As his good friend Billy Vera points out in the liner notes Lou Rawls never ever sang silly love songs. No sir! From the very beginning Lou Rawls sang about serious, adult subjects. And you could feel the emotion and the personal experience dripping in just about every tune the man ever sang. Finally, Capitol records has seen fit to release a single disc anthology befitting of this marvelous talent. "The Very Best of Lou Rawls: You'll Never Find Another" offers the listener a compehensive compilation of practically all of Lou's single hit recordings from his debut single "Love's A Hurtin' Thing" back in 1966 right on thru to his fabulous recording of "Let Me Be Good To You" in 1979. It is a disc that really was long overdue.
"The Very Best of Lou Rawls" features 21 splendid recordings and I can honestly report that there is not a weak track among them. It was certainly terrific to hear the remastered version of Lou's classic 1967 tune "Dead End Street" as well as his memorable 1972 smash "A Natural Man". And I had forgotten just how great his 1969 hit "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)" really was. In the late 60's, while still at Capitol records, Lou also covered a couple of old favorites. While his renditions of "On Broadway" and "You've Made Me So Very Happy" were not huge sellers they are highly entertaining nonetheless. Both are included here. I was also extremely pleased to see that the 1967 single "Show Business" was included as well. I had not heard that outstanding tune in nearly 40 years.
"The Very Best of Lou Rawls" concludes with a half dozen tunes from his highly successful days at Leon Huff and Kenny Gamble's Philadelphia International records. His very first recording for that label would prove to be his biggest hit ever, 1976's "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine". And who can ever forget "Lady Love" or "See You When I Git There" from 1977. A lso included in this anthology is an incredible "live" recording of "The Shadow of Your Smile" from his 1966 "LIVE!" LP. Great stuff!
"The Very Best of Lou Rawls: You'll Never Find Another" comes with a well thought out 12 page booket that includes information on each of the tracks as well as liner notes lovingly written by the aforementioned Billy Vera. I am also pleased to report that the 24 bit remastering job is superb. We only see the likes of Lou Rawls about once per generation. Lou Rawls carried on in the tradition of great male vocalists like Billy Ecksine, Al Hibbler, Jimmy Ricks and Nat King Cole. His untimely death in January 2006 leaves a major void on the American music scene. "The Very Best of Lou Rawls" is a great way to keep his music alive. Very highly recommended!
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Paul Tognetti (drifter51)
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Since the passing of Lou Rawls in early 2006, Capitol has been working overtime to document the singer's career. First was a collection of early jazz and blues recordings, then a two-fer containing two of Rawls' best mid-'60s recordings, and now something that Rawls fans have never had before: a best-of collection that contains the man's hits from the '60s with Capitol and his '70s hits with Philadelphia International. It isn't the definitive collection that listeners deserve, as it skips over his early jazz and blues sides, his late-'60s big-band sessions with Benny Carter, and his '80s recordings on Blue Note — but it is a start. All the big hits are here, like "Dead End Street," "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing," "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)," and his biggest, "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine." Also included is a wide range of tracks that show just how impressive Rawls' gift truly was. Whether he is singing funky gospel ("Trouble Here Below"), smooth soul with a message ("Natural Man"), uptown soul ("You Can Bring Me All Your Heartaches"), disco ("Lady Love"), or lush pop ("Down Here on the Ground"), he sounds definitive and natural, like he could have sung just about anything and made it all his. The Very Best of Lou Rawls: You'll Never Find Another is a very fine introduction to the casual fan and a reminder to everyone that Lou Rawls was a true vocal giant.
1. Dead End Street 2. Love Is A Hurtin' Thing 3. Trouble Down Here Below 4. A Natural Man ...