"Plenty Good Lovin'" was recorded in 1970, at a time when Sam Moore--one half of legendary soulsters Sam & Dave for anyone who did not know--was at a personal low. The album was recorded using a stellar bunch of musicians, including the likes of Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, Cornell Dupree and Chuck Rainey. King Curtis produced the 10 tracks that were recorded in New York (and played all the saxes), with the others being handled by Dave Crawford and Brad Shapiro in Miami. Six of the tracks have previously been released on three singles, but the byline of "The Lost Album" is more than justified.
The album opens with the brace of tracks that were cut in Miami. The title track kicks things off in terrific style. Moore is in great voice, and delivers up a slice of classic soul music which shows that he knew a thing or two about songwriting too. The music sounds as fresh in the 21st century as it must have done 30-odd years ago. "Tennessee Waltz," which follows, is another cracking track, with its clever fade up of the wailing horns at the start.
Vocally Moore sounds as good as he ever did. Whether taking on the likes of the Miracles "Shop Around" or the Detroit Emeralds "If I Lose Your Love"--which positively smoulders--Moore comes up with the goods time after time. The band even get a little funky on Allen Toussaint's "Get Out My Life Woman" and carry the mood over into Moore's own "Hi De Hi."
The album's biggest high point comes on Clay Hammond's "Part Time Love." This is another slow one, on which Moore pours out his heart, simply oozing class. It is made all the better by the sympathetic backing of the band. Although the ensuing closing version of "I Can't Stand It" does seem a little pale in comparison, it is nonetheless another fine example of Moore's great vocal talents as a soul singer.
"Plenty Good Lovin'" shows that great soul music will always endure. Even though the album is over 30 years old, it has a vitality and freshness that is missing from many of today's soul records. The album comes complete with a good 16 page booklet, packed with details surrounding the album. The only thing that is missing is the complete line-ups of the bands; some of the details of the recording sessions were lost along the way somewhere. No matter, even at this early stage, "Plenty Good Lovin'" is destined to be
one of the best soul albums of this year.
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