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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Joe Tex month day 8: The Early Dial Sides

Like King and Ace, Anna and Chess didn't really work out for Joe. But because of his obvious talent, producer and music publisher Buddy Killen decided to start a label, Dial, specifically to release Tex's records.

Things didn't go very well at first. In fact, a lot of Joe's early Dial singles are a step back in quality and uniqueness from his Anna and Chess waxings, even if they're a leap forward in terms of sound quality. Most of these early singles can be found on the Super Soul compilation pictured above, but they can be a wee pricey for a comp, since a couple of Joe's early Dials are considered Northern Soul classics.

But "Looking for My Pig", one of the best songs (especially for Ichiban purposes!) he cut in the early Dial days, is not. This barn-burning tip/rip to "Walking the Dog" - complete with shout out to Rufus Thomas at the end - only came out on 45 until its eventual release on the First on the Dial CD in 2008.

Another killer early Dial tune not on the Super Soul is "Blood's Thicker Than Water", the flip of "I Wanna Be Free". This is probably the most expensive record in Joe's catalog, consistently fetching over a hundred dollars on the Northern market. So if you see it for a couple of bucks somewhere, don't sleep!

The way forward was planted on "I Had a Good Home But I Left". A call-back to the first two Anna singles, it was a two-parter with a sermon on the flip. This time the tempo was slowed down to a fine Southern lope, and Joe and the band really work off of each other to give his words maximum impact. It gets so good to Joe that he punctuates one bit of wisdom with a "Think about it!" that would make Jerry Lee proud. The track is presented here (for the first time, as far as I can tell) as a seamless song rather than being split into two parts.

The record still didn't sell. But Killen and Tex would take this style to the A-side for the first time at the next recording session, and the results were much different.

For more on the Dial story, go here.


dj trish said...

are you going through a Joe Tex Faze?Are you?

Mr. Soul Motion said...

I've been a big Joe Tex freak for a long time. I'm more going through a "actually do something with all the data in my head rather than letting it rot up there" phase than anything.

Debbie D said...

Wow! I've never heard Looking For My Pig before!!