Joe Simon – Joe Simon…Better Than Ever (1969/2019) [FLAC 24 bit, 96 kHz]

Joe Simon - Joe Simon...Better Than Ever (1969/2019) [FLAC 24 bit, 96 kHz] Download

Artist: Joe Simon
Album: Joe Simon…Better Than Ever
Genre: Soul, Blues
Release Date: 1969/2019
Audio Format:: FLAC (tracks) 24 bit, 96 kHz
Duration: 31:49
Total Tracks: 11
Total Size: 683 MB


1. Joe Simon – Silver Spoons and Coffee Cups (02:58)
2. Joe Simon – It’s Hard to Get Along (02:57)
3. Joe Simon – In the Ghetto (02:45)
4. Joe Simon – I Got a Whole Lot of Lovin’ (02:29)
5. Joe Simon – Wounded Man (02:56)
6. Joe Simon – Time and Space (02:44)
7. Joe Simon – Straight Down to Heaven (03:46)
8. Joe Simon – When (02:18)
9. Joe Simon – After the Lights Go Down Low (02:30)
10. Joe Simon – San Francisco Is a Lonely Town (03:19)
11. Joe Simon – Rainbow Road (03:01)


His plaintive baritone equally conversant with R&B and country phrasing, Joe Simon married the two genres with startling success during the late ’60s, adapting Nashville material to the soul sound and repeatedly coming up a winner. Simon began recording in the Bay Area, but a switch in recording sites (first to Muscle Shoals for Vee-Jay and then to Nashville, upon signing with disc jockey John Richbourg’s Sound Stage 7 label in 1966) heightened his national appeal. With easy access to prime country-oriented material, Simon soon found his true calling, scoring major hits with “Nine Pound Steel,” “(You Keep Me) Hangin’ On,” and the number one R&B smash “The Chokin’ Kind,” penned by Music Row tunesmith Harlan Howard. Still dabbling in country covers after switching to the Spring imprint in 1970, Simon was even more successful when assigned to Philadelphia wizards Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who produced the moody “Drowning in the Sea of Love” the next year. Simon tried his hand at disco in 1975 with the sizzling “Get Down, Get Down (Get on the Floor)” and “Music in My Bones,” two of the most palatable artifacts of the era. Simon eventually retired from active performing to devote his life to the church; in the 1990s, he recorded a gospel album called This Story Must Be Told.The hard-working Joe Simon cut three albums in 1969 (admittedly, this was back in the day when a pop album rarely ran over 35 minutes, but that’s still an impressive amount of material in the space of twelve months), and if Better Than Ever found Simon running a bit short on top-shelf material, as a vocalist he was still hitting his targets dead center. Unfortunately, Simon and his producers weren’t able to scare up any Harlan Howard compositions for this set (which always showed off Simon’s subtle but deeply affecting vocal style to his best advantage), and the album’s take on Mac Davis’ “In the Ghetto” never quite gets into gear, but otherwise Simon’s performances range from strong to stellar on this set, and the production shows a touch more polish than on Simon’s earlier sessions which mirrors the strength of his voice without overpowering it. “Straight Down to Heaven,” “Wounded Man,” and ” “Silver Spoons and Coffee Cups” are outstanding examples of Southern soul at its most beautifully sorrowful, “When” is a topical “peace and brotherhood” number which has worn better than most, and “Rainbow Road” (written by Dan Penn and Donnie Fritts) is a simply masterful example of Simon making the most of a thick slice of country soul (even if Arthur Alexander’s later recording topped it). Not quite top-shelf Joe Simon, Better Than Ever is still good enough to please anyone who loves Southern soul at its best. – Mark Deming

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

© 2024 - WordPress Theme by WPEnjoy
%d bloggers like this: