Similar artists

Albums

$12.99

Rock - Released January 1, 1968 | Capitol Records, LLC

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Joe South's second proper album was perhaps just a tad less impressive than the more well-known Introspect, if only because that earlier LP had included "Games People Play," "Rose Garden," and some other songs that would be among the singer/songwriter's most enduring. Don't It Make You Want to Go Home? is a worthy follow-up, however, that also adeptly combines rootsy rock, pop, country, soul, gospel, and psychedelia into South's thoughtful songs, which ooze both interior reflection and empathetic concern for the world at large. The soulful, cheering "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" was the album's hit single, but there are other songs here of similar quality, like the bittersweet "Clock Up on the Wall," the straight-ahead soul love song "Shelter," and "Be a Believer," which has the anthemic exhortatory chin-up feel typical of much of South's work of the period. It's definitely an album of its time, as the occasional segues between tracks and trippy studio effects make clear. Indeed, there's one downright experimental track, "A Million Miles Away," a nearly instrumental gutbucket psychedelic blues groove under which some radio-like voices can just about be detected. Somehow the trendy accoutrements fit the mood fairly well instead of sounding like jarring misfires, though they might have ensured that South remained a little bit too idiosyncratic to maintain his short-lived commercial success. ~ Richie Unterberger
$10.49

Rock - Released January 1, 1969 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

To some degree, Games People Play was a rushed album, issued to capitalize on the unexpected hit single title track (which had first been issued as an LP-only cut on South's previous long-player, Introspect). Three songs that had appeared on Introspect ("Games People Play," "Birds of a Feather," and "These Are Not My People") were placed on Games People Play as well, and some of the other songs (like "Untie Me" and "Concrete Jungle") had been recorded by other artists as early as 1962. For all that, however, it was a pretty cracking good set of country-soul-rock, and if it was hastily thrown together, it certainly didn't show in the songwriting, production, or performances. South's sage, humanistic, and somewhat outside-looking-in view of the madding crowd came through forcefully in "Party People," "These Are Not My People," and "Birds of a Feather." Wholehearted romantic lust and confusion laced his energetic recastings of "Untie Me" (first a hit for the Tams back in 1962) and "Hush" (which had just been a smash for Deep Purple), as well as the respectable Elvis Presley-meets-Neil Diamond-styled "Heart's Desire," which had the catchiness of a hit single. The dabs of psychedelia throughout the record -- some electric guitar here, some weird echo there (both at once on "Hole in Your Soul," the most avowedly strange track) -- might have been trendy, but were nonetheless effective. Quite a lot of fine music not found on best-of compilations awaits South fans who have yet to discover this record. ~ Richie Unterberger
$10.49

Rock - Released January 1, 1968 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

Joe South's debut LP was deleted almost too quickly for most listeners to find it, much less hear it. Now regarded as a country-soul classic (and, perhaps, the first country-soul album), Introspect anticipated the sound that Elvis Presley and Tony Joe White would both bring to the fore in the following year, except that it was even more ambitious than Presley or White, mixing and bending genres in new and exciting ways. Country, Eastern raga, gutbucket soul, and pop all brush up against each other within the same songs, some of which sound like Elvis singing with a backing band that included James Burton and Ravi Shankar. And thanks to South's use of various electronic devices in association with the considerable virtuosity in the playing, and his exceptional singing, this is still a bracing album four decades later. "Games People Play" was the hit off the record, and literally overwhelmed the album (which was pulled, reshuffled, and reissued as Games People Play the following year). But also worth hearing are "Birds of a Feather," "Rose Garden" (which would become a huge hit for Lynn Anderson three years later), "All My Hard Times," and "Mirror of Your Mind," along with most of what's here. ~ Bruce Eder
$7.49

Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | Capitol Records

For the brief period of 1969-1971, as both songwriter and singer, Joe South had the market cornered on a distinctive brand of country-soul exemplified by his signature hit, "Games People Play." He had been kicking around the music business for more than a decade by then, having scored minor hits with the Big Bopper's "The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor" in 1958 and "You're the Reason" in 1961, written the Tams' 1962 Top 20 R&B hit "Untie Me," and worked as a Nashville session musician. Between 1965 and 1967, he wrote and produced five pop chart records for Billy Joe Royal, including "Down in the Boondocks," "I Knew You When," and "Hush." Deep Purple remade "Hush" for a Top Five hit in 1968. By then, South had secured a recording contract with Capitol, and beginning with "Games People Play" he scored six chart entries through 1971, among them "Walk a Mile in My Shoes," which Elvis Presley performed, and "Birds of a Feather," which the Raiders remade for a Top 40 hit. Meanwhile, Lynn Anderson turned South's "Rose Garden" into a gold-selling Top Five pop hit and country chart-topper. Then, following his brother's suicide, he gave it all up and lived on his royalties. (An attempted comeback a few years later failed.) This midline-priced best-of includes all of his Capitol hits as well as versions of many of his compositions that were hits for others. His work remains impressive; the songs themselves have simple, compelling melodies and lyrics and he sings them with conviction. The quality belies the small size of his catalog. ~ William Ruhlmann
$12.99

Rock - Released January 1, 1972 | Capitol Records, LLC

Joe South returned to writing every song on a record for his next album, A Look Inside, which also happened to be his last LP for Capitol. South wrote and recorded A Look Inside in the aftermath of the suicide of his younger brother, and there’s a palpable sense of sadness lurking underneath South’s signature roots pop, particularly at the beginning of the album, which opens with a set of slow, sorrowful blues. As the record rolls on, things get a little sprightlier -- “Misunderstanding” possesses a swagger, “Misfit” is a defiant statement of purpose, “All Nite Lover, All Day Friend” blares its blues with horns -- but to dig out South’s depression does require some close listening. Otherwise, this record is a fitting companion to its predecessor, charming in its period affectations and South’s rootsy idiosyncracies. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
$10.49

Rock - Released January 1, 1968 | Capitol Records, LLC

Perhaps because he had so much lost time to make up for making up for when he finally emerged as a featured artist after lurking behind the scenes as a songwriter and session musician, Joe South was working at a white-hot pace in the late 1960s, with three fine if slightly erratic albums emerging one after the other. It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that his fourth, 1971's Joe South, was both less energetic and less impressive than what had preceded it. It's still a worthy record with his expected (and perhaps unsurpassed) knack for combining rock, country, and soul, though it marked no less than the third appearance in four albums of "Birds of a Feather." Certainly the most renowned track is "Rose Garden," a number three pop hit in the hands of country singer Lynn Anderson, though South's version is unsurprisingly funkier and more relaxed. At other points South sounds rather like Elvis Presley might have in the early '70s had Elvis been able to write songs and been less of a showboat. But while the songs are OK (and, in the case of "Rose Garden," quite a bit more than that), there was nothing aside from "Rose Garden" as exciting and striking as the best of what South had done in the late '60s. ~ Richie Unterberger
$8.99

Pop - Released February 23, 2017 | Blue Pie Records

$10.49

Rock - Released January 1, 1972 | Capitol Records, LLC

On 1971’s So the Seeds Are Growing, where South -- who had bigger hits as a songwriter than a performer -- decided to devote roughly half of his record to covers, ranging from the recent Brotherhood of Man hit “United We Stand” to Ray Charles’ “Drown in My Own Tears,” from David Gates’ softly sweet “The Other Side of Life” to the blues standard “Motherless Children.” It was a curious choice that tends to underscore So the Seeds Are Growing’s connection to its 1971 release date as much as the proliferation of wah-wah fuzz guitars, thick gauzy strings, and tight funk rhythms -- rhythms that swing harder and heavier than South’s earlier records. Its period charms are considerable and are one of the primary appeals of So the Seeds Are Growing -- particularly on the over the top “Revolution of Love,” which piles on blues slide guitar, gospel choruses, soul horns, electric sitars, and hippie credos into a four-minute time capsule -- although it does possess a couple of overlooked South compositions in its cinematic title track and the defiant R&B swing of “No Fence Around Me,” all of which are enough to make this an album worth seeking out. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine