Amidst all the psychedelia and increasingly loud and intense rock and roll, popular music and its various offshoots all continued to advance, offering a diverse selection of sounds beyond the explosion of guitar rock. Today is a step back in time, with the album “The Ice Man Cometh”, by Impressions lead singer Jerry Butler, rated the #8 soul album of all time by digitaldreamdoor.com.
I even had to do some digging for this one, as it was not available on my streaming service, but I was able to piece the album together song by song using other internet sources. To sum it up, this album is exactly what I expected when I saw the cover, an experienced R&B singer with a doo-wop background updating his sound in the late 1960s with a twist of soul and funk. Most of the tracks are Jerry Butler originals, and they blend the upbeat with the soft soul. I think my favorite track is the funk-laden opener “Hey, Western Union Man”, and I also really liked “Can’t Forget About You Baby”. This is simple, feel good music that has a clear time stamp that helps us realize that through all the tough times, we can all come together through music. “Never Give You Up” is a third song I really enjoyed, with a slow and easy-cool delivery.
This was a great sidestep, as the music began to further splinter among the many divides of culture, race, and the earliest foundations of R&B that evolved into soul, dance, disco and eventually hip-hop music that was immersed in black America.