CD Saturday Night Soul (CD 977563),
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Saturday Night Soul

  • 1. Love to Hold You Close - Leroy Hutson
    2. Sneakin' Sally Thru the Alley
    3. Keep on Dancing - Alvin Cash
    4. Brother's on the Slide - Cymande
    5. Heaven Right Here on Earth - The Natural Four
    6. Just Because the Package Has Been Opened - Alder Ray Black
    7. That's the Way I Feel About Cha - Bobby Womack
    8. Action - Willie Hobbs
    9. Make Me Strong - Aaron Neville
    10. Trippin' Out - Curtis Mayfield
    11. Never Gonna Stop - Linda Clifford
    12. Too Weak Too Fight - Ella Washington
    13. Papa Was Too - Joe Tex
    14. You Can't Win
    15. Mr Bump Man - Jackey Beavers
    16. You Keep Me Hanging On - Joe Simon
    17. I'll Be There - Chuck Ray
    18. Is It Because I'm Black - Syl Johnson
    19. Hold Back Girl - Sam Baker
    20. Go Back Home - Allen Toussaint & The Stokes
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): METRCD146

  • Credits

    In keeping with the numerous other soul compilations on the Union Square family of labels, the concept's tenuous, the music uneven (if diverse), and the licensing-span limited. Still, this 20-track compilation of mid-'60s to early-'80s soul ain't so bad if you're in need of a quick fix of obscurities, albeit ones with no strong link to each other. The ostensible concept seems to be soul suitable for a Saturday night, whether you're getting into the party mode or on your way home from same. No big hits are aboard, and though there are a few fairly big names (Lee Dorsey, Bobby Womack, Aaron Neville, Joe Tex, Joe Simon), you may well rarely or never come across these particular tunes even if you have a good assortment of soul records. On the good hand, there are some real winners here, like Dorsey's original version of "Sneakin' Sally Thru the Alley" (covered by Robert Palmer); Alvin Cash's groovy, early funk workout "Keep on Dancing"; Joe Tex's characteristically sassy "Papa Was Too"; and Willie Hobbs with Pic & Bill's vaguely Archie Bell-styled "Action," which even in this company is pretty darned obscure. On the other hand, there's just too much of an inexplicable lean on the output of a few labels, particularly Curtom and Sound Stage 7. Why Union Square feels compelled to keep putting Curtis Mayfield's inferior, post- '75 Curtom output, as well as the middling singers Linda Clifford and Ann Sexton, on its soul compilations is a quirky decision that can't be explained or justified by the quality of the material. Too, although Syl Johnson's "Is It Because I'm Black?" is a genuinely fine slice of overlooked soul social consciousness, it's unclear where in the world it fits into a compilation dedicated to soul for Saturday night moods. Allen Toussaint's little-known minor-keyed 1965 gem "Go Back Home" is something of a jarring closer, unless it's meant to conclude the proceedings on a particularly melancholy after-the-party note, but that's forgivable as it really is a superb overlooked track. ~ Richie Unterberger

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