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There's No Good In Goodbye

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Album Review

This posthumous album from the chitlin circuit soul/bluesman is comprised of previously unreleased songs left over from his various Malaco albums. But even though there has been some overdubbing, remixing, and touching up of these original sessions recorded from 1984-1999, the disc flows remarkably well. The usual Malaco embellishments of slick horns, slicker backing vocals, and inconsistent material plagues some of the music, but in general this is as solid a collection of songs as any he released for the imprint. Tracks ten through 16 were recorded in 1999 for his last album, Gotta Get the Groove Back, which was released shortly before his death. They feature the cream of the Muscle Shoals studio musicians, including bassist David Hood, guitarist Jimmy Johnson, and occasional Rolling Stones saxman Jim Horn. The sound remains polished, but Taylor is in terrific voice and spirits throughout, and he, like his idol Sam Cooke (who he imitates briefly in "Where Is Your Woman Tonight"), elevates even the most lackluster material with his malleable pipes. One of the most interesting tracks is a 1988 cover of Paul Simon's "Take Me to the Mardi Gras," a duet with his son Floyd, who added harmony vocals after his dad's death. Although these were leftovers, there is nothing second-rate about them. Slow, swampy burners such as "Please Sign the Dotted Line" and the gospel-ish "I Reach for You," along with upbeat funk like "Con Lover," rank with his finest work for Malaco. His blues are downplayed in favor of the label's soul orientation, but this is still prime Johnnie Taylor. This project is obviously a labor of love, and a fitting coda to an underappreciated career for one of America's best Southern soul singers.


Born: May 05, 1938 in Crawfordsville, AR

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Young gospel phenom, gritty Stax/Volt soulster, lady-killing balladeer, chart-topping disco king, Southern soul-blues stalwart -- Johnnie Taylor somehow always managed to adapt to the times, and he parlayed that versatility into a recording career that lasted nearly four decades. Nicknamed the "Philosopher of Soul" during his Stax days, that version of Taylor is best remembered for his 1968 R&B chart-topping smash "Who's Making Love," but far and away his biggest success was 1976's across-the-board...
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There's No Good In Goodbye, Johnnie Taylor
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