On the surface, this looks like a basic, though strong, '60's soul collection, featuring familiar names Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin. And it is a solid set, with many well-known hits and a few surprises to attract fans. But there's also a cool back story.
Originally this was an album released in North America and England in 1968, but the U.K. version was drastically different, featuring an almost completely different track listing. It featured songs that were bigger hits there. It also proved quite influential, rising to #16 on their album charts. A favourite compilation, it's now been reissued for the first time, and greatly expanded, from the original 12 tracks, to 29 total, almost 80 minutes long.
The original mix was pretty cool, kicking off with Pickett's Mustang Sally, sliding into Carla Thomas's B.A.B.Y.. and then gearing into party mode with Arthur Conley's Sweet Soul Music. After Percy Sledge's immortal When A Man Loves A Woman, the cuts get lesser known, with Sam and Dave's I Got Everything I Need and Ben E. King's title track probably not recognizable by the average listener, but still top-drawer. The rest of the original 12 are bigger hits, including Redding's singalong Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) and Eddie Floyd's Knock On Wood.