TITLE: For the Good Times: The Allan Toussaint Sessions
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Charting: Tell It Like It Is (#2, #1 R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Hercules. He covers Baby I’m a Want You, Mojo Hannah, One Fine Day, and For the Good Times
LINEUP: Aaron Neville. Allan Toussaint always had a good band with many of the Neville Brothers or the Meters backing him on occasion.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: After leaving Minit Records, a soulful tenor crooner makes a bunch of great sides with famous producer Allan Toussaint, and it’s a shame they weren’t really heard for the most part
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Aaron Neville had been recording for a few years on Minit Records, but nothing really came of those tracks except one minor R&B hit in 1960. In the mid-60s, he recorded a few tracks, including “Tell It Like It Is” for a local New Orleans label and that became a smash.
Later, famous producer Allan Toussaint snapped up Aaron for some work for his production company and released and leased out singles, and recorded a would be theme for a Blaxploitation movie (“Hercules”). He covered some tunes that in other hands are treacly, but with Neville at the mic and Toussaint at the helm they were soulful and funky (he transforms “Baby I’m a Want You”).
This collection shows what we could have had if Neville’s singles would have hit. Alas. But it exists now, and that’s good enough for me.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “”Hercules” had some pressing problems in the UK and never got a release, which is a shame
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. But there is another collection that also has tracks from this era. Also, the rest of his Par-Lo record recordings aside from “Tell It Like It Is” has vaporized.
GRADE A-: Aaron Neville’s voice makes everything better.