Although he never had a huge commercial hit, Solomon Burke's brand of secular gospel mixed with a touch of country helped set the stage for soul, and at least two of his early-'60s singles for Atlantic Records, "Cry to Me" and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," are stone-cold pop-soul classics. Burke made full use of his preacher's background in his material, fundamentally understanding that there was little difference between a pulpit and a center stage microphone as long as you had a crowd out in front, and several of his songs are essentially secularized sermons. This generous 31-track set is drawn from Burke's stay with Apollo Records between 1955 and 1961, and while it aptly shows what Burke can do, arguably his best and signature sides were done when he moved on to his next label, Atlantic Records.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett