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Bobby Blue Bland

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Ever since Bobby "Blue" Bland was signed to ABC records, t's been a steady road downhill. In a time when the deep-throated wallop of this master vocalist would seem to have more popular appeal than ever before, Bland's producers seem intent on pushing Bobby to the cocktail set instead. Have they taken his last name literally? It's really a shame. Bobby Blue Bland (notice they've removed the "Blues" image from his middle name as well) has made spectacular, inspirational recordings in his time. His live performances are always tremendous. But "Get On Down" fails to measure up to it. It's all consistently too soft for this man's he gets little room to stretch that resonant voice of his.

Play this record next to the original Duke records version with the Bland of "Turn On Your Love Life" fame, and you'll see what I mean. The thrill is gone (or is that B.B.?).