Sam & Dave – 1967 – Soul Men

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Sam & Dave, the Black Gladiators, had upstaged the music scene with blasting gutbucket Soul anthems such as “Hold On! I’m Comin‘”, “You Got Me Hummin‘” and “Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody” in 1966…

A year later, riding high on the success of the superlative “Soul Man” single, it became obvious that the dynamic duo was also capable of churning out a perfect longplaying platter of 100% unadulterated Memphis-fried Southern Soul.

A1 Soul Man 2:36
A2 May I Baby 2:38
A3 Broke Down Piece of Man 2:46
A4 Let It Be Me 2:45
A5 Hold It Baby 2:35
A6 I’m With You 2:50
B1 Don’t Knock It 2:28
B2 Just Keep Holding On 2:52
B3 The Good Runs the Bad Way 2:15
B4 Rich Kind of Poverty 2:13
B5 I’ve Seen What Loneliness Can Do 2:58

Naturally, “Soul Man” kicks off the jam and may well be the finest way of starting a blissful musical journey into the sweat soaked hard sockin’ sphere of Total Groove. 

I got what I got, the hard way“, they sing… and it doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to detect the political overtone. Riding on top of a preposterous groove, Sam & Dave declare that they have lived, breathed, suffered and enjoyed the meaning of SOUL. 

The musical accompiment to Sam & Dave’s sermonizing is provided by the greatest little band in the world: Booker T. & the MGs. And they keep up the beat relentlessly throughout… “Soul Man” was the ‘no hankey-pankey’ intro, but there was so much more to come. 

The mock-Chinese opening to “May I Baby“, played on piano by Isaac Hayes, welcomes your ears after the horn-infested, gritty climax to “Soul Man” has faded. A heartwarming, pleading ballad featuring delicate, infectious stabs at the xylophone on every downbeat, this is one of those moments where Sam & Dave mix the sweetness of a ballad with the grit of Memphis soul. 

Drummer Al Jackson Jr. gets right back in the down home, greasy pocket on “Broke Down Piece of Man“, a criminally overlooked gem in Sam & Dave’s discography. A thudding, thumping tour de force dealing with the unbearable hurt of love gone ‘n’ done wrong, with Sam’s beautiful wails and moans and Dave’s incredibly nasty groans. It’s a shame the delicious, brassy finale is cut to fade so rapidly, but oh what a tune, nonetheless… 

Who hasn’t covered “Let It Be Me“, the deathless Everly Brothers classic? Trust me when I say you’ll never hear a more thrilling reading than Sam & Dave’s interpretation… It never gets schmaltzy or overly dramatic, it’s another one of those strange examples of the ‘pop/soul’ hybrid that, at times, can work tremendously well. Naturally, given the pedigree of the singers and musicians, this could only result in a brilliant tune… 

It’s right back to Swingville with the stuttering, rocking “Hold It Baby“, with its menacing cascading riff on the chorus. The vocal interaction between Sam and Dave on this one is particularly awe-inspiring… Some call it ‘improvisation’, I’d like to call it pure Soul skills. The same goes for the funky “Don’t Knock It“, which picks up the pace after the wonderfully bluesy, laidback “I’m With You”. 

Just Keep Holding On” possibly is one of the duo’s most chilling ballads… A sense of melancholy hangs all ’round this beautifully executed song, the same kind of world-weariness that can be found on the LP’s final track, the haunting “I’ve Seen What Loneliness Can Do“. 

Sandwiched between those two moments of quiet introspection is a last blast of hard sockin’ boogaloo Soul: The superbly written “Rich Kind of Poverty“, featuring more of those thick-as-molasses layers of brass by The Memphis Horns. 

In all, a perfect album. All killer, no filler.

A Southern Soul masterpiece by two of its most talented inventors.

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Conversation for album: Sam & Dave – 1967 – Soul Men

  • Solomon
    Posted at 23:48h, 16 May 2019 Reply

    A Classic.
    The tenor voice was Samuel David Moore and the baritone/tenor voice was Dave Prater.

  • jan
    Posted at 23:51h, 16 May 2019 Reply

    I’ve got this 45!

  • Pascal
    Posted at 10:32h, 18 May 2019 Reply

    If you can hear these two singing that’s what a wingman really is

  • R. Sanders
    Posted at 10:35h, 18 May 2019 Reply

    And thats how its done Old Scool, classic underrated duo!

  • Rose
    Posted at 11:30h, 19 May 2019 Reply

    I love Sam & Dave and their soul music! ❤

  • Fred Neville
    Posted at 11:31h, 19 May 2019 Reply

    Gives me chills to the bone! ❤

  • M.Brown
    Posted at 18:01h, 19 May 2019 Reply

    these dudes knew how to kick some serious ass on stage.

  • Tim
    Posted at 12:09h, 20 May 2019 Reply


  • Janus
    Posted at 18:03h, 20 May 2019 Reply

    Pretty cool, the kind of songs you listen again & again without getting bored. Voices are 👌.

  • Raymond
    Posted at 09:27h, 21 May 2019 Reply

    love this album…love your uploads…from the soul to the funk…superb! Thank you.

  • Jazzywarrior
    Posted at 23:25h, 21 May 2019 Reply

    I’m so happy I get to fall in love with this album again!

  • Snowman33
    Posted at 19:23h, 22 May 2019 Reply

    One of my all time favourites – so uplifting!

  • Lorcan
    Posted at 12:01h, 23 May 2019 Reply

    wish i could have seen them in live concert

  • Rawley
    Posted at 12:02h, 23 May 2019 Reply

    Such a treat! They were great…

  • Stephen Darrall
    Posted at 12:09h, 23 May 2019 Reply

    It’s mint definitely up there with the best.

  • Rob
    Posted at 12:09h, 23 May 2019 Reply

    ONE of My All time FAVS

  • Charlie
    Posted at 08:49h, 24 May 2019 Reply

    Absolute classic, The sort of record you can listen to 1000’s of times and never tire of.

  • Jane Bensimon
    Posted at 18:31h, 24 May 2019 Reply

    Great tune/song I,m bloody sure I have this on c.d. Better start hunting for it.

  • Retroboy
    Posted at 18:36h, 24 May 2019 Reply

    Absolutely cracking Chooon

  • Erminia
    Posted at 00:49h, 01 June 2019 Reply

    nostalgic! remember my younger days

  • Antoine
    Posted at 17:48h, 01 June 2019 Reply

    Aaaaah man, this song………………………..!!!

  • Bruno
    Posted at 00:46h, 03 June 2019 Reply

    One of the most special songs of my life. God bless you all.

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