Bobby Womack

Fly Me to the Moon

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Debut album from the self-proclaimed "Last Soul Man," who earned his credentials as writer and composer of the Rolling Stones' first U.K. number one. He was also one of the forces behind Sly & the Family Stone's sultry classic There's a Riot Going On. Derived from his 1987 album, this title of honor would have sounded pretentious employed by just anyone. However, with most of the true soul legends gone or lost in the '80s ozone of slick synthesized productions, Bobby Womack remained one of few who stayed true to their art. Like Bill Withers, Womack could be viewed as sort of a singer/songwriter by accident, who developed a genuine style of his own. His remarkable quality was brought back to memory through Quentin Tarantino's kind gesture of including him on the Jackie Brown soundtrack. Fly Me to the Moon (aka A Midnight Mover) is an impressive debut. It took Womack several years to come to the point of recording his own material, having first to shake off the untimely death of his mentor Sam Cooke. Based on the results, everything here sounds like he had been holding it back for this kind of raw soul explosion. A mere seven out of the ten tracks are Womack originals, two of which were written for ("I'm in Love") or with (the title track) Wilson Pickett. His authentic rasp of a voice, combined with a superb production by Chips Moman, lend to Fly Me to the Moon the overall feeling of a Stax release. "You Oughta Think It Over," "What Is This," and "The Time Is Now" are as good as anything by either Sam & Dave or Pickett himself, if not better. His stunning version of "California Dreamin'" tops this sublime effort. Womack makes the lyrics come alive in a way you can really smell those brown leaves and feel the chilly presence of a gray sky on a winters' day.

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