This is about as perfect a summary of Clyde McPhatter
's solo years with Atlantic as there is to buy, in the absence of a box of his complete output for the label or a Sequel Records reissue of his Atlantic LPs. Those who are most familiar with McPhatter
's singing from his days with the Drifters
will be pleased by all 19 songs here, which represent a more mature voice and embody musical ambitions that carried McPhatter
toward the same kind of expansive, pop-oriented R&B that Sam Cooke
also started working toward (and would hit bigger with) a couple of years later. He could still rock out, as on the title track, but he also had a sense of the dramatic in his singing and used it to powerful effect on songs like "Without Love." "Treasure of Love" and "A Lover's Question" may be McPhatter
's best remembered solo hits, but even the non-chart sides here, like "I Can't Stand Up Alone" (which harks back to McPhatter
's roots as a gospel singer) and the big-band R&B of "I'm Lonely Tonight," are gorgeous pieces of music that demand to be heard. The only drawback is that the material isn't in chronological order, which wouldn't be a problem at all if the recording dates had been listed next to the tracks in the notes. But it sounds fine and the music is so compelling that it holds up regardless of the programming decisions.