Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Bobby Bland: Greatest Hits Volume Two: The ABC-Dunhill/MCA Recordings [MCA, 1998]
Insofar as it's now dimly believed that blues and soul were the same thing, kinda, perhaps I can rescue B.B. King's perpetual opposite number from the limbo of name recognition by promoting him as a great soul voice. After all, he did sing gospel before moving down, up, or over to Beale Street, and by the time mean old Don Robey sold him up the river, he was ready for anything--soul, lounge, country, disco, B.B. duets. Be it an aab gem like "Goin' Down Slow" or generic gold like "Yolanda" or a pop gewgaw like "Love To See You Smile," he claims these songs with his suave baritone and trademarks them with his unique growl. Never played an instrument, or danced much. Never had to. Proves sophistication has nothing to do with diplomas. A-