Bobby Womack

Somebody Special

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Bobby Womack's career takes in most of soul music history. After recording solo sides with the help of Sam Cooke and scoring hits with his brothers in the vocal group the Valentinos, Womack penned songs for Wilson Pickett and played guitar and bass on albums by Aretha Franklin and Sly Stone, among many others. His solo career, while maybe not as high profile as some, includes a healthy string of records full of the many top-notch and unique sides he's penned since the early '60s. Still going strong after an early-'80s comeback, Womack is probably best known for his late-'60s and early '70s sides for United Artists. This fine 15-song collection brings together period highlights like "I'm a Midnight Mover" and "I'm in Love" (both hits for Pickett), "That's the Way I Feel About Cha," and "Lookin' for a Love." The sessions are split between late-'60s sides recorded in Memphis by Chips Moman and early-'70s tracks cut at Muscle Shoals. With Womack's guitar lines snaking their way through most of the songs, the set shifts into high gear on the last seven numbers; tracks like "I Can Understand It," "If You Don't Want My Love, Give It Back," "You're Welcome, Stop on By," and "If You Want My Love, Put Something Down on It" (recast as "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" by Rod Stewart) figure right alongside other pinnacles of soul music by the likes of Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye. And while EMI's two-disc Midnight Mover set is the collection to get for newcomers, this less comprehensive package is still a very good buy and covers pretty much all the prime sides.