David Kinney | San Francisco, Ca. United States | 06/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A man... at the end of his emotional rope stands at the crossroads, where the sacred meets the profane. Gospel trained, he searches in his soul for unanswerable solutions.And he emerges triumphant. Unbroken. A man. When a man loves a woman, out of left field, take the time to know her. Every holy roller church organ played, every sanctified soul shout, every weary working man's blues is distilled right here for your listening pleasure. This CD is the one to get,because there are a lot of weak ones out there, ya'll. The "Big Chill" generation re-embraced Percy and gave him some long overdue recognition, so now it's you youngster's turn to get hip to the deep,deep,deep soul of Mr. Percy Sledge. Here's your map."
Underrated Southern Soul Ballads From A Master
Anthony G Pizza | FL | 03/02/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is hard to consider Percy Sledge underrated when he had his biggest hit go to #1 on the pop and R&B charts; had that hit featured in one of the 80s top films ("Platoon"); have its chart position (but not quality) matched in a Michael Bolton remake; and finally, be honored by its publisher (and, in a backwards way, by the IRS, to whom Sledge owed back taxes) as one of the most played songs of all time.But "The Best of Percy Sledge" is more than the legendary "When A Man Loves A Woman." Using the Impressions' first hit, "For Your Precious Love," as a basis, Percy and his Muscle Shoals cohorts used simple ingredients (churchy organ, light drumming, bluesy guitar) to create heartfelt, dignified soul classics. Highlights include the mournful "Take Time To Know Her" (featuring Percy's spoken narrative), the Otis Redding-ish "Baby Help Me," two excellent versions of soul chestnuts "Dark End of The Street" and "Just Out of Reach," and the gospelish ballad "My Special Prayer." When Percy's voice comes in just behind the first organ notes to sing, "Let me wrap you in my warm and tender love," how could anyone not be moved? Highly recommended, but also check out "The Ultimate Collection" or "It Tears Me Up" for the original Atlantic hits."
DEEP SOUL, COUNTRY SOUL
Pieter | Johannesburg | 04/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection includes at least three of Percy Sledge's ageless classics, songs that reached the top 5 way back in the 1960s but have often been revived and used in movie soundtracks or advertisements. These are the eternal When A Man Loves A Woman, the mournful Take Time To Know Her and the gospely My Special Prayer. Sledge's sound is a unique marriage of deep soul and country, made even more distinctive by his pleading voice with its spiritual undertones. Other great tracks here include Warm And Tender Love, Dark End Of The Street, It Tears Me Up and You're All Around Me, all melodic and moving numbers demonstrating the prowess of the Muscle Shoals musicians. This Best Of album is a good introduction to Sledge, but people who are really into deep soul are advised to investigate further as Sledge was a prolific artist and there are many more, lesser known, but equally excellent tracks available on other albums. Together with a couple of legendary artists on the Stax/Volt label, Sledge was the best exponent of this gripping type of country-soul, and his voice gave him the edge!"
Look, there's more to Percy Sledge than "When A Man Loves A
A. Pack | Portland, OR | 07/10/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...and this album more than proves it...just listen to the deep country soul of My Special Prayer, or the hurtful cry of a love lost in Sudden Stop, or the hip rocking soul of Baby, Help Me (written by Bobby Womack by the way). After listening to these and some of the other track on this album, you begin to forget about When A Man Loves a Woman... Most audiences are so hung up on this number one tune, I think they're missing out on the most versatile sounds of a true country-soul legend..."