Oscar Toney, Jr.

I've Been Loving You Too Long

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In the mid-'70s, soul journeyman Oscar Toney, Jr. ended up recording an album in London after meeting some admirers who helped him to arrange a deal with the Contempo label. The location of the recording is probably the most interesting thing about the record, which is an average, competent soul record with a slightly retro (by mid-'70s standards) feel. The London musicians play reasonably well, usually in a laid-back Southern soul style, and Toney emotes respectably on a set dominated by covers of fairly well-known soul standards. The song selection, actually, might be the least adventurous aspect of the LP, including covers of such well-worn hits as "For Your Precious Love," "Message to Martha (Kentucky Bluebird)," "The Thrill Is Gone," "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "My Girl," "Make It Easy on Yourself," and, most oddly, Bread's "Everything I Own." Syl Johnson's "Is It Because I'm Black" was a more daring choice, but just one of the nine tracks, the Otis Redding ballad-styled "Everybody's Needed," was a Toney original. All of the tracks are included on the 2007 U.K. reissue on Shout titled Loving You Too Long: The Contempo Sessions, which adds non-LP 45 versions of "Kentucky Bluebird" and "Everything I Own," and the 1975 single "Chicken Heads," all of which were recorded for Contempo during the same era.