John Gary Williams (Remastered) John Gary Williams

Cover John Gary Williams (Remastered)

Album info



Label: Concord Records

Genre: R&B

Subgenre: Soul

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • 1I See Hope03:06
  • 2I’m So Glad Fools Can Fall In Love04:19
  • 3Honey06:50
  • 4Loving You (It Ain’t Easy)02:46
  • 5Ask The Lonely03:33
  • 6How Could I Let You Get Away04:05
  • 7Open Your Heart (And Let Love Come In)03:14
  • 8The Whole Damn World Is Going Crazy03:11
  • Total Runtime31:04

Info for John Gary Williams (Remastered)

Classic Memphis soul from the former Mad Lads man. For first time on HighResAudio!

When we started the BGP Funk & Jazz Classics series earlier this year we had an idea that we would put a few albums out, and that would be that. But as we reach our third batch of five we have found that there is a whole world of sought-after original albums, which for a myriad of reasons have failed to turn up in the reissue racks. This time we have come up with something very special, digging deep into the Stax Records vaults to rescue five of the most collectable albums on the label.

First is John Gary Williams’ 1974 solo album. The former Mad Lad’s soul masterpiece was issued just as Stax started to fall apart and so it sold very poorly. The magnificent ‘The Whole Damn World Is Going Crazy’ is one of the stand-out tracks, but the set is a classy affair from start to finish. We have also included the non-LP single ‘Come What May’, which was probably recorded at the sessions for the album.

„John Gary Williams had been a longtime member of the Stax soul vocal group the Mad Lads before starting a solo career after the group broke up in the early '70s. His self-titled 1973 album is one of the most obscure Stax LPs, in part because it was issued as the company started to cease operations. He wrote five of the eight tracks on the record, producing five of them as well (and co-producing the others). Though not a major effort in the scheme of either early-'70s soul or the Stax catalog, it's a pleasant assortment of sweet soul tracks, with a slightly earthier edge than many recordings in the genre boasted. Most of the songs are upbeat romantic numbers highlighting Williams' smooth, high vocals, inserting covers of songs by the Four Tops, the Spinners, and (more unexpectedly) Bobby Goldsboro. The most impressive cuts, by a long shot, are the ones that steer away from the usual romantic themes to make general social observations. The opener "I See Hope" is a lively, dramatic expression of optimism; the closing "The Whole Damn World Is Going Crazy," in contrast, reflects the pessimism infiltrating much early-'70s soul, the gently percolating grooves and soaring strings offsetting lyrics of confusion at the backstabbing state of the modern world.“ (Richie Unterberger, AMG)

Digitally remastered

John Gary Williams
Before recording a 1973 solo album for Stax, John Gary Williams had been a member of the Mad Lads, who recorded singles for the label starting in the mid-'60s. The Mad Lads had a more traditional black vocal group sound than most of the other acts on Stax's roster, and had only limited success, though "Don't Have to Shop Around" was a pretty big R&B hit, stopping just shy of the Top Ten. Williams had to leave the group to serve in the military from 1966 to 1968, rejoining the Mad Lads upon his return from Vietnam and remaining in the act until they split in 1972. Shortly afterward, Williams began a solo career, producing most of his self-titled 1973 album himself, as well as writing about half the material. An average sweet soul effort paced by his high vocals, it made no commercial impact, perhaps due at least in part to Stax's own faltering fortunes at the time. Williams did manage a 1975 single on Stax's Truth subsidiary before its parent label closed down soon after its release.

Booklet for John Gary Williams (Remastered)

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