Review by Tim Sendra
Since the passing of Lou Rawls in early 2006, Capitol has been working overtime to document the singer's career. First was a collection of early jazz and blues recordings, then a two-fer containing two of Rawls' best mid-'60s recordings, and now something that Rawls fans have never had before: a best-of collection that contains the man's hits from the '60s with Capitol and his '70s hits with Philadelphia International. It isn't the definitive collection that listeners deserve, as it skips over his early jazz and blues sides, his late-'60s big-band sessions with Benny Carter, and his '80s recordings on Blue Note — but it is a start. All the big hits are here, like "Dead End Street," "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing," "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)," and his biggest, "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine." Also included is a wide range of tracks that show just how impressive Rawls' gift truly was. Whether he is singing funky gospel ("Trouble Here Below"), smooth soul with a message ("Natural Man"), uptown soul ("You Can Bring Me All Your Heartaches"), disco ("Lady Love"), or lush pop ("Down Here on the Ground"), he sounds definitive and natural, like he could have sung just about anything and made it all his. The Very Best of Lou Rawls: You'll Never Find Another is a very fine introduction to the casual fan and a reminder to everyone that Lou Rawls was a true vocal giant.
From gospel and early R&B to soul and jazz to blues and straight-up pop, Lou Rawls was a consummate master of African-American vocal music whose versatility helped him adapt to the changing musical times over and over again while always remaining unmistakably himself. Blessed with a four-octave vocal range, Rawls' smooth, classy elegance – sort of a cross between Sam Cooke and Nat King Cole – permeated nearly everything he sang, yet the fire of his early gospel days was never too far from the surface…
Produced by the great Jay Graydon, with contributions by David Foster, it has become sort of an obscure “West Coast” classic. It embodies a mixture of typical 80’s synthesizer-pop and classic Rawls soul and jazz ballads, which seem to come from two different production camps, most likely in an effort to maintain Rawls current with pop music developments of the time and at the same time remain true to his fan base.
Double helping of 2 of Lou Rawls 80's albums recorded for Epic Records
Originally shot in September of 1979, this entry in the Prime Concerts series features soul-singer Lou Rawls performing several beloved standards. Lou Rawls: Prime Concerts - In Concert with Edmonton Symphony includes renditions of "It's Been a Long Time," "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine," and more.
From gospel and early R&B to soul and jazz to blues and straight-up pop, Lou Rawls was a consummate master of African-American vocal music whose versatility helped him adapt to the changing musical times over and over again while always remaining unmistakably himself.