Linda Jones – Precious: The Anthology 1963-72 (Kent 458)

24 tracks, very highly recommended.

 

Although Linda Jones had a major hit with “Hypnotized” in 1967, today she’s remembered as a cult artist by Soul scholars and Northern Soul freaks.  Kent has compiled a complete (it even contains her first side from 1963 as Linda Lane) picture of Jones’ recording career for Atco, Blue Cat, Loma, Neptune, and Turbo where she had her last minor hit—a cover of Jerry Butler’s “For Your Precious Love”—in 1972 before her untimely death.  (NB, Real Gone covered some of this ground on The Complete Atco-Loma-Warner Brothers Recordings in 2014, but this is the first time her 70’s work has been represented.)  Boasting a singing style with heavy roots in the church, Jones sings the hell out of everything from early cuts like “Take the Boy Out of the Country” (1965) to mid period belters “Give My Love a Try” and  “What’ve I Done (to Make You Mad)” (both 1967), and post-Warner Bros. material like “I Do” and “Behold” (both from 1972).  Jones’ career was on an upswing when she died, and there’s no way to know if she would have continued scoring hits, but with this collection we can celebrate what we did get from an extraordinary vocalist.

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