Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Joe Simon

  • Joe Simon [Buddah, 1969] B-
  • Drowning in the Sea of Love [Spring, 1972] B
  • Joe Simon's Greatest Hits [Sound Stage 7, 1972] B+
  • Music in My Bones: The Best of Joe Simon [Rhino, 1997] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Joe Simon [Buddah, 1969]
This sweet soul album, recorded years ago, has been buried in the plethora of Buddah's Vee-Jay re-releases, and since Simon hasn't achieved the following he deserves even among soul fans, that's too bad. Recommended to the curious. Note: it only runs 27.59. B-

Drowning in the Sea of Love [Spring, 1972]
Strange--Simon leaves producer-mentor John Richbourg for Gamble-Huff and all of a sudden he's taking after Jerry Butler. Also strange, especially in an Ice Man, is the way his voice begins to melt when it ventures below the timbreline--how syrupy it gets at the end of "Something You Can Do Today," for instance. Strange, but nice. Now if only Gamble-Huff would write more filler like "O'le Night Owl" to go with their two hits per album. B

Joe Simon's Greatest Hits [Sound Stage 7, 1972]
In his Nashville phase Simon carried on for Sam Cooke with a will. For secular gospel, the rolling "It's Hard to Get Along"; for spiritual blues, his big hit version (among blacks) of Taj Mahal's "Farther On Down the Road"; for transcendent nonsense, the high-flying "Moon Walk"; and for straight soul, his specialty, the contained drama of "Hangin' On," the Grammy-winning "Chokin' Kind," and the current "Misty Blue." B+

Music in My Bones: The Best of Joe Simon [Rhino, 1997]
He did teen, he did soul, he did country, he did disco, and after the hits stopped coming he hit the pulpit ("Moon Walk Part 1," "The Chokin' Kind"). *