Album Details

May 11, 1999
See For Miles Records
Rhythm & Blues, Southern Soul, Soul, Pop-Soul, Deep Soul

Album Review

This two-fer CD (which replicates a double-LP reissue from 1976) pulls together two strong albums Joe Simon recorded in 1969 onto one disc. While The Chokin' Kind sounds a bit more spare in terms of its arrangements and production, and Better Than Ever lacks any songs written by Harlan Howard, for the most part these two albums fit together quite well; both sets are steeped in Southern soul with a pronounced C&W influence, and both make the most of Simon's strong, sad, and smoky voice. Both halves of the disc are also seasoned with a healthy selection of covers, and if Simon doesn't exactly cut Otis Redding on "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" or Glen Campbell on "Wichita Lineman," he brings qualities to both that set them apart from the better-known originals. And Joe Simon is at the top of his form on all 22 tracks; impassioned without overplaying his hand, and displaying a disarming emotional honesty that brings a touch of sorrow to even his most optimistic moments, this is stuff anyone who loves Southern soul will fall for. Strong material well presented (except for some audio anomalies on "Wounded Man"), this isn't quite as useful for beginners as Rhino's superb Music in My Bones: The Best of Joe Simon, but anyone with a taste for Simon's early work will love it.
Mark Deming, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Baby, Don't Be Looking in My Mind
  2. (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay
  3. Little Green Apples
  4. Lonely Man
  5. The Chokin' Kind
  6. Yours Love
  7. Help Yourself (To All My Lovin')
  8. Wichita Lineman
  9. Don't Let Me Lose the Feeling
  10. I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around)
  11. In the Still of the Night [I'll Remember]
  12. Silver Spoons and Coffee Cups
  13. It's Hard to Get Along
  14. In the Ghetto
  15. I Got a Whole Lot of Lovin'
  16. Wounded Man
  17. Time and Space
  18. Straight Down to Heaven
  19. When
  20. After the Lights Go Down Low
  21. San Francisco Is a Lonely Town
  22. Rainbow Road