The 45 I bring you today (both sides) is another selection from the very interesting world of Joe South.
South was one of the great songwriters of the 60s and 70s (as illustrated by the frequent presence of his songs on the charts with artists like Billy Joe Royal, the Tams, Lynne Anderson, Deep Purple and the Osmonds), and a very solid performer in his own right (his string of albums for Capitol between 1968 and 1972 is very, very good).
The Believers were South’s backing band, though as far as I can tell he plays on both of the 45s released solely under that name (there was one other on APT) , and the majority of the singles released as ‘Joe South and the Believers’ (on Columbia and Capitol) appeared on his own albums.
Today’s selections,’Soul Raga Simmerin’ and ‘Soul Raga Cookin’ appeared only on both sides of a Capitol 45 in 1968.
The tune (same song, presented two ways) is a slightly funky instrumental that sounds like a cross between Bo Diddley, Ravi Shankar (South really loved that electric sitar) and an Alabama frat band. South was one of the great synthesizers of the various musical strains in the air in the ate 60s, and this 45 is a great (if slightly sloppy example of the kinds of things he was doing.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that these cuts were a cast off from the sessions of albums like ‘Games People Play’ or ‘Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home’, especially considering the stray bit of studio talk at the end of ‘Soul Raga Simmerin’ where South can be heard saying “We can’t put this out.”.
If you don’t have any of South’s albums, do yourself a favor and track them down. You will not be disappointed.
I hope you dig the sounds, and I’ll see you all next week.