Emerging from the Muscle Shoals music scene of the 1960s, Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham wrote an incredible number of Southern soul, pop, and rock classics, most of them in the span of a couple years, and since they generally weren’t the ones cutting these gems in the studio, it’s sometimes difficult to grasp just how good and varied this songwriting team’s talents actually were. This 24-track compilation helps with that by collecting original versions of several of the pair’s compositions in one place, including Cissy Houston's take on the title tune, “Sweet Inspiration,” Dionne Warwick's definitive version of “I’m Your Puppet,” Charlie Rich's majestically sad “A Woman Left Lonely,” Etta James' wonderful “I Worship the Ground You Walk On,” and Arthur Alexander's version of “Cry Like a Baby,” among others. A delightful and eye-opening playlist.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett