18 explosive numbers from the dynamic duo Sam & Dave. Sam Moore and Dave Prater were different from male duos who came before them. Unlike Don & Juan, Marvin & Johnny, lesser known Johnny & Jackie, Two Friends (Steve Mancha and Wilbert Jackson), or Rick James and Smokey Robinson, to name a few, Sam & Dave didn't serenade the ladies. Instead, they use the call and response approach popularized in Baptist and sanctified churches and adapted it to secular music. The style slaps you hard on chart busters like "I Thank You," "Hold on I'm Coming" (originally titled and released as "I'm Coming" but pulled and renamed because the title was thought to be sexual), and their anthem "Soul Man." Stax frowned on the duo recording ballads, but Sam & Dave managed to rip off a few, despite the label's protests. Of those few, "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby," reigns supreme. Amazingly, the classic was initially slated for little-known Stax artist Mabel John (Little Willie John's sister). The duo loved Sam Cooke, and five of Cooke's compositions are deep-fried by Sam & Dave: "Bring It on Home to Me," "Soothe Me," "You Send Me," "Another Saturday Night," and "Cupid." Sam Moore phrases like Cooke on "Cupid." The Spinners liked Stax's arrangement so much they practically copied it when they redid "Cupid" with John Edwards singing lead. If you were never down with Sam & Dave, this is an excellent introduction. You'll marvel at the sharp, precise rhythms and their snappy vocals on "You Don't Know Like I Know," while meditating to the sluggish but soulful "You Got Me Hummin'."
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AllMusic Review by Andrew Hamilton