James Carr - The Complete Goldwax Singles CD
  • James Carr - The Complete Goldwax Singles CD
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James Carr

The Complete Goldwax Singles CD


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Title: The Complete Goldwax Singles CD
Artist: James Carr
Label: Kent
Catalogue #: CDKEND202
Format: CD
Genre: 60s Soul, Southern & Deep Soul
Release Year: 2001
Condition: New & Sealed
1. Dark End of the Street
2. These Ain't Raindrops
3. Man Needs a Woman
4. Life Turned Her That Way
5. Freedom Train
6. Pouring Water on a Drowning Man
7. Everybody Needs Somebody
8. That's the Way Love Turned Out for Me
9. To Love Somebody
10. You've Got My Mind Messed Up
11. I'm a Fool for You
12. Losing Game
13. Stronger Than Love
14. Lovable Girl
15. Forgetting You
16. Love Attack
17. She's Better Than You
18. Coming Back to Me Baby
19. That's What I Want to Know
20. Talk, Talk
21. I Can't Make It
22. Only Fools Run Away
23. You Don't Want Me
24. Lover's Competition
25. Row, Row Your Boat
26. Gonna Send You Back to Georgia
27. Let It Happen
28. Message to Young Lovers

Regarded by many as the greatest soul singer of all time, these are all 28 of James' legendary Goldwax singles: A- and B-sides. "Arguably the greatest deep soul singer of them all" - Mark Pringle, Mojo magazine. 


James Carr is a soul singer whose corner has been championed by Dave Godin in his Blues and Soul columns, by Peter Guralnick in his seminal book "Sweet Soul Music", by erstwhile Radio 1 DJ Andy Kershaw and by Southern and Deep Soul fans constantly.


Carr's major and best work was recorded in Memphis for Quinton Claunch's Goldwax Records between 1964 and 1970. He cut fourteen great singles which amazingly enough have twenty-eight different songs that vary in quality from good to stupendous. The marriage to UK's Ace/Kent is particularly fortuitous as we are in a position to be able to issue the complete set of sides on one CD and, apart from enjoying our soul music, we like nothing better than doing things thoroughly. Another big advantage of our handling the project is the meticulous care and effort expended by Peter Gibbon in tape research and cataloguing and by Roger Armstrong in selecting the correct tapes and mixes for the singles versions: re-mixing the original 4 track tapes where appropriate. Additionally the aforementioned Mr Godin contributed the sleevenotes with the pertinent words and insights that only he can deliver.


This is all very well, but of course in the end it comes down to the music and the combination of James Carr and Goldwax was where the magic happened. Goldwax's strength was in choosing songs that would bring the best out of him by putting together musicians, producers and arrangers who would do the job just right, no more, no less. The arrangements of the songs are always appropriate for the numbers, witness for instance the beautiful A Man Needs A Woman that eschews a brass section in favour of a sympathetic female chorus-.-that is until the dynamics of the song demands some emphasis and the harmonic horns come in.


Personally I'm a sucker for tension in a record and Life Turned Her That Way begins with a poignant introduction that slowly builds in intensity. The beat then gets a little more 'unnecessary' as Joe Tex would put it and by the end it's turned into a full blown raver. Perhaps this was Goldwax's Try A Little Tenderness.


Indeed James occasionally imitates the Big O as he does many of the other great singers of his generation. In the 60s, that was taken as a mark of respect and also a sure-fire way of winning an audience over to his side. Virtually every black act did it to some extent-.-Otis would copy Sam Cooke, while Sam would copy Nat "King" Cole-.-it was common practice and showed an act's versatility, getting him paid in towns that weren't au fait with his records.


Though now revered for his balladry, James Carr was probably better known as an uptempo soul singer in the UK in the late 60s when a lot of his records were played in the hipper clubs. The most famous of these is Freedom Train which was a guaranteed play across the country when B&C released it in 1968. Stateside releases like Coming Back To Me Baby and A Losing Game picked up more and more plays in the immediate years after being issued. The demand for That's What I Need To Know built so much that it was re-released along with Freedom Train on Contempo's Mojo label in 1972.


There are also great finger clicking numbers like Pouring Water On A Drowning Man and I'm A Fool For You, some R&B influences in Talk Talk and Gonna Send You Back To Georgia and even a big city beat ballad with I Can't Make It. All are recorded to Goldwax's exacting standards and of course all feature one of THE great soul voices.


And apart from enjoying one of the highlights of black music in The Dark End Of The Street, you'll get to appreciate what good songwriters the Bee Gees are when you hear James Carr sing To Love Somebody, taking it to a whole new dimension. By Ady Croasdell  - Ace Records

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