Solomon Burke - Don't Give Up On Me
Label: DBK Works – DBK 104 / Fat Possum
Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Album
Inner Sleeve: VG++
Gatefold Cover: VG+ VG++ slight spinewear, cornerwear
Genre: Funk / Soul
A1 Don't Give Up On Me
Written-By – Carson Whitsett, Dan Penn, Hoy Lindsey
A2 Fast Train
Written-By – Van Morrison
A3 Diamond In Your Mind
Written-By – Kathleen Brennan, Tom Waits
B1 Flesh And Blood
Written-By – Joe Henry
B2 Soul Searchin'
Written-By – Andy Paley, Brian Wilson
B3 Only A Dream
Written-By – Van Morrison
C1 The Judgement
Written-By – Cait O'Riordan, Elvis Costello
Written-By – Bob Dylan
C3 The Other Side Of The Coin
Written-By – Nick Lowe
D1 None Of Us Are Free
Written-By – Brenda Russell, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil
D2 Sit This One Out
Written-By – Pick Purnell
Backing Vocals – Blind Boys Of Alabama, The (tracks: D1), Jean McClain, Niki Haris
Bass – David Piltch
Drums, Percussion – Jay Bellerose
Electric Guitar – Daniel Lanois (tracks: C2)
Executive Producer – Andy Kalkin
Guitar – Chris Bruce
Liner Notes – Johnny Whiteside
Mastered By – Doug Sax
Mixed By – Jeff Peters (tracks: C2), S. Husky Höskulds (tracks: A1 to C1, C3 to D3)
Organ – Rudy Copeland
Photography, Artwork By [Design] – Jesse Fischer
Piano, Keyboards – Dave Palmer
Producer, Liner Notes – Joe Henry
Recorded By – S. Husky Höskulds
Saxophone [Tenor] – Bennie Wallace
Recorded and mixed February 25-28, 2002 at the Sunset Sound Factory, Hollywood, CA, USA.
C2 mixed at Sonora Recorders, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Mastered at The Mastering Lab, Hollywood, CA, USA.
Track D3 is not on the cd release on Fat Possum Records.
ⓟ© 2002 Fat Possum Records LLC, under license to Runt LLC.
The best male R&B album of the year has recently been released and it is not by a fresh, new voice but by this 66 year-old member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Unless you are an R&B maven, chances are you, like us, are more familiar with Solomon Burke's name and reputation than you are with his work. He never had a Top 20 hit, thus never achieved the popularity of some of his contemporaries, say Percy Sledge or Clarence Carter.
Nevertheless, when the roll of the great soul singers is called, his name is invariably among them. Burke sings with what the liner notes so accurately refer to as `passionate restraint'. Although his vocals display the same intensity as Otis Redding or Wilson Pickett, they seem much more effortless, as natural as a lion's roar. What makes this album so special and what we imagine will be the pinnacle of Burke's career is that nearly every song has been written especially for him by some of the great songwriters of our time.
Dan Penn, Van Morrison, Tom Waits, Joe Henry, Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello, Bob Dylan, Nick Lowe, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil...that's a rock & roll hall of fame right there. And Burke puts his own inimitable stamp on each. Backed by a powerhouse band including Burke's church organist Rudy Copeland and inobtrusively produced by Joe Henry, this gives the whippersnappers something to shoot for.
I find it interesting that the target audience for Burke's latest is solidly the Rock/Alternative Rock crowd. Burke, a little like Hendrix, is now firmly in the predominantly white rock camp. I suspect there is an interesting social message in that - but let us get back to the music, for it is very nearly divine.
The music rages from the brittle blues of the title track, through the folky Fast Train, ..., Jazz-Soul (Flesh and Blood) and something approaching Gospel (the sublime none of us are free).
The only weak track here is from another 60s relic, Brian Wilson's Soul Searching, which proves that not everyone has a place in the comeback market - go back to the Beach Boys Reunion tours where you belong, Brian!
Everything else varies between the very good and the sublime. Van Morrison contributes two tracks, both of which appear on his latest record. The first one, Fast Train is particularly good. Joe Henry's Flesh and Blood is dark, slow and atmospheric. Both the Costello contribution and Lowe's song (The Other Side of the Coin) are good. I'd say Lowe is better - the lyrics seem fresher, and the music a little more catchy.
Three songs deserve special attention. Tom Waits is one of the most versatile, thoughtful and clever songwriters of our time. 'Diamond in Your Mind' is one of his best songs - it keeps away from the over the top humor of songs like 'Better Not Married' and 'Goin' Out West' for the simple beautiful melody (a la Alice and I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You).
Burke is truly into it - he performs with real passion, careful in the verses and explosive during the choruses, especially in the stunning ending ("one more time" Burke shouts, and the band launches into the chorus again).
Bob Dylan is a man who needs no introduction. Stepchild is a song from the late 70s, which was sometimes performed with the grand band Dylan had during the 'Street Legal' tour.
It has been abandoned after Dylan's conversion to Christianity, and like most of the late 70s pre-Jesus stuff, has not been played live since. It is nice to know Dylan hasn't forgotten this song, which is a funky-bluesy gem. Burke's interpretation is masterful (as usual) on this one - his references to Dylan ("Whatever you want you know I'm willin'/But I sure can't be Bob Dylan") perfectly capture the humorous I-got-knockdown-but-I'll-get-up feel of the song.
Arguably the best song on the LP 'None of Us are Free' is one before last. It has a poetic social theme straight out of John Donne (None of us are free/If one of us is chained), a long with a powerful melody. This is a Gospel number, and appropriately that the Blind Boys of Alabama are featured as back up vocalist. The refrain is addictive and, as Burke says in the liner notes, he could've gone on with it all night.
Interestingly, instead of ending in this epic note, the powers that be chose as final number the intimate 'Sit This One Out'. I probably would have preferred 'None of Us Are Free' as a last song, but I understand the decision - it is a personal statement from the fatherly Burke, in the best tradition of Soul and Gospel, that we can overcome, and that we will prevail.
Don't Give Up on Me is a studio album by R&B/Soul singer Solomon Burke, recorded and released in 2002 on Fat Possum Records. The album won the MOJO Award for Album of the Year, as well as the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album.
It is noteworthy for the contributions of original and previously unreleased compositions by top-rank songwriters, the effect of which placed Burke back in the public eye for a time. Guest stars are Daniel Lanois, who plays electric guitar on "Stepchild", and The Blind Boys of Alabama, who feature on backing vocals for "None of Us Are Free".
"None of Us Are Free" was also featured at the end of the sixth episode (Spin) of the second season of House.
"Fast Train" was featured during the ending montage of the season three finale of The Wire.
The title track, written by the team of Dan Penn and Carson Whitsett with Hoy Lindsey, gained popularity (and introduced Burke to a new generation) when it was used several times on the teen soap opera The O.C. It has been covered by Joe Cocker, as well as Peter Gallagher.
Solomon Burke - Don't Give Up On Me
i was feeling sorry for myself no job ect.but this just put me in such a good mood rip peace bro!
Solomon Burke - None of Us Are Free
This is my favourite song ever written. Amazing voice + Amazing Song .
Solomon Burke - Diamond In Your Mind
Live in Paradiso (Amsterdam)
The only worthy cover of a Waits' song.
And, damn how worthy it is!!! :)