His complete recordings for the Bihari brothers’ Kent label, together on one package for the first time, including many making their CD debut.
For two decades Z Z Hill was a go-to guy for anyone who needed a shot of blues-tinged soul music. His catalogue of recordings includes many masterpieces of southern soul, his Texas roots showing through wherever he recorded. After years of critical acclaim, and a late flourish of hits, he was about to take his career to a bigger stage in 1984 when complications from the aftermath of a car crash robbed black American music of one of its finest singers.
20 years earlier Z.Z. scored his first hit with ‘You Were Wrong’ on his brother’s MH label, which led directly to his signing to the Kent subsidiary of long-established Modern Records. For the next four years he recorded prolifically and enjoyed many strong local sellers that all refused to breach the national charts. Hits or no hits, Z.Z. always got great songs and productions, and soul fans who have been enjoying them for many years will thrill to the quantity featured in this month’s 2CD set.
CD1 features all the singles Z.Z released during his time as a Kent artist, 1964 to 1968, in mono and with each tape carefully matched against an original 45 to ensure they are heard just the way they were meant to be heard. CD2 contains the first-ever CD release of his 1968 album “A Whole Lot Of Soul”, in stereo, plus originally unissued material and tracks onto which Kent-Modern’s Joe Bihari added strings after Z.Z. started to score hits for other labels in the early 70s. Few CDs we’ve ever put out live up to their titles quite as conclusively as “That’s It!”.
The CD booklet features a sessionography which reveals hitherto unpublished information about recording locations, producers and engineers for these tracks. For any 60s soul fan, “That’s It!” is all that, and more besides.