Margie Joseph

Margie Joseph Makes a New Impression/Phase II [Ace]

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Contains the tracks from her two Stax albums on one soulful disc. Fred Briggs (aka Coldwater Stone) produced most of the tracks here, including the deep soul classic "Strung Out" also recorded by the Dells. Two Holland-Dozier-Holland remakes lift this collection to another plateau: "My World Is Empty Without You," and an extraordinary rendition of "Stop in the Name of Love." Briggs transforms "Stop in the Name of Love," from a whining plea to an awesome deep soul demand, introduced by a "no-nonsense woman to her man" rap; it stretches out à la Isaac Hayes into a heart-stopping arrangement filled with passionate singing by Joseph, and the backing voices. Other selections are typical deep soul selections elevated by Joseph's sincere, earthy singing. The lamenting "That Other Woman Got My Man and Gone" would have fared better had Stax been in good shape, it was a good woman-to-woman song that had become popular in some circles. A rare commodity, Margie's a soul singer who never over sings or embellishes lyrics with vocal tricks. If you can only afford to buy one Margie Joseph album, this should be it, her later sides on Atlantic, and other labels are slicker and not as raw as these tracks. A collaboration she did with Blue Magic, "What Comes Over Me" also warrants high marks.

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