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Friday, February 10, 2012

Joe Tex month day 10: The New Boss/The Love You Save

Now that they had their hit and they knew how to get the most out of Joe's talent, JT and Buddy Killen really started cranking out the product. In 1965 and 1966, Joe Tex released four different LPs for Dial/Atlantic, most of them loaded with original material. In addition most of the companies that released his material in the 50s and early 60s released LPs to cash in on the Tex craze. I think there are six different JT LPs with a 1966 date on them.

Technically, the New Boss, JT's follow-up LP to Hold What You've Got, isn't entirely new. It has a couple of songs overlapping with HWYG, and it's also unique in Joe's 60s library in that almost half the songs are covers (I don't care what he says or how good his version is, Joe did NOT write "C.C. Rider"). Recorded quickly on to cash the new demand for JT's music, it's not the best Tex album of the 60s, but it's got its moments, like the big hit "I Want to (Do Everything for You)" (which is a Joe Tex original and I don't care what it says on that King Sound Quartet LP In the Red put out in 1996) and "What in the World", which has a seriously great Tex vocal and a righteous horn chart.

But to my ears the next in the Dial Series, The Love You Save, is the more entertaining listen. Purpler commentariats than myself have made grand claims for the title track being about social unrest and the Civil Rights movement, and it's safe to say that there's more than love affairs being talked about when Joe's saying he's been hit in the head, left for dead, taken outside, brutalized, and always been the one who had to apologize. No wonder he looks so mad on the cover.

Other winners include the previously posted "If Sugar Was Sweet As You" and in particular "I'm a Man". This mind-boggling rewrite of "You Keep Her" has the greatest lyrics in musical history. If "If I were a song I'd like to be sung by the Rolling Stones" is not carved into my tombstone, someone hasn't been paying attention. Is this song some kind of slam on Bobby Darin's "If I Were a Carpenter"?

And lest y'all think I've forgotten I'm posting on Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban, there's also a hilarious mush mouth version of "Heartbreak Hotel", and a sleeper dance 45 - "You Better Believe It, Baby". This song wound up as the B-side of "I Believe I'm Gonna Make It", and it smokes - a hornless, rhythm guitar driven pounder with a pronounced Beatle influence - check out that scream that leads in the brief guitar break. Get it Elvis! Fill that floor!

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Dr. Filth:

Loving the Joe Tex series!

James Porter
author of the Joe Tex Record Guide in Roctober magazine: