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R&B - Released August 21, 2012 | Rhino Atlantic

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Rock - Released February 8, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic

Brook Benton had one of his best years in 1970. "Rainy Night in Georgia" was a smash, reaching the top of quite a few charts, and he released two very strong albums for Atlantic offshoot Cotillion. Today was produced by Arif Mardin and recorded in Miami and New York, but it has a very deep Southern feel. Benton croons, cajoles, and emotes his way through some wonderful songs, taking the R&B classic "A Little Bit of Soap" at half-speed and wringing every last bit of soul from it, using every trick he could find on the heartbreaking "Life Has Its Little Ups and Downs" and waltzing breezily through his own lightweight but heavy "Where Do We Go From Here?" He makes songs work that shouldn't: he turns "My Way" into a laid-back tour de force, melts the speakers on the usually schmaltzy "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," and whispers through a powerful version of "I've Gotta Be Me." Most singers would have sunk under the weight of such white-bread selections, but Benton makes them his personal property. And of course there is "Rainy Night in Georgia," which deserves every accolade it gets, because it truly is a soul classic. It certainly makes this an album worth hearing. [Today was paired up with 1970's Home Style for release by DBK Works in 2003.] ~ Tim Sendra
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R&B - Released August 29, 2000 | Mercury Records

20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Brook Benton gathers a dozen of the singer/songwriter's greatest hits, including "It's Just a Matter of Time," "Fools Rush In," "The Boll Weevil Song," and his duets with Dinah Washington, "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)" and "A Rockin' Good Way (To Mess Around and Fall in Love)." "Kiddio" and "Endlessly" are two more of the many highlights of this collection, which certainly isn't the most comprehensive Brook retrospective available but is nevertheless a delightful introduction to his best known work. ~ Heather Phares
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R&B - Released December 25, 2015 | RCA - Legacy

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R&B - Released October 24, 2014 | RCA Records Label

My Country pairs Brook Benton with famed Nashville sound arranger Anita Kerr to create a country/soul crossover record that is the quintessence of style and sophistication. While Benton's silken vocals find a perfect match in Kerr's lush, dramatic arrangements, Clyde Otis' earthy production guarantees the end result remains soulful, not sterile. Indeed, Benton delivers renditions of classics like "He's Got You," "Funny How Time Slips Away," and "Gone" that retain all the heartfelt poignancy of the originals, but he also adds a bluesy component that further underscores the songs' emotional depth. ~ Jason Ankeny
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Soul - Released November 16, 2018 | Suite 102

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1960 | Verve

Songs I Love to Sing by Brook Benton is a gorgeous array of 12 standards as interpreted by Benton and his collaborator, Clyde Otis. He does not sound like the Benton of his last hit, "Rainy Night in Georgia"; rather, the singer goes to the place where Nat King Cole reigned supreme. He sounds unbelievably like Cole on some of these tunes, the phrasing and vocal texture so similar it is amazing, perfectly surrounded by superb orchestration. The Rube Bloom/Johnny Mercer classic that charted for Glenn Miller two decades before this rendition, "Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread)," went Top 25 in 1960 from Songs I Love to Sing and is indicative of the lush sounds found on this wonderful disc. Great singers from every era always have the urge to emulate their idols; Rod Stewart sprinkled his favorite songs over various albums, culminating in his 2002 concept disc It Had to Be You...The Great American Songbook. Like Stewart, Brook Benton was a singer/songwriter, though he was in a genre where the Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mathis types let others write the tunes they would bring to life. In this setting, Benton hits a home run; these recordings are a stunning display of his vocal prowess and understanding of the material. "September Song" should have been licensed for one of the Kurt Weill tribute albums, a decidedly different version than what Lou Reed uncovered for the Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weil '80s compilation. The uncredited and worthwhile liner notes on an LP jacket which has the singer leaning on a large gold harp give some insight; Benton got the idea for this collection while convalescing in the hospital. Clyde Otis supervised the sessions and the orchestration, and it is all very beautiful, from the Gershwins' "They Can't Take That Away From Me" to Peggy Lee's "I Don't Know Enough About You." The album concludes with the hit "Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread)," which Rick Nelson brought to the Top 15 three years after this, though there's no comparison whatsoever -- Benton's rendition is classic, as is this very special record. ~ Joe Viglione
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Soul - Released June 23, 2017 | Rhino Atlantic

Like his other record from 1970, Today, Brook Benton's Home Style was also produced by Arif Mardin and recorded in Miami and New York. However, this album used the Dixie Flyers as the backing band and augmented them with the dream horn section of Joe Newman on trumpet, King Curtis on tenor sax, Pepper Adams on baritone, and Benny Powell on trombone. The Flyers give the record a more organic feel that the horns and strings take straight uptown, giving the record a unique sound. Benton's vocals are just as impressive and the song selection is mostly first-rate. Benton dips back into the Tony Joe White songbook for "Willie and Laura Mae Jones," "Aspen Colorado," and "For Lee Ann," hoping to strike gold again. He didn't, but the songs sure sound good. Elsewhere he covers Joe South's "Don't It Make You Wanta Go Home," turns Dylan's "Don't Think Twice It's All Right" into a funky chunk of advice, and rips his way through the Booker T.- and William Bell-penned Albert King classic "Born Under a Bad Sign." Maybe best of all is the self-composed "Let Me Fix It," a sassy duet between Benton and Cissy Houston (with an assist from the rest of the Sweet Inspirations, who provide vocals throughout) that sounds like a funky-as-dirt update of his classic jousts with Dinah Washington. [Home Style was paired up with Today for release by DBK Works in 2003.] ~ Tim Sendra
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Soul - Released September 29, 2017 | Rhino Atlantic

Innumerable Brook Benton compilations appeared over the years but his last great run at Reprise/Cotillion remained relatively undocumented prior to Real Gone Music's 2016 set Rainy Night in Georgia: The Complete Reprise & Cotillion Singles A's & B's. Where 2007's The Platinum Collection mined the years of 1967-1972 for 20 highlights, this double-disc set marches through the discography, offering both sides of every single he released during these six years. Clearly, "Rainy Night in Georgia" is the blockbuster here: not only did it reach the Top Five on Billboard's Hot 100 and R&B charts, it's the only one of these singles to crack the R&B Top Ten. A few others came close -- "Nothing Can Take the Place of You" went to 11 in 1969, "Shoes" to 18 in 1971 -- but apart from the song that became a standard most of this material failed to make considerable commercial waves. Of course, "Rainy Night in Georgia" was a big enough hit to overshadow the rest of the music here, but this compilation also shows how the song sat at the intersection of Benton's two styles during this period: the lush adult-oriented MOR of his sides for Reprise and the earthier Southern soul he'd cut for Cotillion. Old pro that he was, Benton could handle both aesthetics without strain, although there are times when he seems a little bit too stuffy to be truly funky on the slow-burning soul that dominates this collection. Which isn't to say he can't ride a groove -- his version of "My Way" is a wonder, a nicely churning groove that undercuts the song's pomposity; "Shoes" is the only other single to achieve this kind of gritty ease -- but he's at home with Joe South's "Don't It Make You Want to Go Home" and the pomp of "Heaven Help Us All," songs written in broad strokes so they sustain the theatricality in Benton's delivery. He also works well with country-soul, partially because a song like "She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye" exists on the spectrum between grit and gloss, but what impresses on these two discs is the elegance of Benton, a singer so skilled he could adapt to any time and setting without seeming out of place. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Pop - Released January 21, 2016 | Shami Media Group 3

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Pop - Released October 5, 2018 | Acrobat

Miscellaneous - Released March 15, 2016 | Shami Media Group 3

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Soul - Released March 30, 2010 | Three Kids Music

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Rock - Released February 27, 2007 | Rhino Atlantic

Blues - Released March 25, 2016 | Westmill

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Ambient/New Age - Released January 1, 2014 | Mercury Records

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Pop - Released March 19, 2017 | Westmill

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R&B - Released February 14, 2005 | Mercury Records

For My Baby may be a Brook Benton collection, but since it lacks just about every song most people associate with him, like "Rainy Night in Georgia," "It's Just a Matter of Time," "Fools Rush In," and "The Boll Weevil Song," it isn't a particularly great collection. It does have his two duets with Dinah Washington, "Baby (You've Got What It Takes)" and "A Rockin' Good Way (To Mess Around and Fall in Love)," though, and that's a plus. ~ Steve Leggett

Rock - Released May 10, 1989 | Alía Discos

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R&B - Released March 1, 1967 | RCA - Legacy

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