John Gary Williams

John Gary Williams

by John Gary WilliamsJohn Gary Williams

CD

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Overview

John Gary Williams had been a longtime member of the Stax soul vocal group the Mad Lads before starting a solo career after the group broke up in the early '70s. His self-titled 1973 album is one of the most obscure Stax LPs, in part because it was issued as the company started to cease operations. He wrote five of the eight tracks on the record, producing five of them as well (and co-producing the others). Though not a major effort in the scheme of either early-'70s soul or the Stax catalog, it's a pleasant assortment of sweet soul tracks, with a slightly earthier edge than many recordings in the genre boasted. Most of the songs are upbeat romantic numbers highlighting Williams' smooth, high vocals, inserting covers of songs by the Four Tops, the Spinners, and (more unexpectedly) Bobby Goldsboro. The most impressive cuts, by a long shot, are the ones that steer away from the usual romantic themes to make general social observations. The opener "I See Hope" is a lively, dramatic expression of optimism; the closing "The Whole Damn World Is Going Crazy," in contrast, reflects the pessimism infiltrating much early-'70s soul, the gently percolating grooves and soaring strings offsetting lyrics of confusion at the backstabbing state of the modern world. [The 2010 CD reissue on BGP adds historical liner notes and both sides of the subsequent single "Come What May"/"Just Ain't No Love Without You Here," two midtempo tunes with a similar vibe to those on the album.]

Product Details

Release Date: 12/07/2010
Label: Beat Goes Public Bgp
UPC: 0029667522526
catalogNumber: 6752252
Rank: 75402

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Gary Williams   Primary Artist
Earl Thomas   Bass
Willie Hall   Drums
Bobby Manuel   Guitar
Memphis Symphony Orchestra   Strings
Lester Snell   Keyboards
Marvell Thomas   Keyboards
Michael Toles   Guitar
Richard Williams   Background Vocals
Newcomers   Background Vocals
William Brown   Background Vocals
South Memphis Horns   Horn
Hot Buttered Soul   Background Vocals
Ray Cunningham   Drums
Michael Cooper   Guitar

Technical Credits

Bobby Russell   Composer
Pete Bishop   Engineer
Willie Hall   Composer,Producer
Ivy Jo Hunter   Composer
Robert Jackson   Engineer
Lester Snell   Arranger,Composer
William "Mickey" Stevenson   Composer
Dean Rudland   Liner Notes
John Gary Williams   Composer,Producer
Yvette Davis   Composer
William Brown   Composer,Engineer
John Allen   Arranger
Dale O. Warren   Arranger

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