Consumer Guide Album
Percy Sledge: The Very Best of Percy Sledge [Rhino, 1998]
"I love to sing a tearjerker," he told annotator David Gorman. "Like them ol' country ballads." And that sums up this child of nature, who was country not as in Acuff-Rose, but as in going to town means picking up provisions at the general store. Saddled with a classic that transcends soul itself, Mr. Miserable never equaled "When a Man Loves a Woman." But neither did Mr. Pitiful, whose own songbook could have accommodated half these selections. The reason Otis Redding is an artist while Percy Sledge is a phenomenon is that Redding would have made "Out of Left Field" sound happy, which is how it reads--a trick Sledge couldn't have conceived with "Happy Song."