23 July 2013

23rd July - Solomon Burke's Don't Give Up On Me

Artist – Album: Solomon Burke – Don’t Give Up On Me
Released: 23rd July 2002

Sounds Like: The king of rock and soul

So, on the day the new prince was born, the summer sunshine finally fled the sky, which was then ominously seized upon by granite grey clouds and dramatic thunder and lightning. It was the same sinister portent that you may expect from an Omen film. Coincidence? Most likely. Meaningless? Indubitably! But then again...

Today’s album is more about rebirth than birth, as Solomon Burke, the self-styled ‘King of Rock and Soul’, found a new lease of life. He originally found fame in the early sixties, laying down some of the definitive soul and R&B recordings of the ea, such as ‘Everybody Needs Somebody’, ‘Cry to Me’ and ‘Down in the Valley’. By the millennium though, his star had faded somewhat. He hadn’t troubled the charts for decades and he spent years jumping between smaller labels. At Fat Possum Records, though, it all came together. Aided by some of the most gifted songwriters in the business (amongst the contributors here are Van Morrison, Tom Waits, Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan and Nick Lowe), Burke is at his very best; wrapping his rich, exceptional voice around reflective but assured lyrics. Bookended by the fantastic title track and the autumnal ‘Sit This One Out’ – the first, all pleading Deep Soul and impassioned vocals, one of the best performances of his entire career, the latter weary and exhausted – the album is populated solely by amazing soul tracks.

Burke spent the rest of his life releasing further critically acclaimed albums until he died in 2010. We have this powerful, passionate album to thank for returning him to his throne.

Albumaday... rating: 8/10

1.       Don’t Give Up on Me – 3:45
2.       Fast Train – 5:43
3.       Diamond in Your Mind – 4:24
4.       Flesh and Blood – 6:07
5.       Soul Searchin’ – 3:59
6.       Only a Dream – 5:09
7.       The Judgment – 3:30
8.       Stepchild – 5:10
9.       The Other Side of the Coin – 3:46
10.   None of Us Are Free – 5:29
11.   Sit This One Out – 4:33

Listen to ‘Sit This One Out’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQ_p4uMDZVc

Also released on the 23rd July:
2001: Super Furry Animals – Rings Around the World

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