1967, Music

You Got My Mind Messed Up (1967) by James Carr

There’s this idea that James Carr’s LP debut (I think it’s his debut) is one of the great underrated soul records of the 1960s, or of any era. I guess that depends upon what you value in your soul.

Carr is a great performer – he is certainly among the leading soul singers of his era, even if I’ve never heard of him before. Moreover, he performs in the grittier southern style, which I must say is a big plus for me. (I greatly prefer southern soul to regular soul.)
But, with the exception of “The Dark End of the Street,” a lot of the material isn’t that strong and much of it sounds a lot like other more famous soul music, either because the songs themselves are derivative of the versions here are too eager to copy the successful formula of the Stax artists. (This label was called Goldwax, and was also based in Memphis.)

And that’s what keeps me from getting super excited about the record: I feel like there is too much familiarity here, as if this is a slightly lower rent Stax album. (With Steve Cropper! But not the rest of the MGs, so it really is off-brand Stax.)

7/10

  1. “Pouring Water on a Drowning Man” (Drew Baker, Dani McCormick) – 2:40
  2. “Love Attack” (Quinton Claunch) – 2:54
  3. “Coming Back to Me Baby” (George Jackson) – 1:59
  4. “I Don’t Want to Be Hurt Anymore” (Dolly Greer) – 2:24
  5. “That’s What I Want to Know” (James Carr, Roosevelt Jamison) – 1:56
  6. “These Ain’t Raindrops” (Claunch) – 2:35
  7. “The Dark End of the Street” (Chips Moman, Dan Penn) – 2:34
  8. “I’m Going for Myself” (Ernest Johnson, Edgar Campbell) – 2:25
  9. “Lovable Girl” (O. B. McClinton) – 2:24
  10. “Forgetting You” (McClinton) – 2:54
  11. “She’s Better Than You” (McClinton)– 2:22
  12. “You’ve Got My Mind Messed Up” (McClinton) – 2:25
  • James Carr: vocals
  • Steve Cropper: guitar
  • Reggie Young: guitar
  • Tommy Cogbill: bass
  • Mike Leech: bass
  • Bobby Wood: keyboards
  • Bobby Emmons: keyboards
  • Gene Chrisman: drums

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