1967, Music

Soul Men (1967) by Sam and Dave

I didn’t mind Sam & Dave’s debut. It was gritty enough for me and I appreciated the performances and arrangements, even if the songs were not the best. (Soul, at least to me, is always more about the performances than it is about the songs.)

But I get a strong sense of deja vu when listening to this album, their third record. One of the things I struggle with when appraising soul or R&B is the general lack of artistic progression noticeable from album to another and Sam & Dave are no exception. Though I haven’t listened to the debut album in quite some time, I don’t know that I could really draw much distinction between these two records, aside from the fact that there are different songs on the two albums.

Maybe the songs are better this time out. I haven’t listened to the other record in long enough that I really couldn’t tell you. But that is really what it hinges on, unless you are content with listening to a band do the same thing over and over and over again. (I get that lots of people are and that, for certain music, I am also content with such repetition. Not sure I’m enough of a fan of Sam & Dave.)

The performances are great: the duo are in fine form, as are the The MGs and the Mar-Keys. Everything is good. It’s just yet another Stax record.

6/10

  1. “Soul Man” (Isaac Hayes, David Porter) – 2:36
  2. “May I Baby” (Hayes, Porter) – 2:38
  3. “Broke Down Piece of Man” (Steve Cropper, Joe Shamwell) – 2:46
  4. “Let It Be Me” (Gilbert Bécaud, Mann Curtis, Pierre Delanoé) – 2:45
  5. “Hold It Baby” (Bonnie “Mack” Rice) – 2:35
  6. “I’m With You” (Lowman Pauling) – 2:50
  7. “Don’t Knock It” (Hayes, Porter) – 2:28
  8. “Just Keep Holding On” (Alvertis Isbell, Booker T. Jones) – 2:52
  9. “The Good Runs the Bad Away” (Wayne Jackson, Andrew Love) – 2:15
  10. “Rich Kind of Poverty” (Hayes, Paul Selph) – 2:13
  11. “I’ve Seen What Loneliness Can Do” (Homer Banks, Allen Jones) – 2:58
  • Sam Moore – vocals
  • Dave Prater – vocals
  • Booker T. & the MG’s and the Mar-Key Horns:
    • Booker T. Jones – piano
    • Steve Cropper – guitar
    • Donald “Duck” Dunn – bass guitar
    • Al Jackson, Jr. – drums
    • Charles “Packy” Axton – tenor saxophone
    • Don Nix – saxophone
    • Wayne Jackson – trombone, trumpet
    • Isaac Hayes – organ

Produced by Isaac Hayes, David Porter

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