Southern soul singer Arthur Conley is known to most for his perfect celebration, â€œSweet Soul Music.â€ Based on a â€œYeah Manâ€ by his vocal inspiration, Sam Cooke, and co-written with his mentor, Otis Redding, the song topped out in 1967 at #2 on both the Hot 100 and R&B charts and became the lasting emblem of the â€˜60s soul movement. But like so many true artists that have one defining single, Conley recorded terrific material both before and after the lightning strike. This 1968 album was a bittersweet affair that collected singles and album sides recorded just months after the airplane crash that killed Redding and the Mar-Keys.
Unlike Conleyâ€™s earlier hits, which had been waxed at Muscle Shoals, the album was mostly recorded at the same American Studios in Memphis where Elvis would cap his late-60s comeback. Conley wrote half the songs, including the somber memorial â€œOtis Sleep On,â€ and collected a pair from Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn. Memphis horns resound in â€œFunky Street,â€ â€œHear Sayâ€ and â€œPeople Sure Act Funny,â€ and Conley draws from both Redding and Cooke in the pleading â€œThis Love of Mine.â€ Conley saves his most scorching vocal for the Redding written and produced â€œLove Comes and Goes.â€ This is a terrific, deeply felt album that should be in the collection of all soul music fans. [Â©2011 hyperbolium dot com]