Album: Joe Tex, First On The Dial (Shout!)

Joe Tex will always be known primarily for his mid-Sixties’ successes, when Atlantic Records took over distribution of his Dial Records material, and scored a top 10 hit with “Hold What You’ve Got”.

But by then, Joe had already had several bites at the cherry, with labels like Decca, King, Ace, Anna and Checker, culminating in the lengthy association with Dial covered on this 25-track retrospective. Much of it is generic early black pop of one form or another, but Tex’s sheer brio usually brings something worthwhile out of them, even the Biblical-themed oddity “The Rib”.

And when he gets his teeth into something with more deep-soul potential, like “Blood’s Thicker Than Water” or the extending bout of testifying on the two-part “I Had AGood Home, But I Left”, the results can be exceptional bouts of smouldering emotion.