Eddie & Ernie's discography is quite a diaspora, spanning about a decade, 15 singles, almost as many labels, and some releases under names other than Eddie & Ernie. This CD does an admirable job of pulling together 24 tracks (seven of them previously unissued) from their disperse output, forming a good though not great collection of punchy period soul with good harmonizing. It doesn't matter a great deal, but a few of the cuts weren't billed to Eddie & Ernie: there's a 1963 Eddie & Ernie single, both sides of a 1967 single by Ernie Johnson, one side of a 1967 45 by Eddie Campbell, a 1964 side they did under the name the New Bloods, a previously unreleased early-'70s number by their early-'70s group Phoenix Express, and a 1962 single by Little Worley and the Drops on which the pair sang backup. Unsurprisingly, the stylistic range is wide enough that it's difficult to summarize. Eddie & Ernie sang deep soul-styled songs that might appeal to fans of Sam & Dave, but they also did some lusher, poppier close-harmonized duos that wouldn't have been alien to the studios of Detroit, Chicago, or Philadelphia. They lacked a stunning or distinctive style, but they were good at what they did, particularly when they emphasized the downcast side of soul music, as on the agonized laments "Falling Tears (Indian Drums)," "I'm a Young Man," "Lost Friends," or the only slightly brighter mid-tempo brooder "I'm Gonna Always Love You." They also did fairly accomplished, riff-driven pop-dance-soul on "We Try Harder" and "That's the Way It Is," early-'70s sweet soul on their 1971 Buddah single "Standing at the Crossroads," and even a credible if unlikely soul cover of Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" (issued for the first time here). It's difficult to say exactly who will leap at a record that falls somewhere between Sam & Dave, the Temptations, and the Impressions. But it is actually a decent, listenably sequenced anthology that should please the general '60s soul fan looking for something obscure and not intent on getting something that will stand up to (or be nearly as distinct as) the greats of the era. Why, though, doesn't this include their 1964 single "Time Waits for No One," referred to in the liner notes as a number one hit on WWRL in New York?
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
feat: Edgar Campbell
feat: Ernie Johnson