It’s a severe injustice that for all his classic R&B hits and crossover pop success, the great Alabama soul man Eddie Floyd never posted an album in the Billboard top 200. Furthermore, his only two soul LP chart entries both peaked outside the top 40. But that fact conceals a wealth of fine album music by the ‘Knock On Wood’ hitmaker that’s well worth investigating, including the one we’re focusing on, 1969’s You’ve Got To Have Eddie.
The Stax album arrived in the wake of two major soul hits for Floyd the year before, ‘I’ve Never Found Me A Girl (To Love Me Like You Do)’ and ‘Bring It On Home To Me,’ which reached Nos. 2 and 4 respectively on that chart. The new set couldn’t repeat that success, which perhaps explains why it fell short of the bestsellers itself. But it did contain one top 20 soul hit in ‘Don’t Tell Your Mama (Where You’ve Been).’
That aside, You’ve Got To Have Eddie offered other subtly groovy new tunes, of which we especially recommend the opening ‘That’s All’ and the particularly cool ‘Long Line Rider’ (“this kind of thing can’t happen here, especially in election year!). Floyd was equally at home with covers, even when required to step into rock territory, as on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s ‘Proud Mary.’
The vocalist also made a good fist of ‘Can I Change My Mind,’ which had topped the soul listing at the beginning of 1969 for Tyrone Davis, and another highlight of the set was the elegantly orchestrated ballad ‘Seagull.’ Approaching half a century since the album’s release, you’ve still got to have Eddie.
Listen to You’ve Got To Have Eddie on Spotify