Twenty-five "deep soul" (the term used to refer to soul music that has a generally slow tempo and is seriously emotional) tracks from 1964-1975. There are a few stars here and there (Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Ben E. King, Arthur Conley and Irma Thomas, although none of them perform hits) and even a couple of cuts that have appeared on widely circulated compilations (Bessie Banks' original version of "Go Now," which was covered for a hit by the Moody Blues, and Toussaint McCall's "Nothing Takes the Place of You"). Generally, though, it's the kind of obscure material that the average Joe can't get access to without getting some rabid soul collector to make a tape for him. Dave Godin is such a collector, and his compilations have received glowing press notices in the U.K., though they don't match the summit of soul compilations (various ones on Rhino are better) that include better-known material. It's a decent assembly of good obscure soul, not much of which screams "overlooked masterpiece," and the constant slow grooves can get dull at times. It is better (and more craftily sequenced and annotated) than most obscure soul compilations (including some on the Kent label) that compilers trumpet as killer discs even though they're just anthologies of average soul tracks that happen to be very rare. If you're not a completist but are on the lookout for good cuts that have escaped your attention, check out Conley's "Let Nothing Separate Us," which didn't make it onto his Ichiban best-of comp; Ruby Johnson's "I'll Run Your Hurt Away," a 1966 Volt single that stands up to Redding's better tracks, albeit with appealingly raw female vocals; the Premiers' "Make It Me" which, like the Johnson cut, is a good mid-'60s Stax production written by David Porter and Isaac Hayes; George Perkins' quizzical "Cryin' in the Streets"; and Lisa Richards' "Let's Take a Chance," which is like '60s soul accented with the feel of doo wop groups like Rosie & the Originals.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger