Joe Tex

Greatest Hits [7-N/Buddah]

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As an artist, Tex was down-home though not accommodating. Perhaps due to his often maverick and off-putting behavior, his legacy is oddly sandwiched in between Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Garnet Mimms. That's a strange predicament for one of the best-selling acts of the '60s and '70s. This set attempts to set the record straight and remind listeners of Tex's skills and litany of hits. Joe Tex Greatest Hits takes a serious yet uninteresting look at his oeuvre. His big early hit "Hold on to What You've Got" as well as "A Woman Can Change a Man" and "The Love You Save (May Be Your Own) all feature an earnest production from Buddy Killen as well as Tex's likeable persona. But the tracks as well as "Skinny Legs and All" haven't stood the tests of time especially well. The late-'60s songs that do, "Anything You Wanna Know" and the innovative "You're Right, Ray Charles," are conspicuously absent. By the early '70s, Tex was doing more rhythmically challenging work. Greatest Hits takes a pass on more than a few of them as well, but it includes two of his biggest hits. The good-natured yet a little menacing "I Gotcha" is a prime piece of Tex's work in sublime southern funk of the era. The albums last hit, the still potent "Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)" is here in it's original album length. Unlike the 1996 Charly Tex set, Bump to the Funk, this offers nothing but the hits. But the successful execution of that comes off as a disservice to one of music's true eccentrics.

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