Sunday, 19 June 2016

Arthur Alexander - The Greatest

Arthur Alexander - The Greatest
Ace Records - CDCHD 922 - 1989

01 - Anna
02 - You're The Reason
03 - Soldier Of Love
04 - I Hang My Head And Cry
05 - You Don't Care
06 - Dream Girl
07 - Call Me Lonesome
08 - After You
09 - Where Have You Been
10 - A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues
11 - Don't You Know It
12 - You Better Move On
13 - All I Need Is You
14 - Detroit City
15 - Keep Her Guessing
16 - Go Home Girl
17 - In The Middle Of It All
18 - Whole Lot Of Trouble
19 - Without A Song
20 - I Wonder Where You Are Tonight
21 - Black Night

Arthur Alexander is quite rightly seen as a pioneer of the country-soul sound. In 1961 he recorded 'You Better Move On/A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues' at a fledgling Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Producer Rick Hall was convinced he had a hit and shopped it around to the major record companies in Nashville but none were interested. So he played it for influential DJ Noel Ball, who was a scout for Dot Records. He agreed with Hall's conviction and sent a copy to Dot's president Randy Wood, who gave it the go ahead. By early 1962 'You Better Move On/A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues' was heading up the Billboard charts, peaking at 24 after Arthur appeared on American Bandstand. This started a run of highly influential (if not overly successful) singles and albums for Arthur on Dot throughout the early sixties.

This CD contains the best of the recordings made by Arthur during his time at Dot Records, 1961 to 1965. The music is a glorious mix of R&B, country, early soul and pop which may explain why he didn't have great success. The American music industry was still very segregated at the time and music that had crossed divisions tended to fall down the cracks. This was not the case in the UK, most of the singles were released on the London label in the UK, but the market was limited. However, many that did buy the singles were in bands themselves and Arthur's songs became staples of the beat groups. Most famously 'You Better Move On' was covered by the Rolling Stones, 'Anna' by the Beatles and 'A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues' by Johnny Kidd & The Pirates.

Incidently, Rick Hall had a 2% lease deal on the master of 'You Better Move On/A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues'. This amounted to $10,000 which was enough to begin construction of a new Fame Studios where he would record two dozen million selling singles including Aretha Franklin's first major hit 'I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)'.

Here for your listening pleasure is Arthur singing 'You Better Move On', 'Anna' and 'Soldier Of Love'. Enjoy, you'll hear nothing better all day................

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments welcomed, what do you think?.........

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...