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The Best of the Rock 'n Years

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Album Review

The liner notes give only a few sketchy career details and little about the actual tracks on this 26-track compilation, which is probably unauthorized. But it can be safely assumed that it covers roughly the mid-'50s to the mid-'60s, as it reaches way back to some sides he did as a member of the Rainbows, and all the way up to "See Saw" and "Mercy, Mercy." Only a half-dozen or so of the tracks are on Razor & Tie's Mercy Mercy collection, so this goes a lot further into the roots of one of soul music's most interesting journeymen. It's erratic but fun, and in a way serves as a mini-primer on African-American rock through the mid-'60s, including doo wop; obvious Little Richard imitations, some very rawly performed and recorded early-'60s dance tunes along the lines of Hank Ballard, like "Pony Time" and "The Fat Man"; a Ben E. King cop, "See About Me" (covered by Gladys Knight & the Pips); and, ultimately, early quality soul in which Covay found a more distinct songwriting voice. Unfortunately, this doesn't have some good mid-'60s tracks like "Please Do Something" and "Sookie Sookie" (though those are on Mercy Mercy). Strange and very debatable assertion from the liner notes: "The very best song that the Jimi Hendrix Experience ever played was "'Mercy Mercy.'"


Born: 24 March 1938 in Orangeburg, SC

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

The career of singer Don Covay spanned virtually the entirety of the R&B spectrum, from the electrifying rock & roll of his earliest records to the gritty, swaggering deep soul of his most enduring efforts. The scope and diversity of his catalog no doubt contributed to his failure to enjoy consistent commercial success, however, and the general public is probably better acquainted with his songs than with his own renditions of them. Born Donald Randolph in Orangeburg, South Carolina on March 24,...
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Top Albums and Songs by Don Covay

The Best of the Rock 'n Years, Don Covay
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  • £3.99
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Soul
  • Released: 04 January 2011

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