William Bell – Wow… / Bound To Happen (1997)

William Bell - Wow... / Bound To Happen (1997)
Artist: William Bell
Album: Wow… / Bound To Happen
Genre: Funky Soul / Northern Soul
Label: STAX/Concord/Fantasy
Released: 1997
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue)
Tracklist:
Wow… (1971)
I Can’t Make It (All By Myself) 03:29
Till My Back Ain’t Got No Bone 04:22
All For The Love Of A Woman 03:15
My Door Is Always Open 04:15
A Penny For Your Thoughts 03:09
You’ll Want Diamonds 03:07
Winding, Winding Road 03:19
Somebody’s Gonna Get Hurt 03:37
I Forgot To Be Your Lover 02:43
I’ll Be Home 03:44

Bound To Happen (1969)
Western Union Man 03:06
My Whole World Is Falling Down 03:13
Everyday People 02:55
Johnny, I Love You 02:38
All God’s Children Got Soul 03:02
Happy 02:36
By The Time I Get To Phoenix 02:55
Bring The Curtain Down 02:33
A Smile Can’t Hide (A Broken Heart) 02:35
Born Under A Bad Sign 03:16
I Got A Sure Thing 02:21

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In 1997, Fantasy combined two of William Bell’s classic Stax albums, Wow… and Bound to Happen, on a single CD. The albums found the soul man in two notably different settings. The last Bell album that was produced by organist Booker T. Jones, Bound to Happen is a Memphis-oriented treasure boasting a number of songs that should have been major hits but weren’t, including the sweaty “All God’s Children Got Soul” and a magnificent remake of Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign.” And under Jones, Bell shows us how well Sly & the Family Stone’s “Everyday People” works in a Memphis soul setting. Wow…, meanwhile, marked the first time Bell didn’t record in Memphis. Instead, he recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL under Stax’s Al Bell and went for a consistently sleeker sound and more of a Northern soul orientation. Wow… isn’t quite as strong as Bound to Happen, but it does have its share of impressive material, including “Penny for Your Thoughts” and the hit “I Forgot to Be Your Lover.” As it turned out, that sleeker approach would be a primary direction for Bell in the ’70s.
Review by Alex Henderson

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