This is a very good British anthology covering Butler's Vee-Jay era, the 26 tracks including all of his major solo hits with the label in the first half of the 1960s: "He Will Break Your Heart," "Moon River," "Find Another Girl," "I'm a Telling You," "Make It Easy on Yourself," and "Need to Belong." There's also the bonus of his big 1958 hit with the Impressions, "For Your Precious Love," although his huge 1964 duet smash with Betty Everett, "Let It Be Me," is absent. It's not just a recycling of the material found on the most comprehensive U.S. retrospective of Butler's Vee-Jay period, The Iceman; almost half of these songs are not found on the American counterpart. That's an important distinction, since some of the cuts only on The Sweetest Soul are notable, such as the fine 1964 ballad "Giving Up on Love," and a few songs that Curtis Mayfield wrote or co-wrote. Unfortunately the original release dates are not given for all of the songs in the track listings and liner notes, and some of the non-hit tracks are much less memorable than Butler's best efforts for Vee-Jay. But these are the only small reservations that apply to this quality early soul disc.
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
feat: The Impressions