Searching for Dolphins: The Complete Soul City Recordings and More 1967-1971

Searching for Dolphins: The Complete Soul City Recordings and More 1967-1971

by Al WilsonAl Wilson


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Though Searching for the Dolphins was the title of Al Wilson's first album (in 1968), and though the entire LP is included on this CD, it's something more than a reissued or expanded edition of that record. In fact, the 11 songs from the original Searching for the Dolphins album (presented as the first 11 tracks of this CD) make up only half of this disc, which is augmented by 11 cuts from 1967-1971 non-LP singles. As such, it's the definitive document of the first phase of this minor but interesting soul star's career. The Searching for the Dolphins material is good but a little unnerving in its stylistic inconsistency, including rather lush Jimmy Webb/Johnny Rivers/Fred Neil covers, as well as a version of the MOR standard "This Guy's in Love with You." Yet it was the peculiar, fetching swamp rock-soul of "The Snake" that gave Wilson his first big hit, and a funky cover of jazzman Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Brother, Where Are You" also demonstrated the singer's harder edge. Though none of the non-LP singles were big hits, generally these too went into slightly eccentric pop-soul-rock territory, Wilson's delivery in particular showing more of a rootsy rock edge than most soul singers. His small hit cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Lodi" is a highlight, and also a general indication of the unusual non-soul influences Wilson admitted to his music, though these also included orchestrated pop, jazz, bluesy Southern funk, and a even a bit of period psychedelia. The 1971 single "Sugar Cane Girl" is surprisingly close to a decent soul-shaded CCR imitation, in fact, and a track from the same year ("Falling in Love with You") verges on funky hard rock. In retrospect, it's easy to hear why Wilson didn't have much commercial success during this era, as both his material and stylistic approach was too erratic. However, those very qualities are also what, in retrospect, make this material rather interesting, as it's certainly not run-of-the-mill production line late-'60s/early-'70s soul.

Product Details

Release Date: 05/30/2008
Label: Kent Records Uk
UPC: 0029667229029
catalogNumber: 290
Rank: 28246

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wilson   Primary Artist
James Burton   Guitar
Gene Page   Strings
Jim Gordon   Percussion,Drums
Hal Blaine   Percussion,Drums
Jim Horn   Flute
Larry Knechtel   Keyboards
Marty Paich   Strings
Joe Osborne   Bass,Guitar

Technical Credits

Fred Neil   Composer
Jerry Butler   Composer
John Fogerty   Composer
Curtis Mayfield   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Dave Bartholomew   Composer
Phil Hurtt   Composer
Gene Page   Horn Arrangements
James Hendricks   Composer
Oscar Brown   Composer
Lou Adler   Composer
Hal David   Composer
Ugene Dozier   Composer
Lamont Dozier   Composer
Marc Gordon   Composer
Eddie Holland   Composer
Brian Holland   Composer
Jim Horn   Engineer
Marty Paich   Horn Arrangements
Johnny Rivers   Composer,Producer
Armin Steiner   Engineer
Billy Page   Composer
James Alexander   Composer
Tony Rounce   Liner Notes
Leon Ware   Composer
Wayne Kimbell   Art Direction
Pearl King   Composer
William Butler   Composer
Willie Hutchison   Composer
Scott Barnes   Composer
Daniel Cohen   Composer
Jim Webb   Composer
Norman Curtis   Composer
Neale Clark   Composer

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