In his autobiography, Jerry Wexler characterized Mary Wells' tenure with Atlantic from 1965-67 as a failure for all parties concerned, but he's being too harsh. Commercially, it was certainly a fallow period; only the title track of Dear Lover: The Atco Sessions (a Top Ten R&B hit) paid off. But actually, her Atco singles were solid mid-'60s soul, usually recorded in Chicago and bearing the influence of that city's noted soul producer, Carl Davis (who produced some of these tracks). This collection includes both sides of all four of her Atco singles, five covers from her sole Atco LP, and a couple of decent, previously unreleased tracks.
Dear Lover: The Atco Sessions Review
by Richie Unterberger