Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Very Best of Solomon Burke (Reis)
Genres: Country, Pop, R&B, Rock, Classic Rock
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The Wonder Boy Preacher
Eclectic Reviewer | 09/04/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The above title was hung on Solomon when he began preaching and broadcasting from his "Solomon's Temple", founded for him by his grandmother in Philadelphia in 1945. He was all of nine years old and would continue with the program until 1955.
After a brief recording career with Apollo in 1954, he quit to become a mortician. But when he returned to music in the early 1960s with Atlantic he did so with a bang, taking Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Empty Arms) to # 7 R&B, # 6 Adult Contemporary (AC), and # 24 Billboard Pop Hot 100 in October 1961 b/w Be Bop Grandma (not here). If, as they say, R&R is a melding of pop, country & R&B, then Soul was Rock's favourite offspring, and if Solomon Burke isn't the father of Soul then I'd sure like to know who is. I mean, who else could have taken a pure Country song and turned into a Soul standard?
And just to show that that was no fluke, he would find the pop/R&B charts 25 more times between then and 1975, adding another six solely on the R&B charts. Here you get 15 of those two-barreled hits plus Soul Meeting [track 16] which made it to # 34 R&B/# 91 Hot 100 in the summer of 1966 under the billing Soul Clan [Solomon, with Arthur Conley, Ben E. King, Joe Tex, and Don Covay].
My, oh, my can this man sing, expressing longing [Just Out Of Reach], pain [Cry To Me], or sorrow [Down In The Valley] with equal aplomb and in a manner which is clearly understood. Solomon Burke war rightfully (and belatedly) inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame in 2001.
Recommended most strongly.
Farewell To A Legendary Soul Patriarch
Anthony G Pizza | FL | 10/11/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Solomon Burke, who passed away this weekend, was the final link to a legendary soul era.
To be sure, many legendary Stax/Atlantic soul stars are still active: Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Mavis Staples, Sam Moore and others. But most are female or created music in duos or groups, representing a different (yet certainly vital) part of soul music's roots and growth. But like his Atlantic labelmate Ray Charles, "King" Solomon's music drew warmly and passionately from gospel, blues, and even country-western hits, all sung from the man's life, his love for his family, church and God.
The "King of Soul" (a title which so rankled James Brown he challenged Burke to give it up during a Baltimore tour stop) fit the large, gentle singer better than even he realized. His first hits heard here ("If You Need Me," "Cry To Me," "The Price,") explode from sweet soul singing into fiery sermons ringing with hope as despair, but always with authority.
Solomon Burke was also a cultural force. You'll hear his showstopping "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" and "Cry To Me" became part of the early Rolling Stones' repertoire and were respectively featured in key scenes in the era-defining films "Blues Brothers" and "Dirty Dancing." His "Got To Get You Off My Mind" was inspired by the death of his friend Sam Cooke, who he'd pay tribute to some 20 years later with a moving version of "A Change Is Gonna Come."
This tight, budget and hit-friendly collection only starts Burke's soul legend. You'll need the deeply personal treatments he gives Bobby Bare's "Detroit City," Bob Dylan's "Maggie's Farm," and his joyous hit version of John Fogerty's "Proud Mary" (which splits the difference between CCR and Ike & Tina with a heartfelt spoken opening.) Also reach for "Soul Alive" which brought Burke's music and live show back into public consciousness and led him to collaborate with his leading contemporaries and musical disciples (everyone from Tom Waits and Brian Wilson to the late Willie Mitchell and the hip-hop Roots, who'd planned a collaboration with him before his death.)
Burke is being remembered in some obituaries as influencing singers who eclipsed him in fame (e.g.Isaac Hayes, Barry White). But the "Bishop Of Soul," whose album titles even preached resilience ("Don't Give Up On Me," "Nothing's Impossible," "Make Do With What You Got" outlived those creative icons and left a legacy including a church, a large family of children and grandchildren, and prolific music built on spiritual as well as physical love. An essential collection and a place to start learning and loving a soul patriarch.