Solomon Burke

The Best of Solomon Burke

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Solomon Burke built his reputation on these early Atlantic sides, which were corralled by the label for an early greatest-hits collection that father time and a slew of CD compilations have made obsolete. Burke was the epitome of Southern soul up north, as is evident on "Got to Get You off My Mind," a bluesy shuffler with a southern-drawl tempo. A cover of Wilson Pickett's "'If You Need Me" brought comparisons galore between the two soul singers; after years of listening, it's still impossible to pick a clear-cut favorite and the Pickett-or-Burke debate goes on. "Cry to Me" established the paradigm for Southern soul ballads and "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," a jump with '50s R&B genes, remains the most popular song in the singer/preacher's repertoire; he even managed to squeeze it in on Emeril Lagasse's cooking show. Even if you're turntable-challenged, this is still a great LP to find at flea markets, Goodwill stores, oldie stores, or somebody's attic.

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