Various Artists

Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974, Vol. 5 (1962-1966)

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Unlike its immediate predecessor, Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974, Vol. 5 (1962-1966) isn't dominated by a handful of major artists. Instead, it offers a selection of singles from one-hit wonders, journeymen, soul men, and major artists. Atlantic entered a distribution deal with Stax/Volt early in the '60s, and Stax artists are found all over this collection, including Otis Redding ("These Arms of Mine," "Mr. Pitiful"), the Mar-Keys ("Last Night"), Booker T. & the MG's ("Green Onions") and Rufus Thomas ("Walkin' the Dog"). They function as an excellent counterpoint to Atlantic's artists, which began to lean toward sophisticated, string-laden uptown soul. Of course, there were exceptions to the rule -- the Ikettes' "I'm Blue" was hot and sexy, the Falcons' "I Found Love" was as gritty as a roadhouse, Chris Kenner's "Land of 1000 Dances" was a stomper, and Joe Tex's "Hold What You've Got" simply stormed -- but hits by the Drifters ("Up on the Roof," "Under the Boardwalk," "On Broadway"), Doris Troy ("Just One Look"), Ben E. King ("Don't Play That Song (You Lied)") and Barbra Lewis ("Baby I'm Yours") brilliantly embody the uptown aesthetic. By featuring both sides of '60s soul, Vol. 5 accurately captures the era, and offers a generous portion of timeless music as well.

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