Search - King Curtis :: Instant Soul

Instant Soul
King Curtis
Instant Soul
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (23) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: King Curtis
Title: Instant Soul
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Razor & Tie
Release Date: 10/19/1994
Genres: Blues, Jazz, Pop, R&B, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Regional Blues, East Coast Blues, Soul-Jazz & Boogaloo, Soul, Southern Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 793018205429, 793018205443

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CD Reviews

How could this one go out of print???
J. | 07/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I remember when this came out in 1994; I was ecstatic. King Curtis' music prior to that had been annoyingly hard to find. At least nowadays they're re-releasing some of his stuff (Live At Fillmore West; Have Tenor Sax, Will Blow/Live At Small's Paradise, et al.). This particular cd provided a pretty good overview of his career. Petition Razor & Tie to reissue this one. They are supposed to be a reissue label, after all."
Instead Of Just Re-Issuing Why Not Revamp?
J. | 08/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What is it with distributors who decide that, in issuing compilations of legendary artists of the past, we, their clients, would somehow rather get uncharted B-sides than the cuts that were received with more acclaim in the first instance? Don't get me wrong, I love it when flipsides of hits are included - but not at the expense of the hit itself.

For example, in this collection of some of the instrumental offerings of the last of the great tenor sax artists, Razor & Tie provides Soul Theme, When Something Is Wrong With My Baby, This Is Soul, and Makin' Hey, while leaving out Something On Your Mind [# 31 R&B in March 1967], Jump Back [# 63 Billboard Hot 100 in June 1967], (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay [# 84 Hot 100 in April 1968], and Harper Valley P.T.A. [# 94 Hot 100 in October 1968].

Now, mind you, these were not exactly among his greatest hits, but at least they were the sides most popular at the time. I also realize this is not offered as a collection of his greatest or best hits, but it seems to me that collectors like myself would be more apt to grab a copy if it contained more hits than obscure album cuts or failed singles.

King Curtis was, arguably, the greatest R&B session tenor sax player of all time, born Curtis Ousley on February 7, 1934 in Fort Worth, Texas. After working briefly with the great Lionel Hampton in 1950 at the tender age of 16, he cut records on his own Gem label in 1953 before relocating to New York where he formed The Rinky Dinks, a group which recorded for the Enjoy label. At the height of the twist craze he also cut his first ever hit single, Soul Twist, for Enjoy as King Curtis and The Noble Knights. It went all the way to # 1 R&B and did quite well on the Pop Hot 100 as well, reaching # 17, b/w Twisting Time [not here].

Later that year he secured a contract with Capitol and, under the same billing, had a # 60 Hot 100 with Beach Party b/w Turn 'Em On - neither of which is here. Nor are Do The Monkey [# 92 Hot 100 in August 1963] and its flipside Feel All Right. In 1964, with the Billboard R&B charts suspended, his last hit with Capitol was the plaintive Soul Serenade which topped out at # 51 Hot 100 in May b/w More Soul. Both Do The Monkey and Soul Serenade, which should have fared much better, but was lost in the rush to purchase everything British, were billed to simply The Kingpins, which also served as the backing group for Aretha Franklin.

Late in 1965 they relocated to the Atlantic subsidiary Atco, and the first release was Spanish Harlem which struggled to a # 89 Hot 100 in January 1966 b/w Boss. That was followed a year later by the above-mentioned Something On Your Mind and Jump Back, and in October 1967 with the wonderful Memphis Soul Stew which peaked at # 6 R&B/# 33 Hot 100 b/w Blue Nocturne [not here]. An almost simultaneous release, Ode To Billy Joe, did just as well on the R&B charts and even better on the pop charts, hitting # 28 b/w In The Pocket.

Beginning in late 1967 the releases were billed to King Curtis & The Kingpins, with the first being For What It's Worth which reached # 87 Hot 100 in December b/w Cook-Out. Neither side is here. Early in January 1968, I Was Made To Love Her reached # 49 R&B/# 76 Hot 100 b/w a wailing instrumental of the Aretha Franklin hit, I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) - which, of course, is omitted. So too are the above-mentioned instrumental cover of the Otis Redding hit (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay, and that of the Dionne Warwick hit Valley Of The Dolls, which made it to # 83 Hot 100 in June 1968 b/w 8th Wonder.

Two more instrumental covers closed out 1968, with I Heard It Through The Grapevine reaching # 83 Hot 100 in August b/w A Whiter Shade Of Pale [not here], followed by the above-mentioned Harper Valley P.T.A. In 1969 Instant Groove hit # 35 R&B in June b/w Sweet Inspiration, and in 1970 an instrumental cover of The Temptations' Get Ready made it to # 46 R&B in August b/w Bridge Over Troubled Water. His last pop hit then came in March 1971 when his cover of the Led Zeppelin hit, Whole Lotta Love, reached # 48 R&B/# 64 Hot 100 b/w Floatin' - neither of which are here.

While his own hits were modest in terms of chart success, King Curtis had been for years - and still was at the time of his tragic murder on August 13, 1971 - wanted by everyone who needed a strong tenor sax on their cuts. Those he backed read like a Who's Who of musical artists, among them Aretha Franklin, Bobby Darin, Brook Benton, Andy Williams, The Coasters, The Shirelles, Nat "King" Cole, and The McGuire Sisters. In 1972 his last charter, Soultrain (Parts 1 & 2), released by the Rampage label as by The Ramrods, made it to # 41 R&B.

If ever anyone has been unjustly overlooked by the R&R Hall of Fame it's King Curtis. Right now, until someone releases a definitive collection of his hits, this is the best collection you will find - assuming you can get your hands on a copy."