Ann Peebles

Memphis soul queen's glory

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Like her Hi male counterpart Al Green, Peebles came of age as a member of a travelling gospel family. Her uncompromising style took time to fit into the velvet glove of Willie Mitchell’s productions. But once her poppier debut album had been put aside, her mastery of deep soul’s cheating and heartbreak genres was unparalleled, the 1972 classic Straight From The Heart proving to be an album to rank with any that Mitchell produced.

The quality barely dips on Volume One, with many performances to equal her crossover hit “I Can’t Stand The Rain”. Although Volume 2 charts the disco-era decline, the Mitchell-composed gem “You Can’t Hold A Man” is a beauty, the most torrid soulstress of her generation in full flight.

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