Solomon Burke – I Wish I Knew (1967/2012)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 32:49 minutes | 720 MB | Genre: Soul, R&B
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Booklet, Front Cover | © Rhino Atlantic
I Wish I Knew, Solomon Burke’s final album for longtime home label Atlantic, is a mix of R&B oldies, sappy contemporary tunes and a scurrying search for style in the storm. Burke was in the middle of a cultural revolution when this album was made; soul music now crashed with such sonic force to keep up with pop’s psychedelic trippings that Burke’s blend of Sam Cooke-like cooing and Sunday-morning fervor seemed a bit quaint. The seasoning of I Wish I Knew is misguided at best.
There’s a forced ‘grooviness’ to the tunes that makes them dusty relics of their era and a somewhat desolate end to a golden age of R&B. Burke sounds fine throughout (his singing, in fact, is nearly as fervent as it was on the previous year’s treasure King Solomon), but aside from ‘I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel to Be Free),’ too much of the album stinks of period goo. (Michael Gallucci, AMG)
In March of 1968, Atlantic Records had sent Solomon down to Memphis along with Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin. What they came up with is, in my opinion, one of the most under-appreciated gems in all of soul music. Had the album been titled ‘Solomon in Memphis’ or something (you know, like Dusty or Elvis) instead of I Wish I Knew maybe that would have helped. With great tunes like the one you’re groovin’ to now (written by Memphis’ own Don Bryant), and Toussaint’s Get Out Of My Life Woman on there, the record should have been huge.
01. I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel To Be Free)
02. Get Out Of My Life Woman
03. Meet Me In Church
04. By The Time I Get To Phoenix
05. Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye
06. What’d I Say
07. Since I Met You Baby
08. Save It
09. Shame On Me
10. Why, Why, Why