Friday, June 11, 2021

The Albums of 1971: Wilson Pickett: Don't Knock My Love

Produced by Brad Shapiro and Dave Crawford (Atlantic Records)

Track Listing: Fire and Water; (Your Love Has Brought Me) A Mighty Long Way; Covering the Same Old Ground; Don't Knock My Love Part I; Don't Knock My Love Part II; Call My Name, I'll Be There; Hot Love; Not Enough Love to Satisfy; You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover; Women Let Me Down Home

Wilson Pickett recorded some of the most iconic hits of the 1960s for Stax and Atlantic records including "The Midnight Hour", "634-5789", and "Mustang Sally." With Atlantic Records from 1969-70 he recorded the highly regarded albums Hey Jude, Right On, and In Philadelphia. Pickett also appeared on the live album Soul to Soul recorded in Ghana to celebrate the African nation's 14th year of independence. 

Don't Knock My Love would be the final LP Pickett recorded with Atlantic before moving on to RCA. Pickett's last No. 1 single "Don't Knock My Love Part I" appeared on the record, a throwback to 60s soul with some elements of funk. "Don't Knock My Part II" was an instrumental featuring horns and strings with some psychedelic guitar added into the mix. "Call My Name, I'll Be There" was a top ten hit on the R&B charts offers straight up positive vibes. "Fire and Water" also charted, a version of a rock song originally recorded by the British band Free. A version of Randy Newman's "Mama Told Me Not to Come" (also a big hit for Three Dog Night) also charted the following year in 1972 highlighted by Pickett's distinct vocal style.

"A Mighty Long Way" is another highlight, a bluesy pledge of devotion. "Covering the Same Old Ground" is a plea for reconciliation, while "Hot Love" offers unquestioned devotion. "Not Enough Love to Satisfy", "You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover", and "Pledging My Love" are all in the classic soul style. "Women Let Be Down Home" closes the record on a defiant note. 

The year 1971 captured so many artists at the peak of their powers. Don't Knock My Love is a solid album featuring Wilson Pickett's immortal blend of  soul, blues, and R&B.


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