Joe Simon – (The) Best of Joe Simon, Greatest Hits: The Spring Years

ARTIST: Joe Simon

TITLE: (The) Best of Joe Simon / Greatest Hits: The Spring Years

YEAR RELEASED: Compliation(s)

CHART ACTION:  None

SINGLES: Top 10: My Adorable One (#102 US, #8 R&B), The Chokin’ Kind (#13 US, #1 R&B), Farther on Down the Road (#57 US, #7 R&B), Yours Love (#78 US, #10 R&B), Your Time to Cry (#40 US, #3 R&B), Power of Love (#11 US, #1 R&B), Trouble in My Home (#50 US, #5 R&B), Step By Step (#37 US, #6 R&B, #14 UK), Theme from Cleopatra Jones (#18 US, #3 R&B), River (#62 US, #6 R&B), Get Down Get Down (Get on the Floor) (#8 US, #1 R&B), Music in My Bones (#92 US< #7 R&B), I Need You You Need Me (#5 R&B)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: He covered some soul classics through his career that you’d know.

LINEUP: Joe Simon + sessioneers – in Nashville early and then with Gamble & Huff

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Long time chart mainstay has two (three) collections that neatly summarize his career – first in Nashville then in Philly.

 SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Joe Simon was a Louisiana native that went from gospel to secular R&B in the early 60’s,and kicked around before hooking up with the Monument Records group in Nashville in 1966. He and his producers developed a sound that definitely had a country influence in the R&B world. (“The Chokin’ Kind was written by Harlan Howard and originally cut by Waylon Jennings).

Sensing a trend, his DJ friend steered him to Philly and Gamble & Huff and had a chart run from 1972 through 1975 that constantly had him in the pop and R&B charts.

These collections cover three eras: His pre-Nashville era (mostly generic R&B pleaders), the Nashville era on Monument and the Philly era on Spring. His unique voice which could cover both a tenor and a bass / baritone was well suited for mid-tempo soul and harder-edged ballads that gave him a niche in the market.

The main issue with the earlier comps is that they’re not complete (that’s why you need two) and not in chronological order. The Spring Records comp is more complete for that company, but it misses a lot, of course. It’s a shame that there are licensing loggerheads that one well-picked compilation won’t do, but you can have both and groove with an artist that should be more well known.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: He stopped recording secular music in 1980 and returned to the church to become a pastor.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 GRADE: B+: Together these comps (with some pruning) would be an A, but that’s not the world we live in right now.

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