Charlie Rich, The Complete Sun Previously Unreleased Recordings

John Morthland

By John Morthland

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Previously unreleased tracks provide insight into Sun’s most eclectic songwriter

Rich's Sun catalogue is so disorganized we can't be sure that one of these tracks hasn't been released on eight-track in Uzbekistan or somesuch, but as best we can tell none of these twelve sides have ever been issued anywhere. Most are solo efforts, presumably demos, and several further illuminate in some way Rich's talents, which were unique to Sun; the label was simply not used to artists who flaunted a jazz background and expressed adult emotions "Waiting All Alone," a ballad with unobtrusive band, is a good example of the Rich dolor, with plenty of sadness on the surface but even more beneath. Though hardly his best such effort, "The Next Time" showcases the lounge-singer Rich, who supposedly didn't come along until producer Billy Sherrill got a hold of him in the '70s. "Unsuspecting Me" is a more bluesy — and more compelling — version of same, while "Each Other" couldn't be salvaged no matter how many times he tried. The last two tracks don't even appear on Sun's Rich discography. In short, despite the dross here there's also some bonanzas for the diehard Rich fan.