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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 inĀ  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.

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