Personnel includes: Solomon Burke, Arthur Conley, Don Covay, Ben E. King, Joe Tex.
Producers include: Jerry Wexler, Bert Berns, Dann Penn, Chips Moman, Tom Dowd.
Includes liner notes by David Gorman.
THE VERY BEST OF SOLOMON BURKE documents this innovative and entrepreneurial singer's seven-year association with Atlantic Records. The disc moves from the trailblazing country soul of "Just Out of Reach of My Two Empty Arms" (mistitled as "...Open Arms" in the credits), recorded a year prior to Ray Charles' MODERN SOUNDS IN COUNTRY & WESTERN MUSIC album, to the somewhat chaotic raveup of "Soul Meeting." Listening to Burke's relaxed, almost careless vocals is a consistent delight.
Along the way we encounter the classy, Latin-tinged R&B of "Cry to Me," and the quintessential '60s rave "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," later covered by the Rolling Stones among many others. It's all topped with Burke's smooth, insinuating, vocals that swing from persuasive to incantatory in the blink of an eye. The backing is mostly spare, sometimes churchy, as befits Burke's preaching background, with a thankful lack of pop schmaltz. Also included is "Got to Get You off My Mind," Burke's sole Number One in the R&B charts, a swinging, horn-laced stomper that displays his technique to stunning effect.