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Games People Play / Walk a Mile In My Shoes-Single

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Album Review

To some degree, Games People Play was a rushed album, issued to capitalize on the unexpected hit single title track (which had first been issued as an LP-only cut on South's previous long-player, Introspect). Three songs that had appeared on Introspect ("Games People Play," "Birds of a Feather," and "These Are Not My People") were placed on Games People Play as well, and some of the other songs (like "Untie Me" and "Concrete Jungle") had been recorded by other artists as early as 1962. For all that, however, it was a pretty cracking good set of country-soul-rock, and if it was hastily thrown together, it certainly didn't show in the songwriting, production, or performances. South's sage, humanistic, and somewhat outside-looking-in view of the madding crowd came through forcefully in "Party People," "These Are Not My People," and "Birds of a Feather." Wholehearted romantic lust and confusion laced his energetic recastings of "Untie Me" (first a hit for the Tams back in 1962) and "Hush" (which had just been a smash for Deep Purple), as well as the respectable Elvis Presley-meets-Neil Diamond-styled "Heart's Desire," which had the catchiness of a hit single. The dabs of psychedelia throughout the record — some electric guitar here, some weird echo there (both at once on "Hole in Your Soul," the most avowedly strange track) — might have been trendy, but were nonetheless effective. Quite a lot of fine music not found on best-of compilations awaits South fans who have yet to discover this record.


Born: 28 February 1940 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Pop

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

Singer/songwriter Joe South (born Joe Souter) began his career as a country musician, performing on an Atlanta radio station and joining Pete Drake's band in 1957. The following year, he recorded a novelty single, "The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor," and became a session musician in Nashville and at Muscle Shoals. South appeared on records by Marty Robbins, Eddy Arnold, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, Bob Dylan (Blonde on Blonde), and Simon & Garfunkel ("The Sounds of Silence"). During...
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Games People Play / Walk a Mile In My Shoes-Single, Joe South
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