Sam Moore

Plenty Good Lovin': The Lost Solo Album

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Vocalist Sam Moore of the legendary soul duo Sam & Dave cut this album in 1970 with R&B great King Curtis, who produced eight of the ten tracks (the other two, "Plenty Good Lovin'" and "Tennessee Waltz," were produced by Dave Crawford and Brad Shapiro). The album was originally intended to be Moore's solo debut, but it was shelved for a variety of reasons (including the murder of King Curtis shortly after the album was recorded). Many years later, two of the songs ("Stop" and "Shop Around") appeared on a Sam & Dave anthology and "If I Lose Your Love" appeared on the soundtrack to Another Day in Paradise. Finally, the entire album was released in 2002. Admittedly, it doesn't feature a lot of memorable new songs; Moore himself wrote two, including the very appealing, up-tempo title track, but the album is dominated by cover versions. The performances, however, are first-rate. This is a fine showcase for Moore, who excels whether he's singing smooth and tender or hard and tough, shouting to build the intensity of a song or letting his voice break at just the right moment, and even when he's reciting a somewhat hokey spoken intro. His vocal skills are particularly evident on a slow rendition of "Part Time Love" that smolders with emotion. The performances have a strong sense of immediacy -- the album has an almost "live" feel -- and the impressive list of people who worked on it (including backup vocals by the Sweet Inspirations and drumming by the great Bernard "Pretty" Purdie) gives you an idea of the quality of the musicianship. If you enjoy the classic sounds of Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin (who plays keyboards on this album), and, of course, Sam & Dave, then you want to check out this album.

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