Monday, February 25, 2008

Get on Down With Ben E. King!

Ben E. King - Do It in the Name of Love

Ben E. King's pop-slanted R&B crooning of the early '60s, both as a member of the Drifters and then as a solo act, cemented his place in the history of rock and roll and R&B, and by the time his career had run out of steam in the late '60s (despite some harder-hitting soul sides for Atco and his participation in the ill-fated "Soul Clan"), he had plenty of laurels to rest upon. And rest he did, focusing on oldies circuit performance rather than recording, save for four singles and two LPs for Maxwell and Mandala in 1970 and 1972. In 1975, at the urging of Ahmet Ertegun, King rejoined the Atlantic family and made a roaring comeback with the disco-funk smash "Supernatural Thing." After a couple of further hits, including today's selection and some collaborations with the Average White Band, King re-entered the oldies circuit for good, and he's still out there doing his thing today. (See the Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebooks profile of King for the full story of King's career.)

"Do It in the Name of Love" (not to be confused with Candi Staton's great 1972 FAME record) was the follow-up to "Supernatural Thing," and it was a second hit for King in 1975, although it is generally overlooked nowadays. After a nice gospelly intro, a bumping groove kicks in and King and the backup singers lay down some serious call-and-response. It's some great "get down" to start the week with!

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