Various Artists

Atlantic Unearthed: Soul Brothers

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Atlantic Records (and its Atco imprint) was soul music's premier label in the late '60s and early '70s, thanks in no small part to Jerry Wexler, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, and the label's licensing and recording arrangements with Stax Records, which housed another crack studio band, the MG's. Atlantic Unearthed: Soul Brothers collects 16 rare, previously unreleased, or singles-only tracks from the label's vaults, and there are some true gems here, including a Motown-like "Can't Stop a Man in Love," recorded in 1972 by Wilson Pickett, the church gospel feel of James Carr's "Hold On" from Carr's lone session for Atlantic in 1971, Mighty Sam McClain's version of Johnnie Taylor's "Lovebones" from 1969, and Walter Jackson's powerfully moving "Coldest Days of My Life" from 1970. Some of these sides have never been on CD before, and others, like Sam & Dave's "You Left the Water Running," have only appeared on double-disc or box set collections, and coupled with lost treasures like the ones listed above, they make this little anthology a nice addendum to any soul collection.

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