O.V. Wright – 1973 – Memphis Unlimited
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A masterpiece of deep Southern soul.
Listen to O.V. wail over the fading bars of Nothing Comes To A Sleeper – spine-tingling stuff. Simply amazing that no one has sought to rerelease any of his albums on CD yet. Hard-driving soul produced by Willie Mitchell.
This is a @320 vinyl rip of my original Back Beat record with covers.
A1. I’ve Been Searching 2:34
A2. Nothing Comes to A Sleeper 3:14
A3. The Only Thing that Saved Me 2:30
A4. He’s My Son 2:45
A5. You Must Believe in Yourself 2:41
A6. Lost in the Shuffle 3:24
B1. I’d Rather Be Blind Cripple and Crazy 2:42
B2. Please Forgive Me 4:04
B3. Are You Going Where I’m Coming from 3:08
B4. Ghetto Child 3:29
B5. Memory Blues 3:29
B6. I’m Going Home 2:42
O.V. Wright is part of the Pantheon Of 1960s Soul, up therewith Solomon Burke, Aretha Franklin, and Otis Redding. He’s not as well known as them–at least in America–but his songs have been covered by Redding, the Rolling Stones, Robert Cray, and Ann Peebles. Like Burke and Franklin, his vocal style was heavily based in Southern gospel music, passionately balancing the sacred and the secular. Wright fervently implored, pleaded, and howled his tales of love lost, strayed, thwarted, or shattered. The music is prime Memphis rhythm & blues: full of sharp, terse guitar, rich Hammond organ, and gospel-informed background vocals–tight and funky but never slick.
Memphis Unlimited was released on Back Beat Records and distributed by ABC, but it was arranged and produced by Willie Mitchell and has that classic southern Soul sound of Hi Records. Mitchell’s amazing production made everyone he worked with sound like Al Green like on I’ve Been Searching, You Must Believe In Yourself, I’d Rather Be Blind, Cripple, And Crazy, Are You Going Where I’m Coming From, and I’m Going Home (To Live With God). The other songs are decent as well, making Memphis Unlimited one of those few records you can listen to from beginning to end.
From the book “The Rough Guide to Soul and R & B” : Considered by many to be the greatest deep soul singer of em all, O.V.Wright may have crossed over from gospel, but he never truly left behind. More than the records of any other soul singer, Wright’s best releases were straight gospel records with different lyrics and they had an inensity of feeling that could be matched only by some of James Carr’s best sides.