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The Complete Atlantic Recordings

Barbara Lynn

Real Gone Music 2014

Review by David Bowling

 

Barbara Lynn Ozen, born 1942, has been a songwriter, guitarist, and rhythm & blues singer for over 50 years. While she may not have attained the commercial success of some of her contemporaries, she has produced a catalogue of music that is equal to the best of her era.

Her biggest hit came during the summer of 1962 when “You’ll Lose A Good Thing” topped the R&B charts and made its way into the pop charts top ten. By 1967 she was signed to the Atlantic label. During the next six years she would record one album and release a number of singles for the label. Real Gone Music has now released the 25 tracks she recorded for the label under the appropriate title The Complete Atlantic Recordings.

She has been signed to a lot labels during her career but Atlantic was just about a perfect match as she recorded some of the grittiest and down to earth rhythm and blues of her career. While she did not achieve anywhere near the commercial success of stablemate Aretha Franklin, her style and sound was similar.

Her only album for the label, Here Is Barbara Lynn, is presented in its entirety. Brass laden tracks such as Mulyipyin’ Pain” and “Sufferin’ City” are a soulful blast nearly a half decade later. “Take Your Love And Run” and “Why Can’t You Love Me” settle into a smooth groove and would have been comfortable with what the Motown label was releasing at the time.  Her compositions have been covered by a variety of artists down through the years, including the Rolling Stones, and “Mix It Up Baby” and “Until Then I’ll Suffer” are fine examples of her writing skills.

Most of the other tracks were released as singles. “I’m A One Woman Man” is s bluesy outing, while “It Ain’t No Good To Be Good” is a slow building affair. “(Daddy Hot Stuff) You’re  Too Hot To Hold” moves is a pop direction.

The only previously unreleased track is her cover of “Soul Deep,” which became a hit for the Box Tops about a year later.

Barbara Lynn is still on the road today. The Complete Atlantic Singles looks at the brightest period of her career as it catches one of the talented if many times a forgotten rhythm and blues artists of the 20th century at the top of her game.

 

Rating: ***1/2

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