A trio of wonderful albums from Jose Feliciano – all brought together here in a single set! First up is That The Spirit Needs – a sublime one from Jose! The record pushes past the easy Latin pop style of the late 60s, and features Jose working through hip rock tunes – both of his own creation, and by writers like Elton John
and Cat Stevens
. The real highlight of the album is an incredible reading of "Wild World" – done with a mix of fast guitar, strings, and even a bit of Brazilian-tinged scatting that breaks down in the middle and always makes us stop cold! The rest of the record's almost as good, and titles include "Daytime Dreams", "Mellow Feeling", "Come Down Jesus", "Pay Day", and "Only Once". Memphis Menue is an excellent album from Jose Feliciano – recorded with a lot of Memphis soul influences, as the title indicates, but still with that beautifullly jazzy style that he was using in his earlier LA recordings. Steve Cropper helped produced and arrange with Jose, and the Memphis Horns back up the group on a number of tracks. The real charm, though, is Jose – whose breezy vocals and sweet guitar work is right up there with his best work of the time, a sublime mix of soul, strings, jazz, and Chicano grooves. Titles include "River Song", "Magnolia", "One More Mile", "Never Leave You", "It Doesn't Matter", "Where Is My Woman", and "Movin". Compartments is sparklingly soulful work from Jose Feliciano – a key early 70s effort, and one that shows the growing sensitivity in his music – the move way past simple covers of other people's songs, even though those were pretty great too! Jose's voice has gotten even more compelling in the process, and he's also developing a bit as a songwriter too – most notably on the album's title track, which was co-written with Bill Withers. Steve Cropper helped produce, but the album's way more in Jose's bag than Cropper's – and titles include a great version of "Yes We Can Can", plus "Simple Song", "Compartments", "Sea Cruise", "I'm Leavin", "Things Are Changin", "Peace Of Mind", "Hey Look At The Sun", and "Don't Fail".