While this monster 24-cut collection of Joe Simon's tracks recorded for Spring between 1970 and 1982 doesn’t contain any of his bona fide dancefloor smashes like “Downing in a Sea of Love,” "Get Down, Get Down (Get on the Floor)," and "Music in My Bones," it is loaded to the gills with more obscure, no less stellar vintage fare that will make you shake your ass and move your feet.. There’s 1972’s “Power of Love,” which is a pure, gritty, funky soul burner that was aimed straight for jukeboxes and the radio -- and got there in the Deep South and on the West Coast. Likewise the lithe “Who Was That Lady” with its proto-disco groove. The orchestral Southern-fried disco of the previously unreleased “(You Keep Me) Hangin’ On,” (no, not that one) carries both the Muscle Shoals feel and the Gamble & Huff (who produced it) sheen. Check the crazy “Step by Step” from 1973 with its funky bassline, strings, backing chorus, and a honky tonk upright piano amid handclaps and swirling grooves. Other stunners include the edited version of 1978’s “I.O.U.” with its Miles Davis-esque muted trumpet chart as the bassline bumps up the tempo. This is disco drenched in soul authenticity. All told, this collection from Great Britain’s Ace imprint is an essential purchase for anyone interested in Southern soul, and funk and/or disco. There isn’t a mediocre track in the bunch, and all of it serves to underscore Simon’s considerable reputation among fans of these genres.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek