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The Very Best of Eddie Floyd

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Album Review

Although he is far from a household name in the 21st century, as a songwriter, producer, and performer Eddie Floyd made regular visits to the R&B charts from the mid-'60s through the mid-'70s while he was a part of the legendary Stax Records family. Floyd was originally hired by Stax as a writer and, paired with MG's guitarist Steve Cropper, he wrote several hits for the label, including one for himself, the classic "Knock on Wood" (based on the chord progression for "In the Midnight Hour" reversed), which was Floyd's second single when it was released in 1966. Later, Floyd began writing with another MG's member, Booker T. Jones, and his stay at Stax neatly divides into a Cropper era and a Jones era, both of which are covered in this fine 20-track set. Included are "Knock on Wood," the poignant "Big Bird" (written in the wake of Otis Redding's death, it should have been a bigger hit and remains a favorite of many collectors of vintage soul sides), and a strong cover of Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me," as well as essentially every key track Floyd sang lead on for Stax. He did much more behind the scenes as a writer and producer, but this set makes a solid introduction to Floyd as a performer, and while he might not have bottled dynamite on-stage quite as famously as Redding or Wilson Pickett, he certainly knew what to do with the recipe. The very definition of unsung, Eddie Floyd truly deserves a wider contemporary audience.

Biography

Born: 25 June 1937 in Montgomery, AL

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Soul singer/songwriter Eddie Floyd scored one of the defining hits of the Memphis soul sound with "Knock on Wood," a number one R&B smash that typified the Stax house style at its grittiest. Floyd was born in Montgomery, AL, in 1935, but grew up in Detroit, where his uncle Robert West owned a couple of record labels, including Lupine. In 1955, Floyd co-founded the seminal proto-soul group the Falcons, who eventually scored a major R&B hit with "You're So Fine" in 1959 (with Joe Stubbs, later of the...
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The Very Best of Eddie Floyd, Eddie Floyd
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