Soul Serenade

Percy Sledge - The Atlantic RecordingsIn the words of the immortal Telly Savalas, “Who loves ya baby?” I have in my hands a brand new copy of the latest stupendous Rhino Handmade release, Percy Sledge – The Atlantic Recordings. Now you won’t get this until after Christmas, but I would still like to think of it as my Christmas gift to one lucky Soul Serenade reader.

If your knowledge of the music of Percy Sledge begins and ends with his gargantuan 1966 hit “When a Man Loves a Woman,” you need to own this set. If your knowledge goes a little deeper when it comes to the King of Country Soul, you’re going to want to have this. The four CD set is arranged in chronological order, and includes songs from his four studio albums for Atlantic, singles like “Warm and Tender Love,” Dark End of the Street,” and “It Tears Me Up,” that were hits on the R&B charts, rare and unreleased tracks like Dan Penn and Bobby Emmons’ “Love Is a Job,” and five tracks recorded live in South Africa in 1970. “When a Man Loves a Woman” appears twice, the first time in the familiar hit version, and later as an alternate take recorded at the same session.

Here’s the description of the package from the Rhino website:

  • Four-disc set spans 1966-74 including both studio and live recordings as well as several rare and unreleased tracks
  • 60-page, velvet-wrapped book with rare and unseen photos
  • First comprehensive compilation of Sledge’s Atlantic material
  • 104 tracks
  • 4 CDs
  • There is also a terrific essay by the wonderful music writer Barney Hoskyns, Editorial Director of Rock’s Backpages.

    So you want this, right? If you’re here reading about soul music this has to be mighty appealing. Since it’s Christmas, I’m going to make this easy for you. I’m not even going to pose a question. All you have to do is send an e-mail to Be sure to put “contest” in the subject line, and “Percy Sledge” in the body. The deadline to enter is Monday, December 27, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. eastern. At that time I will choose one winner from among all the entries. This contest is open to readers with a valid U.S. mailing address only.

    Good luck, and Happy Holidays!

    [kml_flashembed movie="" width="600" height="344" allowfullscreen="true" fvars="fs=1" /]

    About the Author

    Ken Shane

    Ken Shane lives in Narragansett, R.I. He is a freelance writer and far and away the oldest Popdose writer. In fact, he may be the oldest writer, period. He wants you to know that he generally does not share his colleagues' love for the music of the '80s, and he does not forgive them for loving it. (Ken passed away in November 2022. R.I.P. —Ed.)

    View All Articles