Various Artists

The Beat Goes On: Atlantic's Dance Through the 50s, 60s and 70s

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Hearing this CD is like wading through an eccentric, imaginative tape that a friend has made of vintage Atlantic R&B and soul, mixing hits, flops, and star-sung obscurities over almost a quarter of a century, from the early '50s to the mid-'70s. Because it is a mix of hits and non-hits, it's hard to envision exactly who the intended audience is, but that doesn't mean it's not a pretty cool CD anyway. The hits include Dr. John's "Right Place, Wrong Time," the Clovers' "One Mint Julep," Sonny & Cher's "The Beat Goes On," Aretha Franklin's "(Sweet Sweet Baby), Since You've Been Gone," and Archie Bell & the Drells' "(There's Gonna Be A) Showdown." If you're interested in old Atlantic material in the first place, chances are you know about those, and will be more impressed by the less overexposed tracks. There are plenty of those, many of them very good, like the Coasters' "Shoppin' for Clothes," which is just as witty as their more famous hits, Ray Charles' sly 1953 cut "It Should've Been Me," the Drifters' 1963 effort "One Way Love," the Mar-Keys' instrumental "Philly Dog," and Wilson Pickett's debut Atlantic single, "I'm Gonna Cry." The prize oddity has to be Solomon Burke's cover of Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm," which was actually released as a single in 1965, and is an unusual, fairly effective match of a soul great with an early folk-rock song. Some of the other big-name efforts here are far more mundane; LaVern Baker's "You'd Better Find Yourself Another Fool," for instance, is an obvious attempt to simulate the sound of Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford's gospel-rock crossover hit, "I Need Your Loving." (This U.K. import is not available for sale in North America.)

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:58
2 2:44
3 2:02
4 2:43
5 2:34
6 2:33
7 2:32
8 2:17
9 2:17
10 2:23
11 2:21
12 3:27
13 2:14
14 2:21
15 2:41
16 2:24
17 2:28
18 2:24
19 2:32
20 2:23
21 2:53
22 2:53
23 3:30
24 2:42
25 3:31
blue highlight denotes track pick