This one might surprise those who are more familiar with Vicki Anderson’s '70s funk period. Anderson got her start in the James Brown Soul Revue in 1965, replacing Anna King before vacating her position with the entry of Marva Whitney in 1968. While she did rejoin in 1969 for another three years before being replaced by the equally tough Lyn Collins, it’s her original stint as one of Brown’s Soul Sisters that provides the focus here. Her earliest work fits neatly into the early female soul genre, but that doesn’t make it any less worthy. An early highlight is “My Man”, which I’m willing to bet money was a key influence on the Zombies’ “Time of the Season” with same syncopation and background sighing ahhh’s, and a near-identical key.
Aside from Motown, New Orleans (in particular Irma Thomas’ waltz-time classics) provides the strongest shading to her stylings. It’s all prime '60s soul, made all the more exciting by a couple of great duets with Brown on “Think” and an incendiary reworking of the Everlys' “Let It Be Me” that will knock the top of your head off. Of course, she also duets with Bobby Byrd, Brown’s right-hand man and Anderson’s husband by this point, on “Loving You”. There’s a reason why James Brown called Anderson the best singer he ever had in the Revue—now it’s up to you to find out why.