His deep baritone is equally suited to southern country recordings as well as 60s R&B efforts, but Joe Simon is best known for his 70s soul/disco on Spring Records, where he scored a string of hits (including 25 chart-listed singles) that have become classics over time. The voice of Joe Simon is one of deep soul. It has a languid, velvet-smooth quality reminiscent of other great talents such as Jerry Butler, Garland Green and James Carr.
In the UK, Joe's legacy of recordings has not enjoyed the true recognition it deserves, possibly because not many of his uptempo recordings, which are preferred by the soul fraternity were available until Southbound began to reissue his Spring catalogue.
In the southern states of America, on the other hand, his reputation is undisputed. True to his roots, Joe came out of the gospel tradition. Between the ages of 15 and 24 he was signed to a variety of labels including Hush, Vee-Jay and SS7, recording gospel-tinged R&B before the Rifkind brothers and Bill Spitalsky signed him to Spring Records. At the time they needed an established name to help bolster the newly set-up label and Simon had already scored some minor hits and had great potential.
Simon enjoyed over seven years with Spring. His greatest hits from the period are available on a 23-tracker on Southbound (CDSEWD 102). There are still many gems left and as part of our re-issue programme we are releasing the following original albums as 2-on-1s: this CD, followed by Love Vibrations/Happy Birthday Baby, and then The Power of Simon plus additional cuts. Easy To Love/A Bad Case Of Love are two albums from 1977 that show the two contrasting sides of Joe Simon. Easy To Love was recorded in Muscle Shoals with the Hood, Hawkins, Johnson and Beckett rhythm section. It was produced by John Richbourg, assisted by Joe Simon. A Bad Case Of Love, on the other hand, was made in New York with Teddy Randazzo producing.