Price: £14.99
Format: cd
Artist: Bobby Womack
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Bobby Womack cd The Preacher Charly
When singer/songwriter Bobby Womack died in June 2014, one of the last surviving links to the pre-Soul/R&B era was lost.  Blessed with one of the warmest, most readily-identifiable voices in Soul music, the former Gospel singer and sometime protege of Sam Cooke duly carved out his reputation with a series of hit albums and singles in the early 70s, the first five of which are recollected here in miniaturised form.  Comprising 51 tracks, fourteen of which became hit singles, The Preacher showcases Womack's early solo career as he emerged from the shadows as a session guitarist to become an internationally recognised artist in his own right.
Produced by Chips Moman, Womack's impressive debut long-player spawned three hit singles from its mix of classy covers ('ly Me To The Moon', 'Moonlight In Vermont') and original material.  Womack's soulful rasp on tracks such as 'I'm A Midnight Mover', co-written with Wilson Pickett, lends the album a distinctive Stax feel, while 'California Dreamin' is a sublime reinterpretation of The Mamas & The Papas' hit.
Womack's follow-up consolidated his position as a rival to contemporary Soul giants Wilson Pickett and Don Covay.  Rib-stickingly soulful, not for nothing did My Prescription garner heavy airplay, resulting in five hit singles the biggest of which was 'How I Miss You Baby'.  Whilst Womack's songwriting skill is never in doubt, he also gives Easy Listening standards such as 'I Left My Heart In San Francisco' a fresh slant.
As the liner notes enthuse: "Bobby held church that night and for all of those present, before they left, I know they felt the spirit moving into their bodies and rocking them with a whole lotta' soul".  Womack's first live album includes a smattering of his recent hits ('The Preacher', 'ËœMore Than I Can Stand') alongside covers of contemporary material such as George Harrison's 'Something' and Nilsson's 'Everybody's Talkin'. 
Womack's breakthrough album made the US R&B Top 10, resulting in his biggest single to date, 'That's The Way I Feel About 'Cha', and featuring '(If You Don't Want My Love) Give It Back', a song he would subsequently revisit for the soundtrack to Across 110th Street and again with Rolling Stone Ron Wood.  Actress Pam Grier is among the backing vocalists on this eclectic mix of old and new, which includes 'Yield Not To Temptation', previously recorded by The Womack Brothers a decade earlier.  
With an almost identical line-up of musicians to its predecessor and recorded partly in Memphis and at Muscle Shoals, Understanding gave Womack his first US R&B No.1 in the shape of 'Woman's Gotta Have It'. 'Harry Hippie' inspired by his late brother Harris, and a cover of Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)' completed the trio of hit single spin-offs, while 'I Can Understand It' became an underground club classic of the pre-Disco era.
1. Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) [02:06]
2. Baby, You Ought To Think It Over [02:30]
3. I'm A Midnight Mover [02:00]
4. What Is This? [02:31]
5. Somebody Special [02:55]
6. Take Me [02:30]
7. Moonlight In Vermont [02:34]
8. Love, The Time Is Now [03:18]
9. I'm In Love [02:40]
10. California Dreamin' [03:20]
11. No Money In My Pocket [03:01]
12. Lillie Mae [01:54]
1. How I Miss You, Baby [03:15]
2. More Than I Can Stand [02:48]
3. It's Gonna Rain [02:18]
4. Everyone's Gone To The Moon [02:36]
5. I Can't Take It Like A Man [03:02]
6. I Left My Heart In San Francisco [02:19]
7. Arkansas State Prison [02:56]
8. I'm Gonna Forget About You [02:25]
9. Don`t Look Back [02:45]
10. Tried And Convicted [02:47]
11. Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words) [02:06]
12. Thank You [04:06]
1. Let It Out [02:00]
2. Intro [00:20]
3. How I Miss You, Baby [04:08]
4. California Dreamin' [06:04]
5. Something [02:44]
6. Everybody's Talkin' [03:02]
7. Medley: Laughing And Clowning / To Live The Past [03:43]
8. I'm A Midnight Mover [05:19]
9. The Preacher [06:00]
10. More Than I Can Stand [06:00]
1. Communication [04:41]
2. Comme L'Amore [03:00]
3. Fire And Rain [04:26]
4. (if You Don`t Want My Love) Give It Back [02:50]
5. Monologue / (They Long To Be) Close To You [09:25]
6. Everything Is Beautiful [02:54]
7. That's The Way I Feel About 'cha [05:09]
8. Yield Not To Temptation [02:50]
1. I Can Understand It [06:29]
2. Woman`s Gotta Have It [03:28]
3. And I Love Her [02:39]
4. Got To Get You Back [02:48]
5. Simple Man [05:50]
6. Ruby Dean [03:22]
7. Thing Called Love [03:54]
8. Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good) [03:05]
9. Harry Hippie [03:46]