Johnny Adams – 1969 – Heart & Soul

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Johnny Adams - Heart & Soul front

 Of all great singers of southern soul one of the most forgotten is Johnny Adams and this album is his best. Produced by Shelby Singleton for SSS International Records, show the warm, baritone’s voice of Adams in a heartbreakers ballads and raw mid-tempos. Wonderful “Release Me” (compare with the version of Engelbert Humperdinck), “In a Moment of weakness”, “Real live Living Hurtin’ Man” and above all, “Reconsider Me“, one of the great singles of 60’s soul.

Tracks
A1 Georgia Morning Dew 3:25
A2 In a Moment of Weakness 2:35
A3 Real Live Living Hurtin`Man 3:10
A4 Lonely Man 2:37
A5 I Won`t Cry 2:17
A6 Release Me 2:46
B1 Proud Woman 2:40
B2 I Can`t Be All Bad 3:04
B3 A Losing Battle 2:23
B4 Living on Your Love 1:45
B5 Reconsider Me 3:50

Johnny Adams - Heart & Soul back

LLBig Easy-born soul singer, Johnny Adams, possessed a magnificent set of pipes – his athletic, gospel-reared voice was rich, resonant and wonderfully expressive – but fate, combining with the perplexing vagaries of the music business, conspired to prevent him from becoming a household name. Adams scored his first Billboard US chart entry for the New Orleans indie RIC as far back as 1962 with the Top 30 R&B smash, ‘A Losing Battle‘ but another six years passed before Adams was able to make another successful foray into the higher reaches of the R&B lists. By then he was signed to entrepreneur Shelby Singleton’s SSS International label based in Nashville. It was while he was with SSS that he scored his biggest smash, ‘Reconsider Me‘, which broke into the R&B Top 10 in the summer of ’69. That fabulous country-infused ballad with its pleading refrain appeared on Adams’ solitary LP for the company, ‘Heart & Soul.

 The album kicks off with a magnificent opener, ‘Georgia Morning Dew‘, which marries soul with a distinctive country feel (not surprising given SSS’s Nashville connection). Adams also delivers a brilliant soul-infused performance of the old country hit, ‘Release Me‘, which was an R&B chart-topper for Esther Phillips in 1962 and also a big pop smash for kitsch lounge crooner Engelbert Humperdinck in the UK. As well as striking ballads, there are some strong uptempo numbers on the album – like the funky ‘You Made A New Man Out Of Me‘, originally a non-album flipside, and the propulsive groover, ‘South Side Of Soul Street.’ Sadly, Johnny Adams – who resurfaced as a blues singer in the ’80s and ’90s – died from cancer in 1998 aged 66, thereby depriving the world of one of soul music’s most compelling and passionate male voices. For those who are unfamiliar with the man dubbed ‘the Tan Canary,’ this compilation provides an essential introduction. 

Johnny Adams - Heart & Soul label 1Johnny Adams - Heart & Soul label 2

Review by Soulmakossa

The Tan Canary, one of Southern Soul’s most overlooked champion, recorded many albums well into the 1990s, but this 1969 offering certainly ranks as Adams’ finest achievement.

There’s a loping, infectious lassitude in the groove to “Georgia Morning Dew“, a lazy, funky soul nugget that has Johnny reminiscing about home. His raspy, full-throttled vocals make their presence felt immediately on this struttin’ opening track.

Equally greasy and funky is the incessantly pounding swamp soul of “In a Moment of Weakness“, featuring country styled slide guitars and a protruding, heavy bass.

Country Soul in fact was Johnny Adams’ forte, and he’s masterful on all-time classics of the genre such as “Reconsider Me” and the intense tour de force “Release Me“.

Lesser known jewels convey the same way-back-over-yonder-downhome southern country vibe, coming in the guise of the lowdown romp “Real Live Livin’ Hurtin’ Man” – again showcasing Adam’s gutbucket, vibrating, soaring vocal skill – and the low-key, haunting ballad “Lonely Man“.

There’s a rollicking Fats Domino drive to the sassy “I Won’t Cry“, with its big brass and New-Orleans piano, but Adams jumps back on the funk express as he launches into the stutter-steppin’ “Proud Woman“.

Proving his versatility even more, Adams surges into hard driving blues-based wailers with “I Can’t Be All Bad” and the especially lamenting “Losing Battle“.

The Tan Canary ends ‘Heart & Soul‘ with a gospelfide, uptempo soul belter; “Living on Your Love” is propelled by a fatback groove and biting electric guitar riffs, and carried by Adams’ incredible, big booming voice.

A Southern Soul classic.

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25 Comments
  • Semiramis
    Posted at 21:02h, 25 April 2015 Reply

    Simply awesome.

  • Farias
    Posted at 11:59h, 26 April 2015 Reply

    what a voice great arrangements too
    pure bomb

  • Paul
    Posted at 12:02h, 26 April 2015 Reply

    Another master musician who never received his “due”.

  • Olympus
    Posted at 18:06h, 26 April 2015 Reply

    Realy awesome, what a voice. Please post some more !

  • Terry
    Posted at 08:37h, 27 April 2015 Reply

    He’s rank up there with Otis Redding and Sam Cooke in my book now.

  • Jeve39
    Posted at 09:36h, 27 April 2015 Reply

    I grew up to this dude on the radio.

  • Pat
    Posted at 09:44h, 27 April 2015 Reply

    Haven’t heard this before…Damn Good tho’…Cheer’s Bro!…

  • Soulful
    Posted at 13:07h, 27 April 2015 Reply

    A truly captivating quality piece of soul

  • Carol
    Posted at 15:01h, 27 April 2015 Reply

    Love me some Johnny Adams he was overlooked by many but a GREAT TALENT

  • Oreo
    Posted at 22:35h, 27 April 2015 Reply

    Wow! This man has some great music.

  • Dirk
    Posted at 22:54h, 27 April 2015 Reply

    Thank you so much for this post!!!! johnny is super bad!!!!

  • Pe##4
    Posted at 07:24h, 28 April 2015 Reply

    love it !!!

  • Karen
    Posted at 07:36h, 28 April 2015 Reply

    Great ! Fantastic Music !!!

  • Grumpy
    Posted at 09:08h, 28 April 2015 Reply

    Thank you!

  • Gatoruno
    Posted at 21:04h, 28 April 2015 Reply

    thanks for all of the music you provide. you’ve really opened my eyes to a lot of great records.

  • Ferie4
    Posted at 08:45h, 29 April 2015 Reply

    Amazing

  • las rocas
    Posted at 09:34h, 30 April 2015 Reply

    Can’t wait to listen to this one!

  • Harry
    Posted at 21:44h, 30 April 2015 Reply

    Great post & great LP. Thanks for sharing. Greetings from France.

  • Erald
    Posted at 09:51h, 01 May 2015 Reply

    Thanks man, it’s a must for me.

  • Rich
    Posted at 07:32h, 04 May 2015 Reply

    Thanks a lot, reminds me a lil bit like Nappy Brown. Soul/Blues

  • Lovers9
    Posted at 09:29h, 05 May 2015 Reply

    …amazing man … one and only …

  • Jahcisco
    Posted at 21:19h, 05 May 2015 Reply

    Thanks for sharing. Much appreciated.

  • Robert
    Posted at 03:14h, 06 May 2015 Reply

    Again,thank you for this great discovery!

  • Faab
    Posted at 15:33h, 06 May 2015 Reply

    Good good good

  • Adam
    Posted at 13:18h, 08 May 2015 Reply

    Dope!

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