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The fourth and presumably final (as compiler and respected soul expert Dave Godin died around the time of its release) volume in this series has 25 more 1960s and early-'70s soul cuts from the more romantically anguished end of the style. A few of these were big hits, or well-remembered smaller ones -- it's hard to believe anyone who collects soul at all hasn't found the Miracles' "The Tracks of My Tears" by now, while Gladys Knight & the Pips' "Giving Up," Irma Thomas' "Time Is on My Side" (the model for the Rolling Stones' hit cover version), the Knight Brothers' "Temptation 'Bout to Get Me," Garnet Mimms' "My Baby," and Bobby Bland's "I Pity the Fool" are all fairly well-known quality '60s soul treasures. Most of the disc, however, is devoted to things you'll never hear on oldies radio, even including a couple of previously unissued numbers. It's varied in the approaches and arrangements employed (though it does tend toward the slower-than-normal dramatic side), and lovingly annotated. This might be a dissenting opinion in the midst of the bulging folder of glowing testimonials this series has received (particularly in Godin's native Britain), but it really doesn't quite gather music that's consistently on the level of the best vintage soul -- or even, more to the point, consistently on the level of the best overlooked vintage soul. It's an idiosyncratic reflection of one man's tastes, and while Godin should be saluted for everything he did to get these records and performers wider audiences, it's not the ultimate in deep soul treasures. Some of his personal finds seem more indisputably worthy than others, like Barbara Brown's wrenching "Can't Find No Happiness" and Jimmy Robins' "I Made It Over" (one of the only two singles he ever gave a five-star rating to as a reviewer), with its eerie organ-violin interplay.
|Label:||Kent Records Uk|