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In Control

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Album Review

In the 1960s and early to mid-'70s, Johnnie Taylor was omnipresent on Black radio. But in the '80s and '90s, it all but ignored him — the reason being his refusal to embrace high-tech "urban contemporary" sounds. Taylor has continued to excel by sticking with the type of unapologetically gospel-influenced soul music he's always done. Crazy Bout You may have been recorded in 1988, but this treasure sounds like it could have been recorded 15 years earlier. Indeed, unpretentious and straightforward offerings like "It Don't Hurt Me Like It Used To," "Let's Get Closer" and the funky title song aren't significantly different from his early to mid-'70s Stax output (which was smoother and sleeker than his '60s work for that label). A cover of Wilson Pickett's "I Found A Love," however, is more '60s-like. Taylor has been one of Malaco's best-selling artists, and In Control points to the fact that he's also one of its most consistently rewarding.


Born: 05 May 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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In Control, Johnnie Taylor
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