Wilson Pickett, In Philadelphia, Atlantic SD-8270, 1970
I’m pleased to report that one of the best movies ever made about soul music is now on Netflix! The Commitments may be an Irish movie, but it drips soul out of every scene. While he doesn’t actually appear in the film, the band forms around the idea of getting to perform in front of The Wicked Wilson Pickett. So I had to dig out this record an see how wicked it really is.
At first I thought it was going to be a live album, owing to the cover photo and the cryptic title. But apparently, it was such a big move for Mr. Pickett to not record an album at Atlantic Studio’s Muscle Shoals operation, that they named the whole record after the studio. It’s actually just the second full album produced by the team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. They would go on to form their own label, Philadelphia International, that would dominate the 70s soul scene and surpass Motown in sales and influence.
So, while I was a tad disappointed to not hear the wicked one live, I did get to hear a really wonderful soul record from one of the all time greats. While his 60s records are the ones that made the legend, his 70s sounds are somehow even more intense. His gravelly voice is now rocky, but he still manages to hold it together and his screams are world class. The material is a bit meh, but it’s still a great record. Don’t let the ring wear fool you either, it’s in pretty decent shape!
Cost: $2, $615 Remaining