narratives and covers -- and hearing this transition play out on Everything's Gonna Be Alright is thrilling, as well as entertaining. Perhaps the packaging could be a little more handsome, but in sheer music terms, this is a necessary and long overdue addition to Womack's discography.

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