Q - May 2002, p.1263 out of 5 stars
- "...More of a balladeer than a hard soul singer....this compilation...concentrates on the post-1968 era..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 5/02, p.116
"...A thorughly recommended 14-track collection...from a defining Stax songwriter."
Producers: Booker T. Jones, William Bell, Al Bell, Isaac Hayes, David Porter.
Compilation producer: Kirk Roberts.
Includes original liner notes by Lee Hildebrand.
Digitally remastered by Phil De Lancie (1990, Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California).
Liner Note Author: Lee Hildebrand.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Judy Clay; William Bell.
Okay, he's not as transcendent as his labelmate Otis Redding, but who was, or is? At his best, in other words on most of the songs here, Bell was close enough that anybody who cares for '60s Southern soul should own this album.
High points here include an achingly lovely cover of Calvin Carter's then decade-old "Lonely Soldier," a song whose poignancy took on new meaning in 1969 as the war in Vietnam raged. In addition, "A Smile Can't Hide (A Broken Heart)," is a big-sounding soul ballad decorated with particularly intense dual guitar leads by the great Steve Cropper.