Al Wilson Searching for the Dolphins The Complete Soul City Recordings and More 1967-1971 2008

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Artist: Al Wilson
Title Of Album: Searching for the Dolphins - The Complete Soul City Recordings and More 1967-1971
Year Of Release: 2008
Label: Kent Records / CDKEND-290
Genre: Funk / Soul, Rhythm & Blues
Total Time: 1:11:42
Format: FLAC (tracks +.cue, log-file)
Quality: Lossless
Total Size: 436 mb

Though Searching for the Dolphins was the title of Al Wilson's first album (in 1968), and though the entire LP is included on this CD, it's something more than a reissued or expanded edition of that record. In fact, the 11 songs from the original Searching for the Dolphins album (presented as the first 11 tracks of this CD) make up only half of this disc, which is augmented by 11 cuts from 1967-1971 non-LP singles. As such, it's the definitive document of the first phase of this minor but interesting soul star's career. The Searching for the Dolphins material is good but a little unnerving in its stylistic inconsistency, including rather lush Jimmy Webb/Johnny Rivers/Fred Neil covers, as well as a version of the MOR standard "This Guy's in Love with You." Yet it was the peculiar, fetching swamp rock-soul of "The Snake" that gave Wilson his first big hit, and a funky cover of jazzman Oscar Brown, Jr.'s "Brother, Where Are You" also demonstrated the singer's harder edge. Though none of the non-LP singles were big hits, generally these too went into slightly eccentric pop-soul-rock territory, Wilson's delivery in particular showing more of a rootsy rock edge than most soul singers. His small hit cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Lodi" is a highlight, and also a general indication of the unusual non-soul influences Wilson admitted to his music, though these also included orchestrated pop, jazz, bluesy Southern funk, and a even a bit of period psychedelia. The 1971 single "Sugar Cane Girl" is surprisingly close to a decent soul-shaded CCR imitation, in fact, and a track from the same year ("Falling in Love with You") verges on funky hard rock. In retrospect, it's easy to hear why Wilson didn't have much commercial success during this era, as both his material and stylistic approach was too erratic. However, those very qualities are also what, in retrospect, make this material rather interesting, as it's certainly not run-of-the-mill production line late-'60s/early-'70s soul.


01. The Dolphins
02. By The Time I Get To Phoenix
03. I Stand Accused
04. Summer Rain
05. Do What You Gotta Do
06. The Snake
07. Who Could Be Lovin' You (Other Than Me)
08. Poor Side Of Town
09. Shake Me Wake Me (When It's Over)
10. This Guy's In Love With You
11. Brother Where Are You

Bonus Tracks
12. When You Love (You're Loved Too)
13. Now I Know What Love Is
14. Gettin' Ready For Tomorrow
15. Lodi
16. Sometimes A Man Must Cry
17. Mississippi Woman
18. You Do The Right Things
19. Bachelor Man
20. I Hear You Knocking
21. Sugar Cane Girl
22. Falling (In Love With You)

2008 reissue of this classic album from the Soul singer featuring 11 bonus tracks. The album was produced by Johnny Rivers and features some of the first Jimmy Webb Al Wilson went on to become one of the must successful Soul hitmakers of the mid 70s with hits like 'Show And Tell' and 'I've Got A Feeling'. As the recordings on this CD prove, the talent was there long before the big hits arrived and we're very proud to add it to the Kent catalogue.

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Tags: Recordings, Searching, Wilson, Dolphins, Complete
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