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James Carr|You Got My Mind Messed Up

You Got My Mind Messed Up

James Carr

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If ever there was a soul singer who rivaled Otis Redding's raw, deep emotional sensuality, it was James Carr, and the proof is in the pudding with You Got My Mind Messed Up. Carr was one of the last country-soul singers to approach any chart given to him as if it was a gift from God. Carr was Redding's rival in every respect if for no other reason than the release of this, his debut album recorded in 1966. The 12 songs here, many of them covered by other artists, are all soul classics merely by their having been sung and recorded by Carr. Among them is the Drew Baker/Dani McCormick smash "Pouring Water on a Drowning Man," George Jackson's "Coming Back to Me Baby," a handful of tracks by O.B. McLinton, including "Forgetting You" and the title track, and the Chips Moman/Dan Penn hit "Dark End of the Street." And while it's true that few have ever done bad versions of the song because of the phenomenal writing, there is only one definitive version, and that one belongs to Carr. In his version he sings from the territory of a heart that is already broken but enslaved both to his regret and his desire. This is a love so pure it can only have been illicit. When he gets to the beginning of the second verse, and intones "I know time is gonna take its toll," he's already at the end of his rope; he knows that desire that burns like this can only bring about ruin and disaster, and it is precisely since it cannot be avoided that his repentance is perhaps accepted by the powers that would try him and judge him. He holds the arrangement at bay, and unlike some versions, Carr keeps his composure, making it a true song of regret, remorse, and a love so forbidden yet so faithful that it is worth risking not only disgrace and destruction for, but also hell itself. As the guitar cascades down the fretboard staccato, he can see the dark end of the street and holds it as close to his heart as a sacred and secret memory. By the album's end with the title track, listeners hear the totality of the force of Memphis soul. With Steve Cropper's guitar filling the space in the background, Carr offers a chilling portrait of what would happen to him in the future. Again pleading with the beloved in a tone reminiscent of a church-singer hell, he's in the church of love. He pleads, admonishes, begs, and finally confirms that the end of this love is his insanity, which was a chilling prophecy given what happened to Carr some years later. This is one of theMemphis soul records of the mid-'60s, full of rough-hewn grace, passion, tenderness, and danger. A masterpiece.

© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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You Got My Mind Messed Up

James Carr

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1
Pouring Water on a Drowning Man
00:02:39

Danny McCormick, Composer - Drew Baker, Composer - James Carr, MainArtist - Warner-tamerlane Publishing, MusicPublisher - Millbrand Music, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2010 Ace Records

2
Love Attack
00:02:54

James Carr, MainArtist - Quinton Claunch, Composer - Ridgetop Music, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

3
Coming Back to Me Baby
00:01:59

James Carr, MainArtist - Quinton Claunch, Composer - Screen Gems-EMI Music Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ridgetop Music (GB), MusicPublisher - Rise Music, MusicPublisher - SCREEN-GEMS-EMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2011 Ace Records

4
I Don't Want to Be Hurt Anymore
00:02:23

Dan Greer, Composer - James Carr, MainArtist - Ridgetop Music, MusicPublisher - Rise Music, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

5
That's What I Want to Know
00:01:56

James Carr, Composer, MainArtist - Roosevelt Jamison, Composer - Screen Gems-EMI Music, MusicPublisher - MORNING MUSIC LTD, MusicPublisher - POET'S PUBLISHING, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

6
These Ain't Raindrops
00:02:35

James Carr, MainArtist - Quinton Claunch, Composer - Ridgetop Music, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

7
The Dark End of the Street
00:02:33

Chips Moman, Composer - Dan Penn, Composer - James Carr, MainArtist - EMI Music Pub Ltd, MusicPublisher - Screen Gems, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

8
I'm Going for Myself
00:02:24

James Carr, MainArtist - Eddie Campbell, Composer - Ernest Johnson, Composer - EMI UNITED PARTNERSHIP LTD, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

9
Loveable Girl
00:02:23

James Carr, MainArtist - Osbie Burnett McClinton, Composer - Ridgetop Music, MusicPublisher - Rise Music, MusicPublisher - SCREEN-GEMS-EMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

10
Forgetting You
00:02:54

James Carr, MainArtist - Osbie Burnett McClinton, Composer - Ridgetop Music, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

11
She's Better Than You
00:02:22

James Carr, MainArtist - Osbie Burnett McClinton, Composer - Ridgetop Music, MusicPublisher - Rise Music, MusicPublisher - SCREEN-GEMS-EMI, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2011 Ace Records

12
You've Got My Mind Messed Up
00:02:25

James Carr, MainArtist - Osbie Burnett McClinton, Composer - EMI Music Pub Ltd, MusicPublisher - Ridgetop Music (GB), MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

13
These Arms of Mine
00:02:37

Otis Redding, Composer - James Carr, MainArtist - Wildwood Music Ltd, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

14
You Don't Want Me
00:02:10

James Carr, MainArtist - Roosevelt Jamison, Composer - MORNING MUSIC LTD, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

15
There Goes My Used to Be
00:02:32

James Carr, MainArtist - Roosevelt Jamison, Composer - MORNING MUSIC LTD, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

16
A Lucky Loser
00:02:06

James Carr, MainArtist - Homer Banks, Composer - Allen Jones, Composer - Rondor Music (London) Ltd, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2011 Ace Records

17
Dixie Belle
00:02:23

Jerry Foster, Composer - Wilburn Rice, Composer - James Carr, MainArtist - Universal Music Pub Ltd, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

18
Search Your Heart
00:03:04

George Jackson, Composer - James Carr, MainArtist - Raymond Moore, Composer - EMI Music Pub Ltd, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

19
Sock It to Me - Baby!
00:02:14

Bob Crewe, Composer - Lawrence Brown, Composer - James Carr, MainArtist - EMI Music Pub Ltd, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

20
My Adorable One
00:03:29

James Carr, MainArtist - Irral Berger, Composer - Sparta Florida Music Group Ltd, MusicPublisher - Carla Thompson, Composer

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

21
Love Is a Beautiful Thing
00:02:45

Felix Cavaliere, Composer - James Carr, MainArtist - Edward Brigati, Composer - EMI Music Pub Ltd, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

22
Life Turned Her That Way
00:02:57

Harlan Howard, Composer - James Carr, MainArtist - Tro Essex Music Ltd, MusicPublisher - Sony ATV Music Pub (UK), MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

23
A Losing Game
00:02:01

James Carr, Composer, MainArtist - Denny Weaver, Composer - Ridgetop Music, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

24
What Can I Call My Own
00:02:47

James Carr, MainArtist - Larry Rogers, Composer - Carlin Music Corp, MusicPublisher - Lyn-Lou Music Inc, MusicPublisher

(C) 2013 Ace Records (P) 2013 Ace Records

Album review

If ever there was a soul singer who rivaled Otis Redding's raw, deep emotional sensuality, it was James Carr, and the proof is in the pudding with You Got My Mind Messed Up. Carr was one of the last country-soul singers to approach any chart given to him as if it was a gift from God. Carr was Redding's rival in every respect if for no other reason than the release of this, his debut album recorded in 1966. The 12 songs here, many of them covered by other artists, are all soul classics merely by their having been sung and recorded by Carr. Among them is the Drew Baker/Dani McCormick smash "Pouring Water on a Drowning Man," George Jackson's "Coming Back to Me Baby," a handful of tracks by O.B. McLinton, including "Forgetting You" and the title track, and the Chips Moman/Dan Penn hit "Dark End of the Street." And while it's true that few have ever done bad versions of the song because of the phenomenal writing, there is only one definitive version, and that one belongs to Carr. In his version he sings from the territory of a heart that is already broken but enslaved both to his regret and his desire. This is a love so pure it can only have been illicit. When he gets to the beginning of the second verse, and intones "I know time is gonna take its toll," he's already at the end of his rope; he knows that desire that burns like this can only bring about ruin and disaster, and it is precisely since it cannot be avoided that his repentance is perhaps accepted by the powers that would try him and judge him. He holds the arrangement at bay, and unlike some versions, Carr keeps his composure, making it a true song of regret, remorse, and a love so forbidden yet so faithful that it is worth risking not only disgrace and destruction for, but also hell itself. As the guitar cascades down the fretboard staccato, he can see the dark end of the street and holds it as close to his heart as a sacred and secret memory. By the album's end with the title track, listeners hear the totality of the force of Memphis soul. With Steve Cropper's guitar filling the space in the background, Carr offers a chilling portrait of what would happen to him in the future. Again pleading with the beloved in a tone reminiscent of a church-singer hell, he's in the church of love. He pleads, admonishes, begs, and finally confirms that the end of this love is his insanity, which was a chilling prophecy given what happened to Carr some years later. This is one of theMemphis soul records of the mid-'60s, full of rough-hewn grace, passion, tenderness, and danger. A masterpiece.

© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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