Homer Banks – Hooked By Love: The Best Of Homer Banks
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This wonderful compilation brings together all of Stax songwriter Homer Banks’ solo recordings for the Minit label. Denied a singing career at Stax by Jim Stewart, who strangely didn’t seem to like Banks (and eventually pulled in by Jim’s sister Estelle Axton, who rightfully did) Banks decided to go for himself in 1965, cutting a vamp of Southern Soul for the short-lived Genie label (set up by none other than Isaac Hayes and David Porter, who had a short falling out with Stax) and, ultimately, some brilliant singles for Minit between 1966-’68.
1 Hooked by Love 2:06
2 60 Minutes of Your Love 2:24
3 Do You Know What 3:02
4 Up to My Neck in Love 2:43
5 A Lot of Love 2:37
6 Ain’t Found Nothin’ to Beat What I Got 2:16
7 Fighting So Hard to Win 3:07
8 A Poor Man’s Son 3:34
9 Round the Clock Lover Man 2:22
10 I Know You Know I Know 3:03
11 I’m Drifting 2:34
12 Foolish Hearts Break Fast 2:53
13 Sometimes It Makes Me Want to Cry 2:30
14 Lucky Loser 2:05
15 (Who You Gonna Run to) Me or Your Mama 2:22
16 Lady of Stone 2:19
17 Release Me Now 2:33
18 Danny Boy 4:04
19 Must Be Something You Gave Me 2:42
20 Uptight Medley: Uptight/Land of 1000 Dances/In the Midnight Hour 2:48
In fact, most of the tracks here were recorded at the time when Banks was already a full-fledged and highly successful songwriter for Stax.
Compiled here are Banks’ four singles for Minit, along with his sole Genie waxing “Lady of Stone” (1965), and no less than fifteen previously unreleased gems.
Homer’s best known solo composition, “A Lot of Love” (1966), naturally is here. This fierce, funky romp laid the foundation for Spencer Davis’ “Gimme Some Lovin‘”, with its incessant, hard socking bass riff and blaring horns. While not a hit for Banks, the track has become legendary. Nitty gritty Southern Soul at its rawest…
The bouncing, rockin’ “Hooked By Love” (1967) showcases Banks’ raspy, gutbucket vocal as this funky, hard hitting soul stomper relentlessly drives on, as does the legendary “Sixty Minutes of Your Love” (1966), another monster of a jam in the “A Lot of Love” vein.
But Banks handles ballads just as well; the delightful mid-tempo “Up to My Neck in Love” (strangely dubbed ‘pretty standard’ in the booklet) is gorgeous, and the tastefully orchestrated “Fighting So Hard to Win“, sports some infectious, delicious female backing vocals. These selections alone prove that as a singer Banks was second to none.
Then there’s the socially conscientious, brooding “A Poor Man’s Son“, barn burning soul grooves such as “Ain’t Found Nothin’ to Beat What I Got“, “Round the Clock Lover Man” and the ridiculously funky “(Who You Gonna Run To) Me or Your Mama” as well as a great version of Homer’s own “Lucky Loser“, later recorded by James Carr.
And there are plenty more surprises: a Jackie Wilson-styled rendition of “Danny Boy“, a stupendously rockin’ & rollin’ medley of Soul standards (“Uptight Medley: Uptight, Land of 1.000 Dances & In the Midnight Hour”) and the smooth, polished sound of the East Coast Soul number “Sometimes It Makes Me Want to Cry” – that heads right back down to Memphis on the chorus, on which Banks churns out a mindblowing vocal.
A crucial album, bringing together all of Homer Banks’ releases and recordings for Minit, the sole Genie A-side and a slew of incredible, down right brilliant and unbelievably previously unreleased treasures.
Southern Soul wouldn’t exist without the talents of Homer Banks.