My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: The title of this album comes from Burke being referred to as the King of Rock and Soul. Released in November of 1964 the album contained seven songs that ranked on the Billboard Top 100 Pop Singles chart. The album was produced by Bert Berns, who is responsible for writing some of the biggest pop songs and producing some of the biggest pop albums of the early and mid-sixties.
What I liked: Coming into the album, I was fairly familiar with Burke, but the only song I really recognized here was “Cry To Me”, a song which I’ve always really enjoyed my favorite part is the rolling drums towards the end). So with that as the starting point I was very excited for this album. I was not let down. Some of the songs on the album seem to look back a little with the sort of “angelic choir” of female backing vocals and the doo-wop-ish male backing vocals that are on many ’50’s records. At the same time “Won’t You Give Him (One More Chance)” really reminds me of an upbeat Cat Stevens song, so Burke was also looking forward. The name dropping of Ray Charles and Sam Cooke in “If You Need Me” are great and the bluesy acoustic finish of the song is wonderful. Speaking of the backing band, the style is really “Stax-ish”. Especially the guitar which could easily be Steve Cropper (Though I would doubt it is Cropper, I can’t seem to find any info on the backing musicians).
My Overall Thoughts: The whole point of this project was to find great albums that I can listen to over and over. And although I have to sit through some real clunkers (I’m looking at you Mingus), this album makes the whole project worthwhile. This one is going on my permanent rotation and gives me a starting point to get into more Burke than I’ve listened to in the past.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? This without a doubt should be her. Seven top 100 singles out of twelve songs! And they rise above the test of time as amazing pieces of music.
Rating (Out of 5): 4.5
Amazon Review (Out of 5):4 (Only one review, this album needs more love)
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (37/47)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 79%