Steve Wilson. On music.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The 2011 Countdown Continues with No. 18, Steve Cropper

Continuing today, and culminating with REVERBERATIONS number one album of the year on December 31st (if my math is right), we’ll be counting down the top twenty-five records of 2011. I’m referring to this countdown as Twenty-five Faves because I have no pretenses about telling you what’s “best.” Sure, I think my taste is better than yours. But nobody died and made me Lester Bangs. And Lester could be arrogant, but I kind of think he would come down on the favorite side of the fave/best dichotomy. His criticism was nothing if not personal.

I've reviewed the majority of these selections. In the event that I have I'll simply recycle the original reviews, sometimes with a little new commentary. If it's a selection I haven't reviewed previously, I will dash off a new, brief, introductory review just for perspective.
Since Steve Cropper's Dedicated (429 Records)isn't an album I've reviewed previously, here's a new review:

That the 5 Royales have yet to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is silliness bordering on the shameful. Instead, they are principally remembered by true rhythm ‘n’ blues aficionados. Oh, people know their songs – “Dedicated to the One I Love,” covered by the Shirelles and the Mamas and Papas; “Think,” reworked by James Brown; “Tell the Truth” popularized by Ray Charles are but a few examples. And they were their songs; the majority of them composed by Lowman “Pete” Pauling, somewhat unusual for rhythm ‘n’ blues artists of their time. Not just a fine songwriter, Pauling was an innovative guitarist, whose seamless switching between steady, staccato rhythm comps and sharp blues leads was an inspiration to many younger players. Among them was Steve Cropper.