Recalling an Underrated Master

A collection of unreleased tracks showcases Johnnie Taylor’s deep-fried Southern soul at its finest.


Best known for the raunchy ’60s hit “Who’s Makin’ Love?” the great R&B singer Johnnie Taylor recorded prolifically until his death in 2000. This collection of 15 unreleased tracks from the ’80s and ’90s represents deep-fried Southern soul at its finest, showcasing his gifts as a balladeer. “If You’re Lookin’ for a Fool” blends desire and regret, while “Please Sign the Dotted Line” looks at cheatin’ from the other man’s viewpoint. Up-tempo romps like “Crazy ‘Bout You Baby” recall his wilder youth, though his luminous version of “Take Me to the Mardi Gras” reflects a grace gained from maturity. This compelling set is a fitting requiem for an underrated master.


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  • Jon Young is a contributing writer for Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here.