From the Vault...


Clarence Carter
"Snatching It Back: The Best Of Clarence Carter"

© Rhino/Atlantic Records Rating:

track listing
  • Step By Step
  • I Stayed Away Too Long
  • Tell Daddy
  • Looking For A Fox
  • I Can't See Myself
  • The Road Of Love
  • Slip Away
  • Back Door Santa
  • That Old Time Feeling
  • Too Weak To Fight
  • I'd Rather Go Blind
  • Making Love
    (At The
    Dark End
    Of The Street)
  • Snatching It Back
  • Soul Deep
  • I Smell A Rat
  • Doin' Our Thing
  • The Feeling Is Right
  • I Can't Leave
    Your Love Alone
  • Slipped Tripped And
    Fell In Love
  • It's All In Your Mind
  • Patches

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    Clarence Carter
    "Snatching It Back: The Best Of Clarence Carter"

    Clarence Carter -- a name most may not remember, but his music can be classified as classic R&B Soul. His music could have easily been used by The Blues Brothers. Comparing him to the great R&B Soul music of Sam & Dave, Joe Tex, James Brown, just to name a few. My memories of Clarence Carter was that I had 2 45 RPM singles by him -- "I Smell A Rat," and (probably his most biggest hit of his career), "Patches."

    In 1992, Rhino and Atlantic Records released the 21-song compilation of Carter's career, Snatching It Back: The Best Of Clarence Carter. Truly a great assortment of Soulful, Rhythm & Blues numbers, it's a great look at his music. He was referred to as another Ray Charles, being blind (like Charles), and having a interest in Country Blues. Carter also played guitar and keyboards (such as Charles with keyboards). But in a more diverse comparison to Ray Charles' music, Ray Charles blended more on the traditional R&B (and a little Country), where Carter's music blended in with the Memphis Soul of the '70s, as he could have easily had recorded for the Stax label, and how many popular bands/artists had recorded for that label. (And it's a coincidence, that Ray Charles and Clarence Carter both recorded for Atlantic Records.

    Carter's music also dwindled a bit in his early career (1963), as he recorded songs with Calvin Scott. Named Clarence & Calvin, one of their songs is on this compilation, "Step By Step." Calving Scott's car accident put Carter on his own, and the rest of this compilation would display songs from 1963-1970.

    "I Stayed Away Too Long" also shows a Gospel feel, as well as Soul and Rhythm & Blues. More specific, Memphis Soul is the core: "Tell Daddy," "Looking For A Fox," "Slip Away," "Back Door Santa" (Christmas tune), "That Old Time Feeling," ""Too Weak To Fight," "Snatching It Back," "Soul Deep" (covered by The Box Tops). Traditional Soul has songs such as "The Road Of Love," "Doin' Our Thing," "The Feeling Is Right," "I Can't Leave Your Love Alone", "Slipped Tripped And Fell In Love."

    "I Can't See Myself" (pardon the title, being that Clarence Carter is blind) -- it's a slow blues song, similar to that of the legendary Sam & Dave. "I'd Rather Go Blind" (another pardon-the-pun title) is the song of which Etta James recorded. "The Road Of Love" is a blues number. Talking songs has the style of "Patches" and "It's All In Your Mind" (with singing verses/choruses).

    "Talking Songs" have been recorded in Popular Music, since the late 1950s / early 1960s. Two songs stand out on this collection; one being his most popular hit, "Patches," the others, are "Making Love (At The Dark End Of The Street)," and "It's All In Your Mind."

    The songs that stand out for me, are the songs I had as 45s when growing up: "Patches" and "I Smell A Rat." There are some others that are great songs in the style of Soul, Memphis Soul, R&B. Clarence Carter may not have been a household name, but, like many others like him, they put their own heart and soul into their music, and for those who were fortunate to hear his music during his prime, or just happen to "stumble on" songs by him as they were building their music collections, they recognized that they made their own marks to some Soul fans that would remember their music. Clarence Carter is now 74 years old, and is still recording music. He has recorded albums throughout the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and our latest decade. His most recent albums were released in 2007: Messin' With My Mind and "The Final Stroke. If you're a fan of Memphis Soul, you'll enjoy Clarence Carter. I'm sure "Patches" is a song that you surely or vaugely remember. The name Clarence Carter may not be X'd in your brains for some, but his music is definitely worth checking out.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Rhino/Atlantic Records

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