Saturday, March 25, 2006

Both Sides of Joe Tex

Joe Tex:

You Said a Bad Word b/w It Ain't Gonna Work Baby

Soul master Joe Tex had a knack for being goofier than many of his contemporaries (many of his song titles sound like joke punchlines: "Skinny Legs and All," "Take the Fifth Amendment," "That's Your Baby," "Bad Feet," "I Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)," etc.), but he also could preach some serious gospel about life and love, often featuring his little "raps" directed at both men and women about how they should treat one another. Sometimes on a Joe Tex 45 you'd get some of each approach.

Today's selection came from a Dial 45 pulled from Tex's 1972 I Gotcha album. "You Said a Bad Word" clearly is an attempt to revisit Joe's smash hit "I Gotcha." Joe's the giggling menace here, trying to blackmail his little girlie into some action after catching her speaking French. Although it's clearly derivative, the tune has a nice groove, great horn charts, and somewhat more fluid and danceable groove than "I Gotcha." The flip is a killer. "It Ain't Gonna Work Baby" finds Joe discussing the end of a marriage, agreeing to part ways despite his own misgivings. His rap takes up about 2/3 of the recording but then the one and only chorus is fantastic. It's almost a shame that he didn't break up the rap and use the chorus at least once more, because it's some of the best deep soul that 1972 had to offer.

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