Brook Benton took Tony Joe White’s “Rainy Night in Georgia” to an elevated plane on both the pop charts and in a spiritual sense. The tinkling piano and sentiment-stroking strings support Benton’s world-weary vocal beautifully, and phrases such as “I feel like it’s raining all over the world” resonate in ways that only Benton could deliver. Other tunes such as “My Way” and “I Gotta Be Me” are given incredible soul-countrified arrangements here, and in Benton’s hands each has a certain existential quality and depth. Benton’s two self-penned tunes—the tender-eyed “Baby” and the R&B popping “Where Do I Go From Here”—swing and sway on Benton’s rich, warm, and confident voice. Bert Berns’ soul-blues classic “A Little Bit of Soap” transcends its novelty tag, and the scorching Little Milton hit “We’re Gonna Make It” is a real treat here with its stinging horns and hard-blues guitars. This Arif Mardin–produced 1970 album was a stunning comeback for man who’d already defined what an R&B masterpiece was, on many yesteryear hits such as “Endlessly” and the once-ubiquitous “The Boll Weevil Song.”

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