Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Payin' Homage

Back in 1982, when R&B lost most of its soul and disco was fading, Bobby Womack released a brilliantly soulful album, The Poet. Included on that #1 album was the seven minute soul masterpiece "If You Think You're Lonely Now." Bobby expressed his disappointment with his woman like no male soul singer before him. In his signature gritty voice Bobby told us about this woman who is always complaining about the things she ain't got and the things her girlfriends got. Womack's career began long before 1982, Bobby grew up singing with his brothers as The Womack Brothers. The gospel group was eventually discovered by Sam Cooke who renamed them the Valentino's and turned them into a teenage secular vocal group. After Sam's death the group disbanded and Womack became a writer and guitarist for The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and others. In 1968 Bobby embarked on a solo career, and released three critically acclaimed albums, Communication, Understanding and Across 110th Street, along with a series of hit songs, "That's The Way I Feel About Cha," "Woman's Gotta Have It," "Harry Hippie," "Across 110th Street," and "Daylight." Like many soul singers of the time, the 1980's proved to be a difficult period, the music scene changed dramatically. 1982's The Poet resurrected Bobby's career. In 1984 he released the equally brilliant The Poet II. The following year Bobby scored another hit with " I Wish He Didn't Trust Me So Much." In the years that followed Bobby continued to record sporadically. More recently, Womack released Traditions, a Christmas album, and the critically acclaimed gospel album, Back To My Roots. Last month, Capitol/EMI reissued seven of Womack's classic LPs digitally for the time: 1968's Fly Me To The Moon, 1969's My Prescription, 1971's The Womack Live, 1973's Lookin' For A Love Again, 1975's Safety Zone and I Don't Know What The World Is Coming To, and 1976's BW Goes C&W. In addition,a 1972 concert at the Apollo will be available under the title Live At The Apollo.