Solomon Burke - Don't Give Up On Me

Wednesday 1st January 2003
Solomon Burke - Don't Give Up On Me
Solomon Burke - Don't Give Up On Me

STYLE: R&B
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 6904-2089
LABEL: Fat Possum 03582
FORMAT: CD Album
ITEMS: 1

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

IN THE MAINSTREAM

Back in the early '60s for one to be seriously cool amongst the tiny cognoscenti of R&B enthusiasts, one had to possess Solomon’s classic Atlantic album ‘Rock & Soul’. Unfortunately, major pop success always just eluded the flamboyant King of Rock and Soul (he used to wear a crown on stage!) though those is the know recognised that his was one of the greatest voices ever to cross over from a church choir to an R&B stage while his definitive version of “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” made both the Rolling Stones and the Blues Brothers sound like gauche amateurs. The return of Solomon Burke last year took many people, including me, by surprise. In the ‘80s he turned his back on R&B, gone back to the Church, become a minister and recorded a few gospel albums. But suddenly here was the veteran recording songs from the likes of Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Brian Wilson, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison and producer Joe Henry. The result is breathtaking. Burke’s vibrant, husky tones have lost none of their soul power while his ability to interpret a melody so as to wring drama out of every line is still awesome. Solomon's reading of the Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Brenda Russell “None Of Us Are Free” is perfect and the same can be said for Wilson’s “Soul Searchin’” and Waits’ “Diamond In Your Mind”. As Mojo magazine said in the issue announcing ‘Don’t Give Up On Me’ as “The Best Of 2002”, “No surviving soul star of the music’s golden period is singing better.”

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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