Dan Penn – The Fame Recordings (2012)

Posted by admin on December 10, 2019
in soul


The Fame Recordings includes 24 numbers Penn recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama between 1964 and 1966, all but one of which has never before been released. While a few of these songs would be major hits for other artists, nearly all of them sound like winners, and unlike most songwriters demo-ing their material, Penn’s performances are raw, passionate, full-bodied, and soulful; he was a white kid from the deep south in love with the sound of Ray Charles and Bobby “Blue” Bland, and on the best cuts here, he goes past conjuring an approximation of their sound, revealing a voice and style all his own that suggests he influenced the singers who would cut these songs almost as much as they influenced him. While Penn could mimic other artists — “I’m Living Good” is an uncanny Sam Cooke lift, and “Take a Good Look” finds Penn channeling Otis Redding — he puts in enough force and sheer belief to make these performances his own no matter how well you may already know these songs, and with a number of legendary session men backing him up, these recordings are remarkably accomplished, slightly rough but full of the sound of musicians thrilled by the act of creation. (And one can hear more than a bit of what Penn taught Alex Chilton when he produced the Box Tops’ original string of hits, transforming Chilton’s British Invasion instincts into some of the most soulful pop of the ’60s.) The Fame Recordings is a valuable lost chapter in the history of Southern Soul, and confirms the legend that Dan Penn’s publishing demos were more than just talk — anyone with a taste for vintage R&B owes it to himself to give this a listen.


01. Keep On Talking
02. Feed The Flame
03. Far From The Maddening Crowd
04. Uptight Good Woman
05. Come Into My Heart
06. Don’t Lose Your Good Thing
07. Come On Over
08. Rainbow Road
09. Unfair
10. The Thin Line
11. I Need A Lot Of Loving
12. Take A Good Look
13. Strangest Feeling
14. Power Of Love
15. It Tears Me Up
16. I Do
17. Everytime
18. Do Something (Even If It’s Wrong)
19. You Left The Water Running
20. Slippin’ Around With You
21. (Take Me) Just As I Am
22. I’m Living Good
23. Long Ago
24. The Puppet aka I’m Your Puppet

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