Saturday, 22 July 2017

Joe South - Introspect & Don't It Make You Want To Go Home 1968/1969 ( 2003 Raven Records) Flac & mp3@320

Introspect (1968):

Joe South's debut LP was deleted almost too quickly for most listeners to find it, much less hear it. Now regarded as a country-soul classic (and, perhaps, the first country-soul album), Introspect anticipated the sound that Elvis Presley and Tony Joe White would both bring to the fore in the following year, except that it was even more ambitious than Presley or White, mixing and bending genres in new and exciting ways. Country, Eastern raga, gutbucket soul, and pop all brush up against each other within the same songs, some of which sound like Elvis singing with a backing band that included James Burton and Ravi Shankar. And thanks to South's use of various electronic devices in association with the considerable virtuosity in the playing, and his exceptional singing, this is still a bracing album four decades later.

"Games People Play" was the hit off the record, and literally overwhelmed the album (which was pulled, reshuffled, and reissued as Games People Play the following year). But also worth hearing are "Birds of a Feather," "Rose Garden" (which would become a huge hit for Lynn Anderson three years later), "All My Hard Times," and "Mirror of Your Mind," along with most of what's here.(allmusic)

Don't It Make You Want To Go Home (1969):

Joe South's second proper album was perhaps just a tad less impressive than the more well-known Introspect, if only because that earlier LP had included "Games People Play," "Rose Garden," and some other songs that would be among the singer/songwriter's most enduring. Don't It Make You Want to Go Home? is a worthy follow-up, however, that also adeptly combines rootsy rock, pop, country, soul, gospel, and psychedelia into South's thoughtful songs, which ooze both interior reflection and empathetic concern for the world at large. The soulful, cheering "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" was the album's hit single, but there are other songs here of similar quality, like the bittersweet "Clock Up on the Wall," the straight-ahead soul love song "Shelter," and "Be a Believer," which has the anthemic exhortatory chin-up feel typical of much of South's work of the period.

It's definitely an album of its time, as the occasional segues between tracks and trippy studio effects make clear. Indeed, there's one downright experimental track, "A Million Miles Away," a nearly instrumental gutbucket psychedelic blues groove under which some radio-like voices can just about be detected. Somehow the trendy accoutrements fit the mood fairly well instead of sounding like jarring misfires, though they might have ensured that South remained a little bit too idiosyncratic to maintain his short-lived commercial success. (allmusic)

To talk about ''short-lived commercial success'' in conjunction to the name Joe South is quite inapt. Surely if commercial success means to sing, play or acting in any kind in front of a crowd of screaming teens than... yes than!!! This artist wrote more than two hands full of hits which charted around the world. And not only at the end of the sixties. He was a busy studio musician, well known for his skills of a guitar player, arranger and producer. In 1979 he has been take up in the Nashville Songwriters Hall Of Fame.
 This are two very good pop albums with a lot of influences and to me the music of South had always an original american sound.
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