Album: Various Artists, The Bert Berns Story Volume 2: Mr Success 1964-1967 (Ace)

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The Independent Culture

Songwriter/producer/label boss Bert Berns was one of the great architects of the 1960s pop sound, though rarely accorded his rightful status due to his tragic death in 1967 at the age of 38 from heart failure – by which time, The Beatles' cover of his "Twist And Shout" had earned him a house with a guitar-shaped swimming pool.

This second compilation of Berns magic finds him at the top of his game, effortlessly straddling R&B and pop in a distinctive and innovative way, exemplified by Tami Lynn's "I'm Gonna Run Away From You", on which the old Coasters style is brought up to date with a chunkier contemporary backbeat groove. His affinity for the changing shape of black music secured him a position alongside Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Records, where he worked with Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, The Drifters, Ben E King, and most spectacularly Solomon Burke, his masterpiece of delayed gratification "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" becoming a standard 1960s show-starter for such as the Stones. His other successes ranged from the Wagnerian symphonic soul of Garnet Mimms to the Anglophile beat-group sound of The McCoys, while both Erma Franklin's "Piece Of My Heart" and Van Morrison's classic "Brown Eyed Girl".

Download this Everybody Needs Somebody To Love; Hang On Sloopy; Brown Eyed Girl; Piece Of My Heart; I'm Gonna Run Away From You