12 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Sweet Inspirations were seasoned professionals long before Atlantic Records gave them the opportunity to wax their debut LP. The group, whose roots lay deep in the Southern gospel circuit, had struck secular gold in 1963 when their work on chart-scraping soul hits like Doris Troy’s “Just One Look” and Dionne Warwick’s “Don’t Make Me Over” made them the most sought-after back-up vocalists in the business. Given these credentials it is unsurprising that the Sweet Inspirations’ first full-length is an absolute knockout. They cut the record in Memphis in the summer of 1967, and the album is saturated in the sultry down-home atmosphere of that city, from the Stax-evoking groove of their reinterpretation of the Staple Singers’ protest anthem “Why Am I Treated So Bad” to their impassioned take on Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham’s “Do Right Woman — Do Right Man,” which gives Aretha Franklin’s iconic version a run for its money. Simply put, The Sweet Inspirations is essential listening for anyone with an interest in late-‘60s soul music.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Sweet Inspirations were seasoned professionals long before Atlantic Records gave them the opportunity to wax their debut LP. The group, whose roots lay deep in the Southern gospel circuit, had struck secular gold in 1963 when their work on chart-scraping soul hits like Doris Troy’s “Just One Look” and Dionne Warwick’s “Don’t Make Me Over” made them the most sought-after back-up vocalists in the business. Given these credentials it is unsurprising that the Sweet Inspirations’ first full-length is an absolute knockout. They cut the record in Memphis in the summer of 1967, and the album is saturated in the sultry down-home atmosphere of that city, from the Stax-evoking groove of their reinterpretation of the Staple Singers’ protest anthem “Why Am I Treated So Bad” to their impassioned take on Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham’s “Do Right Woman — Do Right Man,” which gives Aretha Franklin’s iconic version a run for its money. Simply put, The Sweet Inspirations is essential listening for anyone with an interest in late-‘60s soul music.

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