Goin' to Memphis

by: Paul Revere & the Raiders

Regardless of the name on the album, Goin' to Memphis is essentially a Mark Lindsay solo project cut in Memphis, at Chips Moman's American Studios. At the time, the group was looking for a change in sound, their prior LP, Revolution, having failed to sell in remotely the number of its predecessors; road manager Jerry Williams suggested an album with Moman, who would only record with his own house musicians: Tommy Cogbill and Reggie Young on guitars, Mike Leech on bass, Spooner Oldham and Bobby Woods on keyboards, and Gene Crispian on drums. So this is Mark Lindsay and and those guys, with Lindsay writing six of the songs himself. Only one cut -- the previously recorded single "Peace of Mind" -- features Paul Revere & the Raiders. Goin' to Memphis was a serious departure, without a trace of the garage punk or pop-psychedelia sound of their earlier albums, but it was also a reasonably successful one. Lindsay's vocals are astonishingly strong and gritty throughout this record, doing "Soul Man," "Every Man Needs a Woman," "I Don't Want Nobody," "No Sad Songs," or "Boogaloo Down Broadway" with very convincing ease, grit, and passion. At the time, this may have been the album that helped inspire Lindsay to begin pursuing a solo career around the Raiders' work. The American Studios band, of course, could play this stuff in their sleep, and what little augmentation there is came from members of the Memphis Symphony adding strings. Unfortunately, Goin' to Memphis failed to recapture the group's earlier audience, being a little too hard and serious as soul for many of the younger white middle-class kids who comprised their listenership. ~ Bruce Eder

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