Aside from Mustang Sally, In The Midnight Hour or The Land Of 1,000 Dances, Wilson Pickett doesn’t get half the credit he deserves.
The Midnight Mover was largely co-written with a then-unknown Bobby Womack, and finds Pickett trying his hardest to continue his successes of the previous couple of years. The title of the album – and its lead single – is a clear allusion to his 1965 hit In The Midnight Hour; he even name-checks the song in the fade-out of side-B’s Down By The Sea.
Ever since seeing Edgar Wright’s 2017 film, Baby Driver, I’ve kept my eyes peeled for songs about girls called Deborah. There’s more than you’d think! Not only did Wright overlook Pickett’s Deborah for his soundtrack – opting instead for Debora by T. Rex and Debra by Beck – but Pickett sings his song partly in Italian, something you’d never expect to hear from a soul screamer from Alabama.
I found this in the sale racks at Real Groovy in Auckland. I figured it must be a relatively decent release as the record was brand new – indicating that it was a reissue – so I quickly surmised that the general bad taste of New Zealand record buyers had left it languishing in the ‘New Items’ racks for so long that the staff decided to put it in the sale racks. I held onto it until I got it out of the shop – and what a find!
This album represents Pickett’s first recording outside of the Deep South, and away from the familiarity of Memphis and Muscle Shoals. It has a slightly grittier and funkier sound than his earlier work, but it’s nicely held together by the studio band and producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.
Hit: Help The Needy
Hidden Gem: Get Me Back On Time, Engine Number 9 (Part 1)