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Wow... / Bound to Happen (Reissue)

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Album Review

In 1997, Fantasy combined two of William Bell's classic Stax albums, Wow... and Bound to Happen, on a single CD. The albums found the soul man in two notably different settings. The last Bell album that was produced by organist Booker T. Jones, Bound to Happen is a Memphis-oriented treasure boasting a number of songs that should have been major hits but weren't, including the sweaty "All God's Children Got Soul" and a magnificent remake of Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign." And under Jones, Bell shows us how well Sly & the Family Stone's "Everyday People" works in a Memphis soul setting. Wow..., meanwhile, marked the first time Bell didn't record in Memphis. Instead, he recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL under Stax's Al Bell and went for a consistently sleeker sound and more of a Northern soul orientation. Wow... isn't quite as strong as Bound to Happen, but it does have its share of impressive material, including "Penny for Your Thoughts" and the hit "I Forgot to Be Your Lover." As it turned out, that sleeker approach would be a primary direction for Bell in the '70s.


Born: July 16, 1939 in Memphis, TN

Genre: R&B/Soul

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

A principal architect of the Stax/Volt sound, singer/composer William Bell remains best known for his classic "You Don't Miss Your Water," one of the quintessential soul records to emerge from the Memphis scene. Born William Yarborough on July 16, 1939, he cut his teeth backing Rufus Thomas, and in 1957 recorded his first sides as a member of the Del Rios. After joining the Stax staff as a writer, Bell made his solo debut in 1961 with the self-penned "You Don't Miss Your Water," an archetypal slice...
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Wow... / Bound to Happen (Reissue), William Bell
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