Album Reviews

The music that was recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama over the last 50 years has played an important part in the popularity of recorded music. The following are albums and singles that I know of that were recorded in Muscle Shoals. Many of the musicians who played on these recordings live right here today and most were born here.

On this page I want to share with you, in the form of a review, what I have learned about some of the albums that I own in the form of a review. You can also follow the link below to a list of all the music that I own that is connected to the Muscle Shoals area.

MY COLLECTION

Music Recorded in Muscle Shoals


Delbert McClinton
Second Wind
(1978) / Keeper of the Flame (1979)

01. 'B' Movie
02. Isn't That So?
03. Corinna
04. Take It Easy
05. Spoonful
06. It Ain't Watcha Eat But The Way How You Chew It
07. Sick And Tired
08. Maybe Someday Baby
09. Big River
10. Lovinest Man
11. Plain Old Makin' Love
12. Just A Little Bit
13. Shot From The Saddle
14. I Don't Want To Hear It Anymore
15. Have Mercy
16. I'm Talking About You
17. Two More Bottles Of Wine
18. Seesaw
19. I Received A Letter
20. A Mess Of Blues
21. That Woman

This is a double album CD which contains 2 complete albums and 1 bonus track. The label is Raven which is an Australia company which makes this one an import but fear not Amazon sells this CD at a competitive price.

Second Wind (1978)
Of the 2 albums only "Second Wind" was recorded by the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. As the story goes Delbert found himself without a label in 1978 when he signed a contract with Capricorn out of Macon Georgia. For his first album which was produced by Johnny Sandlin, Capricorn to their praise did not try to turn Delbert into a southern rock star as with their main act "The Allman Brothers". Instead they brought the "The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section" to Macon for the recording session along with the Harrison Calloway's "Muscle Shoals Horns". You will find the fruit of that recording session on this CD, in the first 10 tracks of "Second Wind".

Keeper of the Flame (1979)
Tracks 11-20 of this album "Keeper of the Flame" were recorded on the west coast with road band members, LA studio musicians and backup singers. When you are listening to the CD and you listen to Track 10 and then Track 11 you notice a big drop in the talent of the rhythm musicians because the M.S.R.S. is not there in track 11. I have to say that our boys "The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section" is the best and you will agree if you hear the CD. I must mention that you will hear on the Hammond the Alabama legend Joe Walk who was known as "Jurassic" Joe Walk.

That Woman - Bonus Track
This has got to be my favorite song ever recorded by Delbert. It came from his "Love Rustler" album and was written by Donnie Fritts and Bill Blackburn. Donnie is a resident of the Muscle Shoals area and played with the Kris Kristofferson band for many years. Today he lives right here in the Shoals area.

Tony Joe White
The Train I'm On
(1972)

01. I've Got A Thing About You Baby
02. The Family
03. If I Ever Saw A Good Thing
04. Beouf River Road
05. The Train I'm On
06. Even Trolls Love Rock And Roll
07. As The Crow Flies
08. Take Time To Love
09. 300 Pounds Of Hongry
10. The Migrant
11. Sidewalk Hobo
12. The Gospel Singer

A great album that I classify as "Swamp Blues ". Tony Joe plays a lot of the guitar on this album. He sounds great on the electric and the acoustic. David Hood does all the bass work while Roger Hawkins handles the drums, Jew's harp, maracas and cowbell. Other members of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section do their part to make this one of my favorite albums of all time. In 1972 when "The Train I'm On" was recorded at the "Muscle Shoals Sound" studio, I lived only about 5 blocks away. In those days you never knew who was in town or what great album or song was being recorded in your neighborhood. I remember owning the LP and playing it a lot and not ever knowing that it was recorded in the little block building that I drove past each day. A great album and if you don't have a copy then get one.

Cher
3614 Jackson Highway
(Released June 20, 1969)

01. For What Its Worth
02. (Just Enough To Keep Me)Hangin On
03. (Sittin on)The Dock of The Bay
04. Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You
05. I Threw It All Away
06. I Walk On Guilded Splinters
07. Lay Baby Lay
08. Please Don't Tell Me
09. Cry Like A Baby
10. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man
11. Save The Children

It was 1969 and the "Muscle Shoals Sound" studio had only been capturing great sounds on tape for less than a year when Jerry Wexler brought Sonny and Cher to town to record her solo album for Atco Records. It does not surprise me that Wexler was among the first to produce an album at "Muscle Shoals Sound". He was instrumental in the move of the "Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section" from FAME studio, as house band, to "Muscle Shoals Sound" as house band and owners.
So from April 21st to May 14th Cher sung the songs on this fine example of the music that came to be known as the "Muscle Shoals Sound". Also during this time Cher and husband Sonny made 3 trips, (1) to California to see 2 month old daughter Chastity, (2) to London to appear on the Tom Jones ABC-TV show and (3) to New York City to appear on the ABC-TV Joey Bishop Show. They returned on May 14th to put the finishing touches on the album.
You may wonder where the album title came from. "3614 Jackson Highway" is the street address for the "Muscle Shoals Sound" recording studio building and would be until 1978.
The album cover picture was taken in front of the building and contains the people that were involved in recording the album. (See this link for more info.)

Bob Dylan
The Slow Train Coming
(1979)

1. Gotta Serve Somebody
2. Precious Angel
3. I Believe in You
4. Slow Train
5. Gonna Change My Way of Thinking
6. Do Right to Me Baby (Do Unto Others)
7. When You Gonna Wake Up
8. Man Gave Names to All the Animals
9. When He Returns

It was in late 1978 when a hungry heart started seeking food from the only one who can feed that heart. The hungry heart was that of Bob Dylan and the one who had the food was the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Dylan, through the inquiry of some ministers in California gave his heart to Christ Jesus who saved his soul. Now, as a reaction to becoming a Christian, Dylan changed his music direction to that of Christian music.
Again as with the Cher album, Jerry Wexler co-produced Dylan's first Christian album along with Barry Beckett the keyboard player for the "Muscle Shoals Rhythm" section. The "Muscle Shoals Horns" did the horn work and Dylan and Mark Knopfler took care of guitar. This would be Dylan's best album in years. Dylan wrote all the songs including my favorite "I Believe In You". Check this out; I know you will like it.
(Footnote): Bob Dylan would return a year later to record his second Christian album "Saved" which is a good album also even though it did not measure up the "Slow Train Coming".

If you want to purchase CDs I would suggest you check out Amazon.com. For more on buying CDs cheap follow this link "Buying CDs Cheap".

 

Go HOME - Refresh Frames