Steal Away: The Early Fame Recordings

Steal Away: The Early Fame Recordings

by Jimmy Hughes


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Jimmy Hughes is known mostly for his classic 1964 Top 20 soul ballad "Steal Away," but did a good amount of recording for the FAME label in the 1960s. This is the first of two volumes of his FAME output on Kent, essentially presenting his 1964 debut LP Steal Away with ten bonus tracks (six taken from 1962-1965 singles, the other four previously unreleased). "Steal Away" (the song) is great, but like many albums of its time, the LP of the same name -- half of which was comprised of tracks also appearing on singles -- is on the shallow side. There are competent yet inessential covers of R&B staples like "A Shot of Rhythm and Blues," "Stormy Monday Blues," "There Is Something on Your Mind," and James Brown's "Try Me" (which was issued as the follow-up 45 to "Steal Away"), and "Everybody Let's Dance" is uncomfortably close to Bobby Bland's classic "Turn on Your Love Light." The other tracks -- including early songwriting efforts by Joe South and Dan Penn -- are rather more lighthearted in tone than the emotional "Steal Away" might lead you to hope for, and sometimes derivative ("Lovely Ladies" strongly recalling the early Impressions), though Hughes' high sweet voice is pleasing. Of more interest are the bonus tracks from 1962-1965 singles, which show Hughes and the FAME studio at which he recorded making tentative moves toward developing the quality Southern pop-soul that became a FAME trademark. Of special interest among those cuts are the Tommy Roe-penned, Latin-tinged ballad "You Might as Well Forget Him" and the 1964 45 "Goodbye My Lover Goodbye," which -- although not the original version -- is the same song as the Searchers' 1965 hit "Goodbye My Love." One of the bonus songs, "Girl You Belong Here with Me," gets no points for being an apparent attempt to rewrite Arthur Alexander's "You Better Move On." But even if this isn't the most original or striking set of soul, it certainly benefits from Kent's usual attention to detail, with Hughes' early FAME years extensively annotated in the accompanying booklet.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/29/2009
Label: Kent Records Uk
UPC: 0029667232425
catalogNumber: 6723242
Rank: 60001

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