Search - James Carr :: Essential

Essential
James Carr
Essential
Genres: Country, Blues, Pop, R&B
 
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1

While Memphis's Stax Records was perfecting deep Southern soul in the mid- to late 1960s, small cross-town rival Goldwax was trying desperately and failing to keep up. But if nothing else, Goldwax deserves significant cred...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: James Carr
Title: Essential
Members Wishing: 8
Total Copies: 0
Label: Razor & Tie
Original Release Date: 2/23/1995
Re-Release Date: 2/21/1995
Genres: Country, Blues, Pop, R&B
Styles: Electric Blues, Vocal Pop, Soul
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 793018206020, 793018206044

Synopsis

Amazon.com
While Memphis's Stax Records was perfecting deep Southern soul in the mid- to late 1960s, small cross-town rival Goldwax was trying desperately and failing to keep up. But if nothing else, Goldwax deserves significant credit for unleashing James Carr, a gospel-steeped, hair-raising vocalist with enormous range and incredible passion. Carr was in some ways Goldwax's answer to Stax's Otis Redding, but Carr's voice was even thicker and coarser than Redding's. The urgency and depth of feeling that Carr gives these 20 burning cuts are nothing short of astonishing, especially considering the fact that he was a quiet, confused, and troubled soul off-mic. Like Redding, Carr was a master at letting the music play him; when he lets loose with a screech, moan, or sigh, he almost sounds possessed while in its throes. If not for his personal problems, the Essential James Carr might have wound up being a four-disc box set, but this collection of unparalleled country soul will have to suffice. --Marc Greilsamer

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CD Reviews

You've Got My Mind Messed Up
David Wayne | Santee, CA United States | 05/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The title above, sadly, is an apt summation of the career of James Carr. You may know of his legend: he's probably the least accomplished singer, in terms of overall career earnings and recognition, that you'll ever hear mentioned as being the greatest soul singer of them all. But you hear this reference to Carr over and over again. The reason is in these grooves. "Pouring Water On A Drowning Man." "What Can I Call My Own?" "To Love Somebody." And no one can touch, "At The Dark End Of The Street" as performed by this tragic figure, though many have tried. James Carr was majestic in both delivery and interpretation. And that is nothing short of astounding, considering how confused he really was, and also the fact that he was totally illiterate. He couldn't even sign his own name. Somehow, the Lord above looked down on him and just took control, and sang through James Carr's voice. It's the only explanation I can think of for the greatness you'll find here."
A man who knows the dark....
David Kinney | San Francisco, Ca. United States | 01/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Collections such as this are why this former vinyl snob now embraces the CD.In a year of hunting through thrift shops and auctions and used record stores you would never be able to compile all 20 deep,deep soul treasures available here. That means you might never hear James Carrs's version of "The Dark End Of The Street".I know of at least a half a dozen versions of this Dan Penn-Spooner Oldham classic and they range in quality from clueless ;(Linda Ronstandt," If they would just put a light down at the end of the street it would'nt be so dark"), to pleasant;(The Flying Burrito Bros. did a nice country barroom weeper cover of this song,but they missed the scarier implications lying beneath the surface). Until I heard James Carr I had always thought that Percy Sledge had done the definitive version but while Percy's cut is fine indeed it just can't touch James Carr.Example: when Percy Sledge sings the pivotal lyric "They're gonna find us..!", he seems to be implying "They're gonna find ME and I'M gonna get a fat lip outta the deal".James Carr on the other hand is genuinely heartbroken: "THEY; the devil,the preacher,your husband,my wife are gonna find us and we wiil never ever be together again..".So James Carr owns "...Street". While nothing else on this CD equals that high point there are wonderful deep soul treasures for you to unearth here.Let poor James Carr carry your burdens for you so that you might be uplifted. He's right over there, where there are no shadows."
"ANOTHER UNDER-RATED R&B SINGER"
southcentraldiva | LOS (SOUTH CENTRAL) ANGELES | 11/21/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"JAMES CARR CAME TO US...VIA "A MAN NEED A WOMAN IN 1965." IT WASN'T UNTIL 1967'S; "DARK END OF THE STREETS", HE BECAME A HOUSEHOLD NAME IN THE URBAN GHETTO'S OF THE SOUTH. "DARK END OF THE STREETS" IS CONSIDERED AN R&B "OLDIE." RE-MADE BY SEVERAL ARTISTS...NO LESS THAN MAMA "1"...ARETHA FRANKLIN. ALSO, TRY; "YOU GOT MY MIND MESSED UP". THIS COLLECTION OF GREATEST HITS, IS A MUST HAVE FOR SOUTHERN R&B COLLECTOR'S."