The second signature hit of Junior Walker's career
D.V. Lindner | King George, VA, USA | 10/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Originally on Motown's `Soul,' subsidiary label (as were all Walker's records), this was LP No. 710, released January 6, 1969. Two of its four hit singles preceded it: A jammin' remake of the Supremes' "Come See About Me" in November '67, and "Hip City" (as a two-part 45) released late in July of '68. The title song came out as a single roughly along with the album. Fine hits all, and they successfully continued to maintain Walker's identity as a workhorse Motown act. But it was the LP's fourth single release on April 25, 1969, that would prove a stunning career rejuvenating force, winning back any fans that'd drifted away since "Shotgun" in the intervening four years, and gaining some new ones too.And it almost didn't happen. As Mr. Walker recounted himself on Motown's `music and interview' set, "The Motown Story" in 1971, "What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)," was not a song he felt at home with. No doubt. The song is up-scale, urban, and oh so seductively romantic - as far, at that point, as any Walker record could get from things like "Pucker Up Buttercup," "Shoot Your Shot," or even "Home Cookin'." But producer-composer Johnny Bristol remained patiently persistent, and the song got recorded and tucked into this album. By the end of April the urging of radio deejays did the rest.In the early summer months of 1969 it wasn't typical Supremes and Temptations hits from Motown that dominated AM radio, but Mr. Walker's majestic new sound, as well as Motown colleague Steve Wonder's success, "My Cherie Amour." This new and sophisticated phase for Jr. Walker & The All Stars was mined and refined and produced two more years of hits in a similar style: "These Eyes," "Gotta Hold On To This Feeling," "Do You See My Love For You Growing," "Way Back Home" and "Walk In The Night." Personally, "What Does It Take" is a sentimental favorite from my ninth year of school, one that saw the start of a lasting friendship now 35 years old just like the record itself.Whether new or used, CD or vinyl, the "Home Cookin'" album is a seminally important Walker recording, every bit as much so as his first, "Shotgun". Mr. Walker personally took his leave of us Thanksgiving week of 1995, but his preserved entertainment legacy endures and ceaselessly rewards."
Another great from the Underrated Soul King
Andre M. | Mt. Pleasant, SC United States | 03/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I said in another review, Junior Walker simply DID NOT make bad recordings. This 1969 release further confirms this. This is best known for "What Does It take To Win Your Love." A sweet soulful tune that is fiondly remembered by Motown fans. But this CD contains some great lesser-known work. The instrumental "Sweet Soul" lives up to it's title and represents the kind of thing Jr. & crew did best. Then there's a nice cover of Buster Brown's "Fannie Mae" where Jr.'s sax does a fine imitation of Buster's Harmonica. One of the best cuts is "Sweet Daddy Deacon," a funny, funky tune about Jr. playing the part of a young boy making fun of a pompous church elder. This is the kind of appealiingly raw stuff that you wished Berry Gordy would let Jr. cut loose on more often.In either case, like ANYTHING with Jr. Walker and the All-Stars' name attatched to it, this is great stuff. The only SHAME here is that so FEW of the excellent albums Jr. & co. recorded for Berry Gordy are currently available on CD! This situation MUST be rectified!"