Play the Game: The XL and Sounds of Memphis Story, Vol. 2

Play the Game: The XL and Sounds of Memphis Story, Vol. 2

CD

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Overview

Considering that even very few dedicated soul collectors knew about the XL and Sounds of Memphis companies at the beginning of the 21st century, a surprising amount of material was retrieved from the vaults prior to and including this 2008 CD reissue. This second various-artists anthology assembled from their holdings (which have also yielded cuts appearing on a couple other CDs) is divided about evenly between previously unreleased material and tracks appearing on obscure singles between the mid-'60s and the mid-'70s. The good news is that Play the Game: The XL and Sounds of Memphis Story, Vol. 2 is at least as consistent and impressive as the first volume. The less impressive news is that for the most part it's pretty average period Southern soul, with few recordings that really make you sit up and take notice, and certainly not as distinct a flavor as the better Memphis discs being cut in the same era at Stax and Hi. It's a serviceable sampler of the typical Memphis soul sound of the time, and in its modest way a mirror of the way trends turned from the earthier R&B of the earliest performances to the sweeter, more slickly produced, more funk-oriented, and often blander ones of the subsequent decade. The clear standout of these 22 tracks is Carroll Lloyd's 1967 single "Try My Love," a country-tinged deep soul ballad with an aching melody that would have fit in comfortably on the acclaimed Dave Godin's Deep Soul Treasures series, for instance. Other points of interest include the uncanny similarity to Sam Cooke in the lead vocals of the Ovations' "Little Man"; a bluesy soul outing by Willie Cobbs, famed as the composer of the blues standard "You Don't Love Me"; the previously unreleased "All in My Mind" by George Jackson, more noted as songwriter of the Osmonds' "One Bad Apple" and co-writer of Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock & Roll"; and Vision's "Play the Game," engagingly raw 1973 funk with a vibrant organ, though the song just isn't up to the arrangement or performance.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/16/2008
Label: Kent Records Uk
UPC: 0029667229821
catalogNumber: 298
Rank: 96791

Tracks

  1. All in My Mind
  2. Play the Game
  3. Got to Get Home
  4. Gotta Move On (To My Destiny)
  5. Today, Tomorrow and You
  6. Natural Reaction
  7. Is It Love
  8. You Don't Love Me
  9. #1
  10. Stepping Stone
  11. She's Not Mama's Little Girl Anymore
  12. Take Time to Love Your Woman
  13. Little Man
  14. I Don't Need You No More
  15. So Much Love to This
  16. Teardrops
  17. Try My Love
  18. I Love You
  19. Doorsteps to Sorrow
  20. Nothing But the Truth
  21. Take a Look at Yourself
  22. I'll Love Only You

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