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4.7 out of 5 stars
Best Of Percy Sledge
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 13, 2001
Format: Audio CD
A man... at the end of his emotional rope stands at the crossroads, where the sacred meets the profane. Gospel trained, he searches in his soul for unanswerable solutions.And he emerges triumphant. Unbroken. A man. When a man loves a woman, out of left field, take the time to know her. Every holy roller church organ played, every sanctified soul shout, every weary working man's blues is distilled right here for your listening pleasure. This CD is the one to get,because there are a lot of weak ones out there, ya'll. The "Big Chill" generation re-embraced Percy and gave him some long overdue recognition, so now it's you youngster's turn to get hip to the deep,deep,deep soul of Mr. Percy Sledge. Here's your map.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
It is hard to consider Percy Sledge underrated when he had his biggest hit go to #1 on the pop and R&B charts; had that hit featured in one of the 80s top films ("Platoon"); have its chart position (but not quality) matched in a Michael Bolton remake; and finally, be honored by its publisher (and, in a backwards way, by the IRS, to whom Sledge owed back taxes) as one of the most played songs of all time.
But "The Best of Percy Sledge" is more than the legendary "When A Man Loves A Woman." Using the Impressions' first hit, "For Your Precious Love," as a basis, Percy and his Muscle Shoals cohorts used simple ingredients (churchy organ, light drumming, bluesy guitar) to create heartfelt, dignified soul classics. Highlights include the mournful "Take Time To Know Her" (featuring Percy's spoken narrative), the Otis Redding-ish "Baby Help Me," two excellent versions of soul chestnuts "Dark End of The Street" and "Just Out of Reach," and the gospelish ballad "My Special Prayer." When Percy's voice comes in just behind the first organ notes to sing, "Let me wrap you in my warm and tender love," how could anyone not be moved? Highly recommended, but also check out "The Ultimate Collection" or "It Tears Me Up" for the original Atlantic hits.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is an essential collection of deep soul songs by Percy Sledge. It's a shame that most people only know Mr. Sledge's most popular song "When A Man Loves A Woman" (and radio only plays that one selection from him) when there are numerous songs by him that are just as powerful. Side 1 is especially great: check out "Warm and Tender Love", "Out Of Left Field" and "Just Out of Reach".
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
This collection includes at least three of Percy Sledge's ageless classics, songs that reached the top 5 way back in the 1960s but have often been revived and used in movie soundtracks or advertisements. These are the eternal When A Man Loves A Woman, the mournful Take Time To Know Her and the gospely My Special Prayer. Sledge's sound is a unique marriage of deep soul and country, made even more distinctive by his pleading voice with its spiritual undertones. Other great tracks here include Warm And Tender Love, Dark End Of The Street, It Tears Me Up and You're All Around Me, all melodic and moving numbers demonstrating the prowess of the Muscle Shoals musicians. This Best Of album is a good introduction to Sledge, but people who are really into deep soul are advised to investigate further as Sledge was a prolific artist and there are many more, lesser known, but equally excellent tracks available on other albums. Together with a couple of legendary artists on the Stax/Volt label, Sledge was the best exponent of this gripping type of country-soul, and his voice gave him the edge!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD
...and this album more than proves it...just listen to the deep country soul of My Special Prayer, or the hurtful cry of a love lost in Sudden Stop, or the hip rocking soul of Baby, Help Me (written by Bobby Womack by the way). After listening to these and some of the other track on this album, you begin to forget about When A Man Loves a Woman...

Most audiences are so hung up on this number one tune, I think they're missing out on the most versatile sounds of a true country-soul legend...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 4, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Percy Sledge's career began in 1966: he himself says it came out of the clear blue sky. The man just stood sorrowfully on stage and stumbled through "When a Man Loves a Woman."(He'd just been laid off his job in construction and his girlfriend at the time left him for a modeling career.) As he was later backed by Atlantic's gritty studio musicians, headquartered in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, he produced a yearning, deep southern, churchy sound on this soon-to-be famous song: and Atlantic's first No. 1 hit. The song has never died, is frequently revived and covered, and has been used on movie soundtracks and in advertising. It was followed by other hits, all with that gospel, soulful sound: "Take Time to Know Her," "Warm and Tender Love," and "It Tears Me Up," all of which are on this disk.

The Alabama-born Sledge has always had a way of locating the emotional heart of a song; noted rock critic Dave Marsh once said his soul ballads were "emotional classics for romantics of all ages." The current album opens with "When a Man," and continues with his other earliest hits. It's also notable for a particularly country-oriented "My Special Prayer," that to me seems to have a bit of a Tex/Mex sound. Sledge then gives us rather subdued covers of Aaron Neville's "Tell It like It Is," and two tunes from the Otis Redding songbook, "Try a Little Tenderness"and"I've Been Loving You Too Long."

I saw him a few years ago, in an open air concert at New York's Lincoln Center, and, I must say, it was rather a sad evening: the man appeared to have lost his top notes. His voice cracked and slid, again and again, on "Me and Mrs. Jones," and "At the Dark End of the Street." The audience kept calling for "When a Man," and he closed with it; but it was not a rendition you'd want to hear. Seemed to me at the time, and still, that rather than disappointing audiences and possibly harming his touring opportunities, the man would do better to take a page from the notebook of the immortal Ray Charles. When Charles lost the top notes of "Georgia on My Mind," he just had new arrangements made: arrangements that left those troublesome notes to the flute, or the Raelettes. Or Sledge could leave the song to Michael Bolton - he's said not to mind the Bolton take, and I can see why. However, Sledge's initial take of "When a Man" is here on this cd, in all its unearthly, undying glory.
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on August 18, 2008
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I usually get my music from Time Life have been for the past 15 years but their cds have a tendency to start skipping too soon, Ive looked all over for Percys cd and finally found it with you. Their is alot more music I have found that you carry and will start ordering very soon..
Thank You
A satisfied customer
Fran Roam
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on December 3, 2012
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I had this CD years ago and it mysteriously disappeared. I was so happy to find it online. I immediately downloaded it to my computer and cellphone. I listen to it all the time. It brings back a lot of memories. My children heard me listenening to it and said they remembered the songs and loved them too. I actually have it playing on my computer as I type this. Thank you, thank you for having it available.
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on February 21, 2014
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
When a Man Loves a Woman has been my favorite song forever since I heard it in 1972. I am glad I was able to download this onto my kindle as I have two cassetts but not the record or a CD.

Thanks
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on September 7, 2007
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I finally bought a CD reissue of my vinyl copy after all these years. It is still a most amazing recording. Cut after cut of soul stirring perfection.
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