Our continually-growing Songwriter Series goes south of the Mason-Dixon line with a long-overdue salute to two gentlemen whose names are synonymous with Southern Soul - but whose work, as this collection reveals, also extends into the realms of country, pop and Southern Rock.
Many great writers emerged out of the Muscle Shoals music scene of the 1960s but few of them made quite the impact on popular music of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham. Prolific together and apart, the two men are responsible for innumerable Hall-Of-Fame classics.
Sweet Inspiration gathers up two dozen of their finest co-creations and demonstrates that they are fully deserving of the kind of accolades that they have always received from soul fans and that, in recent years, they have been afforded by a much broader spectrum of music lovers and music writers.
It's astonishing to think that most of these songs were written in a period of not much more than two years, and that both men were also collaborating with other Shoals writers during the same timeframe.
A future follow-up volume will showcase Dan's collaborations with others. For now, though, we invite you to enjoy the songs of Penn and Oldham as rendered by names as famous as Charlie Rich, Percy Sledge and Etta James and as obscure as Art Freeman and Jeanne Newman.
Pop - Vocal Pop
Ace Records UK
Ace Records UK
Ace Records UK
Ace Records UK
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Sure, you know these songs. At least you do if you're over the age of forty and weren't raised in an Amish commune. Even if the title doesn't ring a bell, once you listen to the song, you'll have one of those "Oh, yeah!" moments. These are songs so delicious that they melt in your ears. Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham rank as one of the finest songwriting duos of the rock and soul era. From Muscle Shoals to Memphis, these guys are musical royalty. The songs they wrote are so well crafted that they could be covered by soul, blues, country, pop, or rock acts, and always sound like they were written especially for that artist. Many diverse examples of the duo's songwriting craft can be found on this 24-track compilation. It focuses on the duo's late 1960s output, with artists such as Percy Sledge, Dionne Warwick, Charlie Rich, Etta James, Solomon Burke, the Box Tops, Tony Joe White, Ronnie Milsap, Patti LaBelle, Irma Thomas, Tommy Roe, and Joe Simon performing a sumptuous bunch of songs...
Ace Records continues its winning streak of classic anthologies. Songwriters Dan Penn & Spooner Oldham wrote so many classic tracks that no one disc will cover everything, but "Sweet Inspiration" delights from start to finish. The set opens with "Out of the Blue" that mesmerized me when I first heard it on John Fred & his Playboy Band's 60s album Agnes English. Percy Sledge's version milks the soul and polishes this delicious song of love & longing. "I'm Your Puppet" is slow soulful track with Dionne's voice in its prime, "I'm just a toy, just your funny toy that makes you laugh when you feel blue." "Sweet Inspiration" by the group of the same name is a strong track written by Dan when he didn't feel the material the group was recording was strong enough -- great story, great song. Soloman Burke serves up a slow gorgeous rendition of "Take Me As I Am" with...
Sweet Inspiration The songs of Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham, loved these 2 guys from the early days of soul, when I found their names backing Aretha on her first albums. These songs are the best tracks found anywhere and include a great variety of soul and country singers. Percy Sledge, out of left field, Dionne Warwick, I'm Your puppet, Charlie Rich and Jeanne Newman singing the heck out of the songs. Great names such as James Carr, The Box Tops, Tony Jo White and arthur Conley are also present in this anthology. 24 songs, great artists, great variety, wonderful backing tracks. This collection belongs in everyone's music library.
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