Mon 9 May 2011 to Sun 15 May 2011

by Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham

Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham were at the outer edge of the elite in the heady storm of pop composers of the early to mid-1960′s America. Together as a songwriting team they were responsible for only relatively minor hits for giant Motown stars like Dionne Warwick, Percy Sledge and Etta James. But Penn and Oldham’s songs had a swagger to them that no other white-boy combo could quite manage – and showcased here is a collection of the bigger hits and some interesting rarities. Percy Sledge’s signature performance of Out of Left Field is a doo-wop classic; and the waltzy bravado of Etta James’ I Worship The Ground That You Walk On is a real thrill. Sonny Bourke delivers an affectionate eulogy to his his god and his true love in Take Me (Just As I Am) and things get a little more stomping with Art Freeman and the strip-racing blues Slippin’ Around. Ace have released a number of catalogue compilations in the last few years, and this is a no-brainer for the pop collector, in a glorious remaster and hip-as-hell packaging. Nice too, that two of the lesser known songwriters from the time get a solid showcase for a new audience.

This week's Top 10: