Sam Moore – Plenty Good Lovin’ – The Lost Solo Album

Sam Moore
Plenty Good Lovin’ – The Lost Solo Album

Remember times when the latest release from a soul singer didn’t come accompanied by the label “With special appearances from _insert flavour of last year now seeking “authenticity”_ and _insert current teen idol ideal for marketing to the kids_”? No, me neither. But lo and behold, that’s what’s great about albums like the “new” one from Sam Moore, legendary performer, soul-man, and one-time partner of Dave, as in Sam and Dave, 60s soul sensations. It’s not until you comb the fine print on the liner notes that you discover that is Aretha Franklin tinkling away at the pianos, and that is King Curtis on sax, and sweet Jesus H – that is the Sweet Inspirations on background harmonies.
What’s more is this album comes with a story, and a helluva one at that. It seems Plenty Good Lovin has been tossed somewhere in the vaults for the last 30 years, tied up in a mess of drug use, dead saxophonists, and money-hungry record execs who know that a reunion tour with your singing partner is a certain moolah maker, whereas a solo album is just a risk. Thanks to the sleuthing work of a young kid named David Gorman who set the wheels in motion and finally brought this album out of its enforced closet. And it’s a good thing he did.
Moore is at his vocal peak here, whether it’s the sweet lush love in the opening title track, or the agony howled over trumpets in “If I Lose Your Love.” What’s more (no pun intended) is that the recording sounds incredibly fresh and live, as if the studio has been faded out into a smoky lounge where a group of friends have gathered to blast another night away. It’s only on the definitely non-pc tracks “Shop Around” and “Get Out My Life Woman” where the impression surfaces that this might not be a 2002 recording. It’s a small point, and one that doesn’t take away from the magic of hearing a man at the top of his talent.
And I dare you not to be singing along by this classic’s end.