Joe Tex

Singles A's & B's, Vol. 3: 1969-1972

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You'd need a big box set to hold every worthwhile Joe Tex recording, but in the absence of that, you could do worse than to pick up the volumes in Shout's retrospectives of the singles from his prime commercial and artistic period. The only big pop hit (and it was a monster) on this 23-track survey of 1969-1972 singles is "I Gotcha." But most of the material on this collection is worth hearing. It's sequenced, with one exception, in the order each single was released, each A-side followed by its flip; the exception, in a sensible stretch of the rules, puts "Pt. 2" of "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" (as issued on a 1972 Atlantic single) right after the "Pt. 1" version Tex placed on a 1970 Dial 45. There are plenty of humorous uptempo funky numbers here, as you'd expect, Tex being about as good at that style as anyone. But there are also good churchy slow numbers with quasi-raps; some of the more eccentric risqué soul lyrics this side of Swamp Dogg in "It Ain't Sanitary"; a Ray Charles tribute ("You're Right, Ray Charles"); and that oddball cover of Bacharach-David's "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," complete with the kind of trendy electric sitar that garnished many a soul-pop production of the day. He gets into serious songs sometimes, too, but those are usually among the least memorable numbers; it's when he's dancing, smiling, and/or sermonizing that he's in his best element. Soul expert Clive Richardson's knowledgeable liner notes give you plenty of background information, as well as detailed session and chart info.

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