You Got My Mind Messed Up
Those Regrets That Mess with Your Mind
James Carr devotes the twelve songs of this lost 1966 classic to a detailed account of what happens to a man consumed by love. It takes him about thirty seconds into the first song, "Pouring Water on a Drowning Man," to establish credibility on the subject, and from there the underappreciated Memphis singer delivers noble and heartfelt elaborations that rank among the most intense in all of soul. He confesses that the water in his eyes isn't raindrops. He recalls, in a mood of enveloping regret, those delicious moments he and the long-gone girl spent at "The Dark End of the Street." (This stands as the definitive performance of the song.) By the time he reaches the title proclamation—which foreshadows his own bouts with mental illness—Carr has pretty much mapped out that place where obsessed lovers go to live quietly with their bitterness.
You Got My Mind Messed Up (and the several subsequent albums) should have made Carr (1942–2001) a star; at the time he was ascending, he was overshadowed by such titans as Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding, who were in their prime. After his records failed to find an audience, he disappeared for nearly a decade. Though his late-career recordings exhibit polish, the material isn't nearly as strong as the songs here. The "comeback" did help bring some old work back into circulation: The CD version of this must-own classic has twelve surprisingly strong bonus tracks, several of them previously unreleased.
Released: 1966, Goldwax (Reissued 2005, Vivid Sound)
Key Tracks: All of them.
Catalog Choice: The Complete Goldwax Singles
Next Stop: Otis Redding: Otis Blue
After That: Howard Tate: Get It While You Can
Book Pages: 143–144
#1 from dickhattie - 11/13/2009 7:05
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