Tyrone Davis

Greatest Hits [Brunswick]

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The many R&B hits Tyrone Davis cut for the Dakar label between 1968 and 1976 are featured on this fine Brunswick collection. Along with smashes like "Turn Back the Hands of Time" and "Turning Point," other chart-toppers include "Can I Change My Mind" and "Homewreckers," one of his last hits for Dakar. Davis' pleading and sensually charged voice is in top form throughout, while Willie Henderson's production and Tom (Tom Tom 84) Washington's charts are consistently impressive, featuring a wealth of slick grooves and tasteful instrumentation. And even though the sophisticated Chicago soul sound is what dominates here, one also hears some welcome rough edges in both Davis' tone and the driving rhythm tracks. The case could be made, in fact, that the deft mix of rough and smooth in Davis' delivery is what made him a perennial ladies favorite; it's a sympathy-grabbing display of raw emotions and vulnerability heard to particularly fine effect on cuts like "I Keep Coming Back" and "Let Me Back In." Even though Davis would go on to produce fine work after leaving Dakar, this collection of hits represents the singer's high point. A definite first disc for those new to Davis' work and certainly an essential, if somewhat overlooked, soul collection.

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