Joe Tex – 1965 – Hold What You’ve Got
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Rip and Research by Mr.Moo
Posting and additional info’s by Nikos
For the most part, this early long-player from Joe Tex favors the goofier side of his musical personality rather than the home-truth moral lessons which often dominated much of his work. While “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show”, “You Better Get It” and the title tune all offer heartfelt advice on love and life, the Caribbean-flavored “I’m Not Going To Work Today” and the Roger Miller-turned-hawk anthem “Are We Ready” both aim squarely for the funny bone, as does the exasperated “You Can Stay”, a rant against noisy neighbors, while the slinky “You’ve Got What It Takes” confronts a seriously sexy woman with an appreciative smile. Of course, being the country boy that he was at heart, Joe Tex’s comic numbers are still seasoned with friendly advice on living a better life, but Tex’s warm, emphatic delivery and the easy-going but potently soulful accompaniment insures that Tex doesn’t sound preachy so much as he recalls a neighbor down the way ready to offer some helpful words to a friend in need. A consistently enjoyable album from one of the most distinctive artists of Southern soul.
A1 You Got What It Takes 2:12
A2 Tell Me Right Now 2:44
A3 One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show 2:59
A4 Hold What You’ve Got 3:07
A5 I’m Not Going To Work Today 2:06
A6 Are We Ready 2:28
B1 You Better Get It 3:21
B2 Heep See Few Know 2:34
B3 Fresh Out Of Tears 2:15
B4 You Can Stay 2:25
B5 There Is A Girl 2:26
B6 Together We Stand 2:01
Review by Soulmakossa
Having a huge hit under his belt, it was only natural for Atlantic Records, who had picked up Tex’ contract after “Hold What You’ve Got” smashed statewide, to pump out the man’s first longplayer.
As was the tradition, the album was named after the big hit it inspired and brought together mostly the singles Tex had released just prior to and just after “Hold What You’ve Got” made him a star.
The title-track not only was the first Southern Soul recording to cross over, it also crystalized Tex’ soon to become legendary modus operandum: folksy wisdom and homespun philosophies set to earthy, brassy country soul grooves.
Barroom piano and raggedy drums propel the rowdy “You Got What It Takes“, which was the flip to “You Better Get It“, the follow-up single to “Hold What You’ve Got“, and highly derivative of it. Far rowdier and bluesy is the lowdown, shufflin’ “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show”, but Joe’s rap about relationships and infidelity in the big city is as downhome as displayed on his more country oriented material.
Joe started out as a purveyor of gimmicky novelty tunes, and his flair for goofiness is aptly demonstrated on the fast-paced “I’m Not Going to Work Today” and the military-styled joke song “Are We Ready“.
Despite the catchy nature of those, it’s more rewarding listening to Joe in his wailing soul bag; the mid-paced “Heep See Few Know” is excellent, and the uptempo, brassy beater “Fresh Out of Tears” really hits the spot, with its gospel feel and fiery sax solo, being slightly reminiscent of Jackie Wilson’s “Baby Workout“-era material. And there’s a hint of Sam Cooke on the heavily doo-wop influenced “You Can Stay (But the Noise Must Go)” as well.
For some way down low deep soul testifyin’, Joe delves into the moody, murky ballad “There Is a Girl“, once more illustrating just how instrumental Tex was in shaping the Southern Soul aesthetic: low-key production, rough, raw, dirty and all about the feel!
“Together We Stand“, however, creeps more toward that early ’60s sound with overtly present backing vocals. Joe’s raspy vocal, the strutting beat and flourishing horns redeem much of the album’s closer, though.