James Carr – 1966 – You’ve Got My Mind Messed Up

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The definite James Carr. This is what the expression “deep soul” signifies to me. Overwhelming.

An incredible bit of southern soul — one of two classic albums cut by James Carr for the Goldwax! At the time of release, this album virtually died in the racks — but thanks to the work of countless music writers over the past few decades, Carr has finally achieved legendary status in the annals of soul music — and this album’s one of the best examples of his genius! Every track is a deep soul masterpiece — and the album sparkles with production by Quinton Claunch and Rudolph Russell, and is filled with classic tracks like “The Dark End Of The Street”, “You Got My Mind Messed Up”, “She’s Better Than You”, “These Ain’t Raindrops”, and “Coming Back To Me Baby”.


LP (Item 49548) Goldwax, 1966

Tracks (Original LP)

1.Pouring Water On A Drowning Man (2:37)
2. Love Attack (2:52)
3. Coming Back To Me Baby (1:56)
4. I Don’t Want To Be Hurt Anymore (2:22)
5. That’s What I Want To Know (1:54)
6. These Ain’t Raindrops (2:32)
7. Dark End Of The Street (2:30)
8. I’m Going For Myself (2:23)
9. Lovable Girl (2:21)
10. Forgetting You (2:52)
11. She’s Better Than You (2:20)
12. You’ve Got My Mind Messed Up (2:22)

Bonus Tracks
13. These Arms Of Mine (2:34)
14. You Don’t Want Me (2:08)
15. There Goes My Used To Be (2:30)
16. A Lucky Loser (2:03)
17. Dixie Belle (2:21)
18. Search Your Heart (3:01)
19. Sock It To Me Baby! (2:11)
20. My Adorable One (3:25)
21. Love Is A Beautiful Thing (2:43)
22. Life Turned Her That Way
A Losing Game (2:00)
24. What Can I Call My Own (2:47)

James Carr You’ve Got My Mind Messed Up back

If ever there was a soul singer who rivaled Otis Redding’s raw, deep emotional sensuality, it was James Carr, and the proof is in the pudding with You Got My Mind Messed Up. Carr was one of the last country-soul singers to approach any chart given to him as if it was a gift from God. Carr was Redding’s rival in every respect if for no other reason than the release of this, his debut album recorded in 1966. The 12 songs here, many of them covered by other artists, are all soul classics merely by their having been sung and recorded by Carr. Among them is the Drew Baker/Dani McCormick smash “Pouring Water on a Drowning Man,” George Jackson’s “Coming Back to Me Baby,” a handful of tracks by O.B. McLinton, including “Forgetting You” and the title track, and the Chips Moman/Dan Penn hit “Dark End of the Street.” And while it’s true that few have ever done bad versions of the song because of the phenomenal writing, there is only one definitive version, and that one belongs to Carr. In his version he sings from the territory of a heart that is already broken but enslaved both to his regret and his desire. This is a love so pure it can only have been illicit. When he gets to the beginning of the second verse, and intones “I know time is gonna take its toll,” he’s already at the end of his rope; he knows that desire that burns like this can only bring about ruin and disaster, and it is precisely since it cannot be avoided that his repentance is perhaps accepted by the powers that would try him and judge him. He holds the arrangement at bay, and unlike some versions, Carr keeps his composure, making it a true song of regret, remorse, and a love so forbidden yet so faithful that it is worth risking not only disgrace and destruction for, but also hell itself. As the guitar cascades down the fretboard staccato, he can see the dark end of the street and holds it as close to his heart as a sacred and secret memory. By the album’s end with the title track, listeners hear the totality of the force of Memphis soul. With Steve Cropper’s guitar filling the space in the background, Carr offers a chilling portrait of what would happen to him in the future. Again pleading with the beloved in a tone reminiscent of a church-singer hell, he’s in the church of love. He pleads, admonishes, begs, and finally confirms that the end of this love is his insanity, which was a chilling prophecy given what happened to Carr some years later. This is one of theMemphis soul records of the mid-’60s, full of rough-hewn grace, passion, tenderness, and danger.

A masterpiece.


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Conversation for album: James Carr – 1966 – You’ve Got My Mind Messed Up

  • DJ Abe
    Posted at 02:04h, 10 May 2008 Reply

    Thank you…..

  • raggedy
    Posted at 03:47h, 19 September 2008 Reply

    james Carr was simply fantastic … Deep Soul of the finest!!!!

  • Dave
    Posted at 21:27h, 06 August 2011 Reply

    You’re right. This is a masterpiece, plain & simple. According to your notes, this went nowhere upon release. No wonder many folks haven’t heard of him. It is a shame that some factors unrelated to the inherent quality of a recording can perhaps conspire to determine the fate of a recording.

    Thanks for the posting.

  • Yggi
    Posted at 16:00h, 15 June 2012 Reply

    Wonderful soul music. Thanks for your kindness and generosity. All good wishes,


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