Joe Tex

Singles A's & B's, Vol. 2: 1967-1968

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There have been a lot of Tex compilations, and if you're serious enough to want all of his A-sides and B-sides from his prime, you'll inevitably have at least some of this on other CDs. However, if you do appreciate an intelligently compiled and sequenced series of his 45s for the Dial label, this is a reliably well-packaged anthology of both sides of 11 singles he issued in 1967 and 1968. "Skinny Legs and All" might have been the only track here to make a big splash on the pop charts, but most of these were solid sellers in the R&B market, including "Show Me," "Men Are Gettin' Scarce," and "Keep the One You Got." Because this does include some secondary singles and B-sides, it's not as consistent a listen as more selective best-ofs. But it is pretty consistent, Tex providing his credentials as one of the most accessible of the soul stars moving into a more funky late-'60s sound, with some shades-of-James Brown shout-vocals. He's got a much more evident and effective sense of humor than most big soul names, too, though a good-natured one that's dated well. Some of the cuts (almost all written by Tex) are filler, like the oft-covered "C.C. Rider," the sentimental holiday piece "I'll Make Everyday Christmas (For My Woman)," and the instrumentals "Chocolate Cherry" and "Betwixt and Between" (actually credited to the Joe Tex Band). But overall, the standard is high on this retrospective, though it's not a complete record of what he was doing during the period, as he was also issuing LPs as well.

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