The Complete Atlantic Recordings

Barbara Lynn

Real Gone Music, 2014

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Barbara Lynn Ozen, born in 1942, has been a songwriter, guitarist, and rhythm & blues singer for over 50 years. While she may not have attained the commercial success of some of her contemporaries, she has produced a catalogue of music that is equal to the best of her era.

Her biggest hit came during the summer of 1962 when “You’ll Lose A Good Thing” topped the R&B charts and made its way into the top ten of the pop charts.  By 1967, she was signed to the Atlantic label. During the next six years, she recorded one album and released a number of singles for the label. Real Gone Music has now released the 25 tracks she recorded for the label under the appropriate title my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Complete Atlantic Recordings.

Ozen has been signed to a lot labels during her career, but Atlantic was just about a perfect match as she recorded some of the grittiest and down-to-earth rhythm and blues of her career.  While she did not achieve anywhere near the success of label-mate Aretha Franklin, her style and sound was similar.

Her only album for the label, Here Is Barbara Lynn, is presented in its entirety. Brass laden tracks such as “Multiplyin’ Pain” and “Sufferin’ City” are a soulful blast nearly a half decade later. “Take Your Love And Run” and “Why Can’t You Love Me” settle into a smooth groove and are similar to what the Motown label was releasing at the time.  Ozen’s compositions have been covered by a variety of artists down through the years, including the Rolling Stones, and “Mix It Up Baby” and “Until Then I’ll Suffer” are both fine examples of her writing skills.

Most of the other tracks were released as singles. “I’m A One Woman Man” is s bluesy outing, while “It Ain’t  No Good To Be Good” is a slow building affair. “(Daddy Hot Stuff) You’re Too Hot To Hold” moves is a pop direction.

The only previously unreleased track is her cover of “Soul Deep,” which became a hit for the Box Tops about a year later.

Barbara Lynn is still on the road today. The Complete Atlantic Singles looks at the brightest period of her career as it catches one of the talented, if many times a forgotten, rhythm and blues artists of the 20th century at the top of her game.

Rating: B+

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