Joe Simon

Drowning in the Sea of Love

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There's an old saying "You can take a person out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the person." Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff surrounded Joe Simon with M.F.S.B., hot songs, and Bobby Martin's arrangements, and Simon still comes off sounding country, but in a positive vein. "Drowning in the Sea of Love" shot up the charts, settling at number three R&B and number 11 pop, and was a certified million-seller. This album is the most successful of Simon's career. "Pool of Bad Luck" nearly duplicated the success of "Drowning"; both songs were similar to productions Gamble & Huff were doing with Jerry Butler. Simon's thick Southern drawl didn't discourage record buyers at all; "I Found My Dad" is the most country-based song on the album, with the same flavor as his past R&B number one hit "The Choking Kind." The ballads are as effective as the up-tempo numbers; "If" and a remake of the Stylistics' "You Are Everything" demonstrate Simon's versatility. Though an unusual marriage at first glance (similar to when Holland-Dozier-Holland announced they were going to produce Junior Walker), it worked extremely well, producing some of the best songs of Simon's career.

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