Dan Penn - Close To Me: More Fame Recordings CD CHD 1477
Few can deny Dan Penn’s place amongst the good and the great of soul music composers, sometimes churning out memorable songs on his own, or more often than not, with a notable side-kick such as Spooner Oldham, although many consider his best work came in conjunction with Chips Moman when they worked together on the classic “The Dark End of the Street”.
But Penn wasn’t simply a composer, as he had a voice to match his compositions and could deliver a song with the best of them and as Alec Palao’s sleeve notes say: “his catalogue’s reputation guarantees it gets taken seriously by the music business and listening public.”
Few can deny that Ace Records offer value for money when it comes to the quality of their recordings and the number of tracks that each cd/album contain and ‘Dan Penn – Close To Me’ is no different, although on this occasion, the accompanying booklet is given over more to interviews carried out with the man in question than information on the individual tracks themselves. It still, however, makes an interesting read.
Preview Tracks Via Juno Records Player:
But what of the twenty-four tracks, as that is what the music buying public splash the cash for?
Firstly, I have to be honest. I thought the previous release of Dan Penn titles – “The Fame Recordings”, which included the classics “Keep On Talking”, “You Left The Water Running” and “I’m Your Puppet” was a much better cd. However, that is not to say that there was nothing on “Close To Me” that grabbed my attention.
I am not sure if it was a marketing ploy or not to kick-off with the title track, but I found this the stand-out track on the cd and an excellent opener, but sadly, for me at any rate, not many of the other tracks grabbed my attention in the same way. So apart from ‘Close To Me’, it was down to track12 – “So Many Reasons” and track 15 – “Lovely Ladies” to grab my attention and download for future listening, while track 5 – “Love Is A Wonderful Thing”, track 10 – “I Need You” and track 14 “I Love Everything About You” were the best of the rest. The others, at least in my opinion, were somewhat ordinary.
Perhaps I don’t listen enough to the wide spectrum of soul music, but sometimes twenty-four tracks by the same artist can be just a little too much, more so if your preference lies in a different direction. But that, however, is not to say that I do not appreciate Penn’s work. The guy is an undoubted legend in his own right and I am sure that there will be many lovers of the music out there who will be eager to purchase this cd, although a mixing of this and the first set of ‘Fame’ recordings would have produced a real five star cd.
Star rating - 3/5
1. "Close To Me"
2. "Without A Woman"
3. "Trash Man"
4. "Miss Personality"
5. "Love Is A Wonderful Thing"
6. "It Hurts"
7. "Standing In The Way Of A Good Thing"
8. "Reaching Out For Someone"
9. "I'll Take Care Of You"
10. "I Need You"
12. "So Many Reasons"
13. "Little Girl"
14. "I Love Everything About You"
15. "Lovely Ladies"
16. "I Dig A Big Town"
18. "She Ain't Gonna Do Right"
19. "I Can't Stop (The Feeling Won't Let Me)"
20. "Do You Need It"
21. "You Really Know How To Hurt A Guy"
22. "Live & Let Live"
23. "We're Swinging"
24. "Downright Uptight Good Woman"
For more images and release notes from Alec Palao along with purchase options and details of mp3 versions get to...