Johnnie Taylor

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Johnnie Taylor   BUY CDS

The Godfather of Southern Soul/Blues. Period. Also nicknamed the "Philosopher of Soul" during his Stax days, Johnnie Harrison Taylor was born in Crawfordsville, AK, on May 5, 1934 (or maybe1938 as he sometimes claimed); but grew up mostly in nearby West Memphis. He began singing in church as a young child, and later moved to Kansas City, where he performed with a gospel group called the Melody Kings; it was through this outfit that he initially met and befriended Sam Cooke, singer for the popular Soul Stirrers. In 1953, Taylor left home and moved to Chicago, where he joined the doo wop group the Five Echoes; shortly thereafter, he began performing concurrently with the gospel group the Highway QCs. In 1957, Taylor would replace Cooke in the hugely influential Soul Stirrers, after Cooke departed for a career in secular music. in 1961 Taylor joined Cooke's Sar label for a few singles. Cooke was killed in 1964 so Taylor switched to Stax the following year. His first significant hit came in 1966 as "I've Got To Love Somebody's Baby" reached #15 R & B. This was swiftly followed by the #19 "I Had A Dream". But in 1968 he shot through the roof with the #1 R & B smash "Who's Making Love", which also hit #5 on Pop charts. Over the next five years Taylor racked up hit after hit for Stax until the label went bankrupt. From there JT joined Columbia Records and jumped on the disco bandwagon. And it worked at first. His first single with the label, "Disco Lady" became a #1 Pop record. Some lesser hits followed via "Somebody's Gettin' It" (#5 R & B #33 Pop), "Disco 9000" (#24 R & B) & "Your Love Is Rated X" (#17 R & B) but the general quality of the albums was uneven and the commercial appeal declined. JT next cut one record for Beverly Glen that spawned two charting singles before he found a new permanent home with Malaco Records in 1984, a Southern label dedicated to preserving the region's classic soul and blues sounds debuting with 1984's "This Is Your Night", Taylor and Malaco began a twelve album run of terrific Southern Soul/Blues for the label. Although Taylor's albums charted on R & B Charts he hadn't had a Top 40 single until "Good Love" sneaked in at #39 R & B in 1996. Of course his songs were always hits in the South but "Good Love" and album of the same name became the biggest record in the label's history. It reached #15 on R & B Charts and even crossed over to the Billboard Top 200 albums at #108. , After two successful follow ups Johnnie Taylor died of a heart attack on May 31, 2000.

Album Discography

Wanted: One Soul Singer "Wanted: One Soul Singer" (Stax 1967)

1. I Got to Love Somebody's Baby
2. Just the One (I've Been Looking For)
3. Watermelon Man
4. Where Can a Man Go from Here
5. Toe Hold
6. Outside Love
7. Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One)
8. Blues in the Night
9. I Had a Dream
10. Sixteen Tons
11. Little Bluebird

***1/2 Johnnie had some minor hits on Sam Cooke's Sar and later Derby labels but his solo career truly began with this Stax debut. Forceful Memphis soul, rhythmic soul and a helping of soul/blues became the outline for JT albums. Isaac Hayes & David Porter (a virtual Lennon/McCartney of soul music) provide the hits "I Got To Love Somebody's Baby" & "I Had A Dream" and also "Toe Hold" (before Wilson Pickett claimed it), "Outside Love" and the now classic slow blues "Little Bluebird". JT also cut the first version of Homer Banks' "Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One)". Perhaps the most interesting cut is the funky transformation of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man", albeit none too successfully.

Who's Making Love... Johnnie Taylor "Who's Making Love" (Stax 1968)

1. Who's Making Love?
2. I'm Not the Same Person
3. Hold on This Time
4. Woman Across the River
5. Can't Trust Your Neighbor
6. Take Care of Your Homework
7. I'm Trying
8. Poor Make Believer
9. Payback Hurts
10. Mr. Nobody Is Somebody Now
11. I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water
12. Rumors - (bonus track)

****1/2 The album that made Johnnie a star commencing with the #1 R & B smash "Who's Making Love" plus the #2 hit "Take Care Of Your Homework", both co-written by Homer Banks. But it wasn't just thumping Memphis jams that JT was becoming famous for. His entreating, gospel-tinged tone and distinctive phrasing (influenced by Sam Cooke) is already matured on "Not The Same Person" and "Mr. Nobody Is Somebody Now"

Raw Blues by Johnnie Taylor "Raw Blues" (Stax 1969)

1. Where There's Smoke There's Fire
2. Hello Sundown
3. Pardon Me Lady
4. Where Can a Man Go from Here
5. That Bone
6. That's Where It's At
7. Part Time Love
8. If I Had It to Do All Over
9. You're Good for Me
10. You Can't Keep a Good Man Down
11. You Can't Win With a Losing Hand

**** When you hear the term "raw blues" you probably think of someone the likes of R.L. Burnside rather than pretty-voiced Johnnie Taylor. And honestly, that would be more fitting. Although JT can muster plenty grit in his voice and this outing has a greater percentage of blues, it's really mannered "soul blues". Midnight lounge readings of "Where There's Smoke There's Fire", "Hello Sundown", "Party Time Love" and "You Can't Keep A Good Man Down" are the purest blues he recorded for Stax, however. But there's also a couple of Staxy funk n' soul cuts like "That Bone" and "You Can't Win With A Losing Hand".

Johnnie Taylor Philosophy Continues "The Johnnie Taylor Philosophy Continues" Stax 1969)

1. Testify (I Wanna)
2. Separation Line
3. Love Bones
4. Love Is a Hurting Thing
5. I Had a Fight with Love
6. I Could Never Be President
7. It's Amazing
8. Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)
9. Games People Play
10. It's Your Thing

*** Stax fits Taylor with a cache of hit-minded songs on album number 4. It's transparent they're gunning for that runaway "Who's Making Love" success here with frantic workouts like the #10 R & B hit "I Could Never Be President" and sweaty romps like "I Wanna Testify" (#4 R & B #36 Pop) and "Love Bones". This later track has a humorous footnote. Near the end JT name checks James Brown, Wilson Pickett and Tyrone Davis- warning them to check their "love bones". Then Tyrone Davis covered the song and calls out Brown, Pickett and Johnnie Taylor to do the same! What a band JT has backing him too: Al Jackson, Duck Dunn, with Steve Cropper and Marvell Thomas. Marvel at the groove they lay down with the rollicking funker "Love Is A Hurting Thing".

"Rare Stamps" (Stax 1970)

1. Who's Making Love
2. You Can't Get Away From It
3. Toe Hold
4. Just The One (I've Been Looking For)
5. I Ain't Particular
6. Take Care Of Your Homework
7. I've Got To Love Somebody's Baby
8. Little Blue Bird
9. I Had A Dream
10. Outside Love
11. Somebody's Sleeping In My Bed
12. If I Had To Do It All Over

N/R out-of-print compilation of Taylor's hits.

Johnnie Taylor  One Step Beyond "One Step Beyond" (Stax 1971)

1. Time After Time
2. Party Life
3. Will You Love Me Forever
4. I Am Somebody, Pts. 1-2
5. I Don't Wanna Lose You, Pts. 1-2
6. Don't Take My Sunshine
7. Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone
8. Fool Like Me, A
9. Steal Away
10. Friday Night

***1/2 This was JT's highest charting LP since "Who's Making Love" (at #6) and it contained the #1 R & B classic "Jody's Got Your Girl And Gone" (featuring some terrific organ by Barry Beckett) plus the #4 R & B (#39 Pop) hit "I Am Somebody". Our man even handles jazzy soul brilliantly on "Time After Time".

"Greatest Hits" (Stax 1971)

1.Steal Away
2.Who Can I Turn To
3.I Ain't Particular
4.Mr. Nobody Is Somebody
5.I Could Never Be President
6.Testify
7.Who's Making Love
8.Love Bones
9.Hold On This Time
10.I'm Not The Same Person
11.Take Care Of Your Homework
12.Somebody's Sleeping In My Bed

Taylored In Silk "Taylored In Silk" (Stax 1973, 1995)

1. We're Getting Careless With Our Love
2. Starting All over Again
3. Cheaper to Keep Her
4. Talk to Me
5. I Believe in You (You Believe in Me)
6. One Thing Wrong With My Woman
7. I Can Read Between the Lines
8. This Bitter Earth
9. Hijackin' Love
10. Love in the Streets (Ain't Good as the Love at Home)
11. Standing in for Jody
12. Shackin' Up
13. Doing My Own Thing, Pt. 1
14. Doing My Own Thing, Pt. 2

***** Only 8 songs appeared on the original release of this classic LP but three of them reached the Top 5 on R & B charts. "We're Getting Careless With Our Love" (#5 R & B #34 Pop), the funny finger snappin' "Cheaper To Keeper" (#2 R & B #15 Pop) and the gorgeous "I Believe In You (You Believe In Me)" (#1 R & B #11 Pop) made this the highest charting album of his Stax years (#3 R & B #54 Pop). Even better is the 1995 CD issue that adds the bonus tracks "Standing In For Jody" (#12 R & B), "Hijackin' Love" (#10 R & B), "Doin' My Own Thing" & more. One of JT's essential records.

Johnnie Taylor Super taylor "Super Taylor" (Stax 1974)

1. It's September
2. Darling I Love You
3. Try Me Tonight
4. Free
5. I've Been Born Again
6. At Night Time (My Pillow Tells a Tale on Me)
7. It Don't Pay to Get up in the Morning
8. Just One Moment
9. Stop Teasin' Me
10. Don't You Fool With My Soul, Pts. 1 & 2
11. Love Depression
12. Poor Make Believer

*** This confident set of elegant soul and funky R & B was his swansong for Stax. It was a significant step down in terms of quality and sales from his previous triumph but it did contain "It's September" (#26 R & B) and the chuggin' R & B "I've Been Born Again" (#13 R & B). Plus the tender "Just One Moment" and "Try Me Tonight".

best of johnnie taylor "The Best Of" (Stax 1976)

1. Who's Making Love 2:46
2. Steal Away 3:28
3. Somebody's Sleeping In My Bed 2:47
4. Take Care Of Your Homework 2:39
5. I Believe In You (You Believe In Me) 4:33
6. We're Getting Careless With Our Love 4:02
7. I've Been Born Again 3:20
8. Testify (I Wonna) 4:04
9. Love Bones 4:06
10. Stop Doggin' Me 4:12
11. Cheaper To Keep Her 3:28

Johnnie Taylor Eargasm "Eargasm" (CBS 1976)

1. Disco Lady
2. Please Don't Stop (That Song from Playing)
3. Don't Touch Her Body (If You Can't Touch Her Mind)
4. I'm Gonna Keep on Loving You
5. You're the Best Girl in the World
6. Running out of Lies
7. Somebody's Gettin' It
8. It Don't Hurt Me Like It Used To
9. Pick Up the Pieces

**** A profitable beginning for Columbia Records with this monster LP that spawned the colossal "Disco Lady", which hit #1 on both R & B and Pop charts. Though the disco stench permeated JT's music there is some debate whether this track is actually disco. The heavy bassline could just as easily be considered funk. Track 2 "Please Don't Stop (That Song From Playing)", however, is unmistakably discofied with it's four on the floor bounce. By track 3 ("Don't Touch Her Body (If You Can't Touch Her Mind)") you'll likely want to jump back to "Disco Lady". But later the unassuming rhythm of "Running Out Of Lies" will grow on you followed by the sly "Somebody's Gettin' It". The album closes with a string-enhanced soul number "Pick Up The Pieces" that isn't far removed from earlier days.

jt disco 9000 "Disco 9000" (CBS 1977)

1. I Don't Know What I'd Do Without You
2. Toot Your Flute
3. Just A Happy Song
4. God Is Standing By
5. Disco 9000
6. I Love You Woman
7. Right Now

** The soundtrack of the flop movie "Disco 9000" aka "Fass Black". Johnnie Taylor had a small role performing "Disco Lady" in the movie but the song isn't even included. The title track is a generic disco hit (#24 R & B) and two of the seven tracks are instrumentals.

Chronicle: 20 Greatest Hits "Chronicle: 20 Greatest Hits" (Stax 1977)

1. Who's Making Love?
2. Take Care of Your Homework
3. Testify (I Wanna)
4. I Could Never Be President
5. Love Bones
6. Steal Away
7. I Am Somebody, Pt. 1
8. Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone
9. I Don't Wanna Lose You
10. Hijackin' Love
11. Standing in for Jody
12. Doing My Own Thing, Pt. 1
13. Stop Doggin' Me
14. I Believe in You (You Believe in Me)
15. Cheaper to Keep Her
16. We're Getting Careless With Our Love
17. I've Been Born Again
18. It's September
19. Try Me Tonight
20. Just Keep on Loving Me

"Reflections" (RCA 1977)

1. I Want You Back Again
2. Never My Love
3. Heaven Bless This Home
4. Stop Half Loving These Women
5. I Want to Get into You
6. Bittersweet Love
7. Stormy
8. Love Account
9. Please Don't Stop the Music
10. Sneakin' Sneakin'

**1/2 Third of four albums featuring JT released in 1977 is a one-off record for RCA that pretty much fell through the cracks upon it's release. It's schizophrenic overall. Part of the album has more in common with his Stax years than his new disco phase. "I Want You Back Again" sounds like it could've been on "Who's Making Love" and "Stop Half Loving These Women" is a moving slowie. But then again "I Wanna Get Into You" is a song the disco crowd would embrace. Also "Please Don't Stop That Song From Playing" had already appeared on "Eargasm".

Rated Extraordinaire "Rated Extraordinaire" (CBS 1977)

1. Your Love is Rated X
2. Stormy
3. Here I Go (Through These Changes Again)
4. Did He Make Love to You
5. And I Panicked
6. Love is Better in the A.M. (Part I & II)
7. It Ain't What You Do (It's How You Do It)
8. Not Just Another Booty Song
9. I'm Just a Shoulder to Cry On
10. Stop Giving People Hard Luck Stories

**1/2 Anxious to capitalize on the runaway success of "Disco Lady" JT releases an even more disco-imbued album that kept the wallets fat for another day. It spawned a huge hit with "Love Is Better In The A.M." (#3 R & B) and "Your Love Is Rated X" (#17 R & B) but overall Johnnie's just trying to survive the public's whims until the next fad. Sales steadily declined following this record.

"Ever Ready" (CBS 1978)

1. Hey Mister Melody Maker (3:54)
2. Ever Ready (4:30)
3. Keep On Dancing (4:16)
4. I Gotta Keep Groovin' You (3:34)
5. Soul Fillet (4:22)
6. Bittersweet Love (4:18)
7. I Love To Make Love When It's Raining (4:30)
8. Give Me My Baby (3:47)

** Another year and more product for the market. Disco Johnnie is running out of steps by this point. "Keep On Dancing" reached #32 R & B and the title track scratched the bottom of Billboard's Hot 100 but the rest are random.

"She's Killing Me" (CBS 1979)

1.Little Dancin' Queen
2.Play Something Pretty
3.(ooh-wee) She's Killing Me.
4.The Users
5.Love Account
6.Pulling The Train
7.I Can't Leave You Love Alone.

** Mostly forgettable filler with two memorable songs, "(Ooh Wee) "She's Killing Me" (#37 R&B) and "Play Something Pretty" (#79 R&B).

"New Day" (CBS 1980)

1.The heart break kid
2.I'd rather hurt myself
3.I got this thing for your love
4.Signing off with love
5.Baby lay down
6.Sneakin' sneakin'
7.I wanna get into you
8.Sylvia
9.Baby don't hesitate

** Four years after having a #1 album with "Eargasm" Johnnie finds himself unable to place a single on the charts. It's listenable because it's Johnnie Taylor but you won't miss it if you never heard it again.

"The Best Of" (Columbia 1981)

1.Disco Lady
2.Somebody's Gettin' It
3.Pick Up The Pieces
4.(Ooh-Wee) She's Killing Me
5.Disco 9000
6.Play Something Pretty
7.I Got This Thing For Your Love
8.Love Is Better In The A.M. Part I & II
9.God Is Standing By

"Just Ain't Good Enough" (Beverly Glen 1982)

1. What About My Love
2. Don't Wait
3. I'm So Proud
4. Just Ain't Good Enough
5. I Need a Freak
6. Reaganomics

*** Released on the Beverly Glen label in 1982, this short record spawned two R&B hits "What About My Love" (#24) and the Bobby Womack-penned "I'm So Proud" (#55). The album also peaked at number 19. There's only 6 lengthy tracks but all above average. "Reagonomics" is naturally dated, however. If you remove the reference to Ronald it's a slick jam about struggling to get by. But things just weren't trickling down for this protagonist.

 /Johnnie taylor This Is Your Night "This Is Your Night" (Malaco 1984)

1. This Is Your Night
2. L.O.V.E.
3. Drown in My Own Tears
4. Love to Call Mine, A
5. Still Called the Blues
6. She's Cheating on Me
7. After Hours Joint
8. Lady, My Whole World Is You
9. Good With My Hips
10. That's America

**** The final label home for JT is Jackson, Mississippi's famed Malaco Records and this debut effort lays down the blueprint with slinky Philly-soul slow jams and chugging Memphis soul groovers. Producers Tommy Couch and Wolf Stephenson like live horns in their mix and it raises the music to another level. "A Love To Call Mine" borrows a page from the Hi Records cookbook. But "L.O.V.E" is a prime example of how live horns lay on the frosting. In they come blasting after the refrain- it's a double hook. Harrison Calloway, Jim Horn, Ben Cauley, Harvey Thompson, Charles Rose are the brass culprits. Another upbeat horn-dipped keeper is the shuffle bumping "Good With My Hips". See, Johnnie was "good with my lips" but the other "dude was quick with his lips" and stole his woman away. It was written by genius songwriter George Jackson who also penned 6 others like the soul/blues "She's Cheating On Me" and sweeping soul ballad "This Is Your Night". But Paul Kelly's "Lady, My Whole World is You" is the only charting single (#74 R & B).

JT Wall To Wall "Wall To Wall" (Malaco 1985)

1. Wall to Wall
2. Can I Love You
3. When She Stops Askin'
4. Just Because
5. I'm Changing
6. No Refund
7. Nothing as Beautiful as You
8. 383-Emergency
9. There's Nothing I Wouldn't Do

***1/2 Modern production techniques (drum machine, synths) detract from the otherwise funky title cut. Ditto for the similar "383-Emergency". It was the sound of the times but JT is more properly suited with organic settings like the blues "There's Nothing I Wouldn't Do", the evocative "Nothing As Beautiful As You", "When She Stops Asking", " just Because" & "I'm Changing". Four standout slowies by a master of the form.

JT Loverboy "Loverboy" (Malaco 1987)

1. Don't Make Me Late
2. Lover Boy
3. Lately
4. You Can't Win With a Losing Hand
5. Something Is Going Wrong
6. If I Lose Your Love
7. Girl of My Dreams
8. Nothing Like a Lady
9. Happy Time
10. Universal Lady

**1/2 Once again JT opens his album with a sweeping, romantic Philly-blessed slowie called "Don't Make Me Late" (#74 R & B). Nobody does it better. Overall, though, "Lover Boy" is fairly average Taylor. Bob Johnson & Sam Mosley contribute the sturdy blues "Something Is Going Wrong" and Willie Clayton's "Happy Time" is a sugary midtempo toe-tapper.

jt in control "In Control" (Malaco 1988)

1. You Knocked My Heart Out of Line
2. It Don't Hurt Me Like It Used To
3. In Control
4. Got to Leave This Woman
5. Let's Get Closer
6. I Found a Love
7. Now That You Cheated
8. Love's Easy to Fall Into
9. Everything's Out in the Open
10. That's the Way It Is

*** Another quality retro-soul album from the king that for the most part doesn't succumb to flavor-of-the-year production tricks. The synthed-up title cut sounds rather dated though. Elsewhere Taylor's music is as authentic in its emotional evocation as any soul or blues music. From the Motown-styled ballad "Let's Get Closer" to the funky R & B "You Knocked My Heart Right Out of Line." But JT's matchless voice could make nearly anything sound good. It's a plus that he gets Grade A material like the bittersweet "Everything's Out In The Open" and songs by George Jackson ("Got To Leave This Woman", "Love's Easy To Fall Into").

JT Crazy 'Bout You "Crazy 'Bout You" (Malaco 1989)

1. Still Crazy
2. Without You
3. Dance Floor to the Back Door
4. Money's Running Funny
5. For Your Precious Love
6. She's No Lady
7. Airtight Alibi
8. I Was Looking for Somebody
9. Nothin' but the Blues

**** JT never made a poor album but some are simply better than others. "Crazy 'Bout You" is poured in the mold of romantic Southern Soul and slick R & B dancers- all expertly produced. The lead-off "Crazy For You" is instantly memorable with a timeless melody and mellifluous vocals. Credited to Rich Cason who would score a huge hit on JT years later with "Good Love". The Pop/dance tracks are better this time- the comical "Money's Running Funny" & "Dance Floor To The Back Door". Upbeat Memphis soul by George Jackson is found in "Airtight Alibi" and there's even two finger poppin' jazz/soul tunes ("She's No Lady" & "Nothing But The Blues") that remind one of "Cheaper To Keep Her".

Little Bluebird by Johnnie Taylor "Little Bluebird" (Stax 1990)

1. Little Bluebird
2. Toe Hold
3. I've Got to Love Somebody's Baby
4. Just the One (I've Been Looking For)
5. Outside Love
6. You Can't Get Away from It
7. I Had a Dream
8. Somebody's Sleeping in My Bed
9. I Ain't Particular
10. Steal Away
11. Stop Doggin' Me
12. Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone

*** Stax decided to start mining the vaults on it's flagship artists and this release by JT is mostly alternate takes of previously released material plus a handful of live tracks. Being that the originals are superior this really only appeals to the Taylor diehard.

I Know It's Wrong...But I Can't Do Right" "I Know It's Wrong...But I Can't Do Right" (Malaco 1991)

1. Crazy over You
2. Only My Woman Can
3. I Want Your Love
4. Change Your Habits
5. Guilty as Charged
6. I Know It's Wrong, But I Just Can't Do Right
7. Are You Lonesome
8. What Kind of Man Do You Want?
9. That's Just a Woman's Way
10. Country All the Way

**** Johnnie enters a new decade with Malaco and is now releasing records on a two to three year superstar interval. As usual some of the best writers in the soul/blues realm are on board to give JT's regal chops some exercise. The duo Bob Johnson & Sam Mosley contribute the sweet rolling soul "I Want You Love" and the laidback blues "Change Your Habits". The master of modern Memphis movers George Jackson (with co-author Johnny Barranco) offers "Guilty As Charged" once again featuring those delicious Malaco horns and "What Kind Of Man Do You Want". Plus the sound of Philadelphia is in the house with "Only A Woman Can", written by Larry Chambers and John Ward. Another satisfying slice of soul.

The Best Of Johnnie Taylor On Malaco, Vol. 1" "The Best Of Johnnie Taylor On Malaco, Vol. 1" (Malaco 1992)

1. Still Crazy
2. Drown in My Own Tears
3. I Found a Love
4. Everything's Out in the Open
5. Don't Make Me Late
6. Nothing as Beautiful as You
7. This Is Your Night
8. Cheaper to Keep Her
9. Wall to Wall
10. Still Called the Blues
11. Something Is Going Wrong
12. Just Because
13. When She Stops Askin'
14. Nothing Like a Lady

****1/2 14-track comp taken from JT's first six albums for the label. Goodies like "Still Crazy", "Everything's Out In The Open", "Don't Make Me Late", "Cheaper To Keep Her", "Nothing As Beautiful As You", "Just Because", etc... Casual fans will delight over this collection but there's still plenty meat left on the bone. Picking up the full albums is a better bet.

"Real Love" (Malaco 1994)

1. Back Street Love Affair
2. Too Much Week at the End of the Money
3. Lady in Red, The
4. Lady Soul
5. Changin' My Life With Your Love
6. Poor Boy Blues
7. Respect Yourself
8. Real Love
9. Sexy Dancer
10. Huntin' Just Ain't No More Fun

***1/2 An especially polished set from Johnnie Taylor features exquisite covers of the Temptation's "Lady Soul", Frank-O Johnson's magnificent love-triangle tale "Back Street Love Affair" and a surprising cover of pop singer Chris DeBurgh's immortal love song "The Lady In Red". JT's version is good but the original was more vulnerable and that was it's charm. One major highlight is John Ward's "Changing My Life With Your Love"- an instant classic that was bettered (and sped up) by W.C. Clark's version. Ward also wrote the sweet title track. The production is flawless (Tommy Couch, Wolf Stephenson, Frederick Knight) as are the horn arrangements (Harrison Calloway). Surprisingly this was one of Taylor's lowest charting LP's for Malaco (#76 R & B).

Johnnie Taylor Good Love "Good Love" (Malaco 1996)

1. Good Love
2. Last Two Dollars
3. Sending You a Kiss
4. Walk Away With Me
5. Too Many Memories
6. Ain't That Loving You (For More Reasons Than One)
7. Too Late to Try to Do It Right
8. Whole Lotta Lovin'
9. You Got Me in the Mood for Love
10. Slide On
11. Body Rock
12. This Masquerade

**** Finally! This album and the smash title cut put JT back on the radio in a major way. Allegedly, Johnny Taylor didn't even like Rich Cason's modern production effects on the song "Good Love" but finally acquiesced. Smart move as the song became JT's highest charting single in 14 years (#39 R & B). Cason also wrote and produced the slick "Sending You A Kiss", which hit big in the South. The tough soul/blues "Last Two Dollars" (George Jackson) and an "Electric Slide"- cousin "Slide On" got plenty radio play as well. The latter cut even charted #87 R & B. Even better the CD climbed to #15 on R & B Album charts and even crossed over to pop (#108) for the first time in nearly two decades.

Rated X-Traordinaire: The Best Of" "Rated X-Traordinaire: The Best Of" (Legacy 1996)

1. Disco Lady
2. Somebody's Gettin' It
3. You're the Best Girl in the World
4. Running out of Lies
5. Your Love Is Rated X
6. Stop Giving People Hard Luck Stories
7. I'm Just a Shoulder to Cry On
8. Love Is Better in the A.M., Parts 1 & 2
9. Disco 9000
10. Right Now
11. Give Me My Baby
12. Play Something Pretty
13. (Ooh-Wee) She's Killing Me
14. Love Account
15. Just a Happy Song
16. God Is Standing By

**** Much needed compilation cherry picks from Taylor's uneven disco-effaced CBS albums 1976-1981. All the hits are here- "Disco Lady", "Somebody's Gettin' It", "Your Love Is Rated X", "Love Is Better In The A.M.", "Disco 9000". These 16 tracks are really all you need from this creative nadir in JT's illustrious career.

"Stop Half-Loving These Women" (Paula 1996)

Re-issue of the 1977 MCA album "Reflections".

"Cheaper To Keep Her" (601 Music 1998)

1. Everything's Out in the Open
2. That's Just a Woman's Way
3. You Knocked My Heart Out of Line
4. Money's Running Funny
5. Nothin' But the Blues
6. She's Cheating on Me
7. Nothing as Beautiful as You
8. Cheaper to Keep Her
9. No Refund
10. Something Is Going Wrong

**1/2 Budget line comp taken from JT's Malaco years is only for the curious. Like all the releases in the 601 Music series there's a few hits and mostly album tacks (albeit quite good in this case)

Taylored To Please "Taylored To Please" (Malaco 1998)

1. Groove Me
2. Cheatin' on Me
3. I'm Not the Man You Need
4. Disco Lady, 2000
5. If You Take Your Love Away
6. You Couldn't Break Me
7. Kickin' Back, Chillin' Out
8. What Good Is a Man
9. Loose Hair in the Bathroom
10. Can't Live With You...
11. You Can't Strike Gold in a Silver Mine
12. Throw Your Hands in the Air
13. Disco Lady, 2000 - (Remix, remix)

**1/2 Less than stellar follow up to "Good Love" features a superfluous remake of "Disco Lady" ("Disco Lady 2000") that sounds so much like the original you ask yourself, "what's the point?". At least the remix that closes the album is fresh. It even features some guest rappin'. Frederick Knight wrote the evocative "If You Take Your Love Away" with the prophetic line "there's no good in goodbye". Rich Cason's back with the maudlin "I'm Not The Man You Need" and three others but no hits this time.

Gotta Get The Groove Back "Gotta Get The Groove Back" (Malaco 1999)

1. Big Head Hundreds
2. I'm From the Old School
3. Juke Joint
4. One in a Million
5. Ease Back Out
6. Gotta Get the Groove Back
7. Wounded in the Battle of Love
8. Too Close for Comfort
9. I Love You Lady
10. Woman Don't Be Afraid
11. Let's Get Back on Track
12. Soul Heaven

***1/2 The final LP recorded by Johnnie Taylor before his death was made even more melancholy with the inclusion of the gripping "Soul Heaven". Johnnie pays tribute to great singers who he dreams were jamming in another realm. Johnnie soon joined them. This song, by Rich Cason, has become a standard during every death of a soul singer. Of course the first cover version was dedicated to JT. Another hit was the thumping "Big Head Hundreds" that's off-sprung from "Money (That's What I Want)", even borrowing the "money money money" hook. JT went out an a high.

"Funksoulbrother" (Varese 2000) "Funksoulbrother" (Varese 2000)

 Yet another re-issue of the 1977 MCA album "Reflections".

"Lifetime" (Stax 2000)

**** 3-CD 65 song opus comes close to proving the case. The set spans the years 1965-1999 pulling tracks from his pre-Stax days on though his final album for Malaco. Collectors will be happy to note the first 6 cuts are gospel tunes taken from his days with the Spiritual QCs & the Soul Stirrers, followed by a handful of tracks recorded for Sam Cooke's SAR label. In addition to the many Stax hits that form the bulk of this collection, there's 8 alternates. But the Malaco years get the shaft as only 5 tracks were licensed for this box. It's a portrait for sure; chronicling how he moved from gospel to soul to disco to retro-soul/blues but it's not the definitive retrospective you want it to be.

DISC 1:
1. I Dreamed Heaven Was Like This
2. Heaven Is My Home - (Take 1)
3. Love of God, The - (previously unreleased, Take 7)
4. Out on a Hill - (Take 1, alternate take)
5. Until Then - (Take 3, alternate take)
6. When The Gates Swing Open
7. Never, Never
8. Rome (Wasn't Built In A Day)
9. Dance What You Wanna
10. Baby, We've Got Love
11. I Had A Dream
12. Easy Lovin' - (previously unreleased)
13. I've Got to Love Somebody's Baby
14. Just the One (I've Been Looking For) - (previously unreleased, take 7)
15. Part Time Love - (previously unreleased, Take 2)
16. Sixteen Tons - (previously unreleased, Take 6)
17. Somebody's Sleeping In My Bed
18. Blues in the Night - (previously unreleased, Take 1)
19. Save Your Love for Me - (previously unreleased, Take 2)
20. I Need Lots of Love - (previously unreleased)
21. You Can't Win With A Losing Hand - (previously unreleased, Take 3)
22. Rumors
23. You Don't Know Like I Know - (previously unreleased, Take 3)
24. Twenty Years From Today - (previously unreleased, Take 4)
25. Twenty Years From Today - (previously unreleased, Take 7)

DISC 2:
1. Little Bluebird
2. Toe Hold
3. That's Where It's At
4. I Ain't Particular
5. Woman Across the River
6. Who's Making Love?
7. I'm Not the Same Person
8. I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water
9. Mr. Nobody Is Somebody Now
10. Take Care of Your Homework
11. Testify (I Wanna)
12. Separation Line
13. I Could Never Be President
14. Love Bones
15. Steal Away
16. Steal Away - (previously unreleased, live)
17. I Am Somebody, Pts. 1-2
18. Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone
19. I Don't Wanna Lose You, Pt. 1-2
20. Don't Take My Sunshine
21. Hijackin' Love

DISC 3:
1. Standing in for Jody
2. Doing My Own Thing, Pt. 1
3. Stop Doggin' Me
4. I Believe in You (You Believe in Me)
5. Cheaper to Keep Her
6. We're Getting Careless With Our Love
7. Starting All over Again
8. I've Been Born Again
9. It's September
10. Try Me Tonight
11. Free
12. Disco Lady
13. Running Out of Lies
14. God Is Standing By
15. Play Something Pretty
16. Lady, My Whole World Is You
17. Lover Boy
18. Last Two Dollars
19. Soul Heaven

"Greatest Hits" (Malaco)

1. Who's Making Love
2. Drown In My Own Tears
3. Too Late To Try To Do Right
4. When She Stops Asking
5. Stop Doggin' Me
6. Everything's Out In The Open
7. You Knocked My Heart Out Of Line
8. Still Crazy
9. Cheaper To Keep Her
10. Just Because
11. Walk Away With Me
12. We're Getting Careless With Our Love
Disc 2
1. Wall To Wall
2. Disco Lady
3. I Found A Love
4. I Believe In You
5. Sending You A Kiss
6. Lady, My Whole World Is You
7. Big Head Hundreds
8. Still Called The Blues
9. Slide On
10. Good Love
11. Nothing As Beautiful As You
12. Soul Heaven

"Super Hits" (Legacy 2002)

1. Disco Lady
2. Somebody's Gettin' It
3. Running Out of Lies
4. Your Love Is Rated X
5. I'm Just a Shoulder to Cry On
6. Play Something Pretty
7. Love Is Better in the Am (Parts 1 & 2)
8. Disco 9000
9. She's Killin' Me, (Ooh-Wee)
10. God Is Standing By

Johnnie Taylor "There's No Good In Goodbye" (Malaco 2002) "There's No Good In Goodbye" (Malaco 2002)

1. If You're Lookin' for a Fool
2. This Is the Night for Makin' Up
3. Crazy 'Bout You Baby
4. Take Me to the Mardi Gras
5. Too Wise to Be Your Fool
6. Baby Sittin'
7. You Know It Ain't Right
8. I'm in a Midnight Mood
9. If You Take Your Love Away
10. I Found These Things
11. Please Sign the Dotted Line
12. Where Is Your Woman Tonight
13. Con Lover
14. Is This Love or Is This Business
15. I Reach for You
16. Second Time Around

***1/2 This posthumous release gathers 16 outtakes recorded between 1984-1999 for the Malaco label. You'd never guess these were the ones left on the cutting room floor as it's nearly as good as any album released during those 15 years. The first single "This is The Night For Making Up" is another JT Philly-soul gem that should have been released sooner. There's also a duet with son Floyd on Paul Simon's "Take Me To The Mardis Gras", originally recorded in 1988. "Crazy About My Baby" is a poppin' Soul number better than many that were released. "Baby Sittin'" was a hit. Six of the tracks were recorded during the "Gotta Get The Groove Back" sessions, which means that album could've been much better. "Please Sign The Dotted Line" alone would've raised it a point or two. Hopefully this isn't the end and there's more gold in the hills (Malaco vaults).

"Disco 9000" (Collectables 2004)

Despite the title this is NOT a re-issue of the 1977 movie soundtrack. Though it does include the title track.

1. Disco Lady
2. I Got This Thing for Your Love
3. Play Something Pretty
4. Somebody's Gettin' It
5. Your Love Is Rated X
6. Disco 9000
7. (Ooh-Wee) She's Killing Me
8. Ever Ready
9. Keep on Dancing
10. You're the Best Girl in the World

"Stax Profiles" (Stax 2006)

1. I Dreamed That Heaven Was Like This
2. Out on a Hill - (Take 1, alternate take)
3. Rome (Wasn't Built in a Day)
4. Just the One (I've Been Looking For)
5. Stop Doggin' Me - (live)
6. Toe Hold
7. I've Been Born Again
8. Part Time Love
9. Who's Making Love
10. I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water
11. Time After Time
12. I Am Somebody, Pts. 1-2
13. Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone
14. Disco Lady

"Live At The Summit Club" (Stax 2007)

1. Introduction - (featuring Rufus Thomas)
2. Take Care of Your Homework
3. Little Bluebird
4. Steal Away - (version 1)
5. I Don't Wanna Lose You
6. Who's Making Love
7. Hello Sundown
8. Steal Away - (version 2)
9. Stop Doggin' Me
10. Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone

"The Very Best Of" (Stax 2007)

1. I Had a Dream
2. I Got to Love Somebody's Baby
3. Somebody's Sleeping in My Bed
4. Next Time
5. I Ain't Particular
6. Who's Making Love
7. Take Care of Your Homework
8. Testify (I Wonna)
9. I Could Never Be President
10. Love Bones
11. Steal Away
12. I Am Somebody - (Pt. 2)
13. Jody's Got Your Girl and Gone
14. I Don't Wanna Lose You
15. Hijackin' Love
16. Standing in For Jody
17. Doing My Own Thing - (Pt. 1)
18. Stop Doggin' Me
19. I Believe in You (You Believe in Me)
20. Cheaper to Keep Her
21. We're Getting Careless With Our Love
22. I've Been Born Again
23. It's September

"The Best Of The Old & New" (Solaris 2014)

1. What About My Love
2. Don't Wait
3. I'm So Proud
4. Just Ain't Good Enough
5. I Need a Freak
6. Reaganomics
7. Seconds of Your Love
8. Hey For the Winner
9. Shoot For the Stars

***1/2 Ridiculous title to this reissue of the 1982 album "Just Ain't Good Enough" with the addition of the three B-Sides used for singles when current.

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