William Bell Phases Of Reality/Relating
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- Released: November 9, 1999
- Originally Released: 1999
- Label: Stax
- 1.Save Us
- 2.True Love Don't Come Easy
- 3.Fifty Dollar Habit
- 4.What I Don't Know Won't Hurt Me
- 5.Phases Of Reality
- 6.If You Really Love Him
- 7.Lonely For Your Love
- 8.The Man In The Street
- 9.Lovin' On Borrowed Time
- 10.All I Need Is Your Love
- 11.Such A Fever
- 12.Nobody Walks Away From Love Unhurt
- 13.Gettin' What You Want (Losin' What You Got)
- 14.I've Got To Go On Without You
- 15.Drinkin' And Thinkin'
- 16.You've Got The Kind Of Love I Need
- 17.You Don't Want A Man
- 18.Nobody But You
2 LPs on 1 CD: PHASES OF REALITY (1973)/RELATING (1974).
Personnel: William Bell (vocals); Bobby Manuel (guitar, acoustic guitar); Eddie Hinton, Harold Beane (guitar); Clayton Ivey, Barry Beckett (keyboards); Roger Hawkins (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Kirk Felton.
Many Stax releases in the label's final years were dull soul. But by the standards of the era, Phases of Reality was an above-average affair that was more diverse than many such efforts of the time. The three songs Bell co-wrote with guitarist Horace Shipp Jr. were socially conscious tunes in a different bag than the straightforward, romantic odes Bell usually purveyed. "Save Us" is indebted to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On era, with a Philly-influenced funk-soul groove, and "Fifty Dollar Habit" is, of course, about drug use. Elsewhere Bell sticks mostly to love songs, self-penned and otherwise, getting into a pre-disco lope on the title track, a style of sweet soul balladry on "What I Don't Know Won't Hurt Me" and "If You Really Love Him," and some light reggae-influenced rhythms on "Lonely for Your Love." [This CD reissue combines Bell's final two Stax albums, 1973's Phases of Reality and Relating, in one disc.] ~ Richie Unterberger
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