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Freddie Scott - Mr. Heartache (The Best of the Columbia Recordings Plus!)

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Album Review

Freddie Scott did a lot of recording for Columbia in what should have been the prime of his career. Yet his mid-'60s stint with the label was unsatisfactory from both the commercial and artistic angles. The 23-track Mr. Heartache, taken mostly from those Columbia recordings, thus shouldn't be considered as a best-of or close to it. All of his hits were recorded either just before (for Colpix) or just after (for Shout) his time at Columbia. While this CD does function as a good survey of his work for the label by drawing 19 songs from his Columbia singles and one of his two Columbia LPs (1967's Lonely Man, included here in its entirety), this material quite simply isn't as good as what he did elsewhere. Part of that shortfall is due to the arrangements, which tend toward the overly lush, as if they're uncertain whether Scott should be a soul or mainstream pop singer. That's also true to some extent of the material, which is the poppiest shade of New York soul, and not of great quality, despite contributions from notable writers like Van McCoy, Luther Dixon, and Scott himself. Scott's singing is reliably strong, but also falls a little between the cracks as far as carving out a territory of his own: one of the strongest tracks ("Lonely Man"), for instance, strongly recalls the Drifters and Ben E. King at their peaks, without coming too close to the hits those acts scored. King and Chuck Jackson, to take two examples, made more of an imprint with urbane soul than Scott could with these tunes, due both to better material and production. A few fairly decent songs ("Lonely Man," McCoy's "I'll Try Again," and "Mr. Heartache") highlight a patchy CD that's probably mostly for serious Scott fans, and also includes four oldies covers from his 1967 Shout LP Are You Lonely for Me? that were previously unreleased on CD.


Born: April 24, 1933 in Providence, RI

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Best remembered for his 1966 R&B chart-topper "Are You Lonely for Me," deep soul belter Freddie Scott was born April 24, 1933, in Providence, RI. In his early teens, he performed with his grandmother's gospel group, Sally Jones & the Gospel Keyes, but then gravitated toward a career in medicine, working on his Ph.D. at Paine College in Augusta, GA. There Scott joined the Swanee Quintet Juniors, a teen version of the famed gospel act, making his recorded debut singing lead on their "Far Away Places."...
Full Bio
Freddie Scott - Mr. Heartache (The Best of the Columbia Recordings Plus!), Freddie Scott
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: R&B/Soul, Music, Soul
  • Released: Feb 18, 2011

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