Hooked on a Feeling

The Ovations

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Hooked on a Feeling Review

by Richie Unterberger

After moving from the Goldwax label to Sounds of Memphis around the beginning of the 1970s, Hooked on a Feeling was the first of the group's LPs in the new decade. Featuring their Top 20 R&B single "Touching Me," it also included all five of their other songs to have seen release on Sounds of Memphis 45s, as well as four other tracks to fill out the program. Sometimes it felt as though the Ovations were being fronted by a Sam Cooke who'd been resurrected to sing lead for a '70s sweet soul group, so strong was Louis Williams' resemblance to Cooke in the vocal department. That's not to say that Williams was in Cooke's league, or for that matter that the material was up to the level of Cooke's classics, only that the similarity is unmistakable even to casual listeners who don't collect soul records. The record featured fair period soul with backing by the Hi Rhythm Section on the tracks that had been released on singles (though not on the ones done specifically for the LP), with a slicker production than what was usually associated with Memphis soul records of the period. Certainly the Williams-Cooke connection was emphasized in the offbeat gospelish medley of "Were You There?" with Cooke's "Touch the Hem of His Garment." An additional offbeat selection was a cover of B.J. Thomas' "Hooked on a Feeling," another of the cuts that had already been released as a single.