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Real Love

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Album Review

The quality of Johnny Taylor's recordings hasn't suffered much since the major labels abandoned him for younger, fresher meat. "Back Street Love Affair" is southern soul magic, a gripping ballad depicting the multiple hearts-in-a-tangle theme; he updates "Lady Soul" popularized by the Temptations, and the the Staple Singers' smash "Respect Yourself," outdoing Pop Staples on vocals. The lyrics are downtrodden but "Poor Boy Blues" employs a lively beat for Taylor to wail about his woes. Real Love has an abundance of shufflers, including the title track "Changin' My Life With Love" and the best of the bunch "Huntin' Just Ain't No Fun." He tries for a '90s "Disco Lady" with "Sexy Dancer" but it lacks the dynamics of his '70s classic.

Biography

Born: May 5, 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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Real Love, Johnnie Taylor
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