Junior Parker
Love Ain't Nothin' But a Business Goin' On
(Beast Retro 12032)

Having previously never heard of Junior Parker, I bought this treasure solely on the strength of its incredible cover (a probable prostitute leaning on a Cadillac Eldorado in front of a housing project … now this is where I want to be!) and the threat of not one, but three Beatles covers in the track listing. The music did not disappoint.

The title track is Junior's opening statement on the current romance scene (well, current as of the early 70s anyway. Actually I can't tell accurately when this was recorded, it's that dated). "The Outside Man" is a rump-shakin' groove about what you need to do to keep your woman from two-timing you while you're at work. It's about time I started getting advice like this, I been so troubled in the past. Junior's other originals fare as well; plenty of down-home observations and sincere love entreaties.

Overall, listening to this is like being at a house party where the music may not be the greatest but for the moment it couldn't be more perfect. "River's Invitation" ought to be a classic, while The Beatles "Taxman" is plain silly. Both work. On "Taxman" Junior gets a lot of lyrics wrong, and keeps commenting on the lyrics as he sings them ("Now this is awful" he grins, introducing the next line), but you know whose version I'd rather hear.

"Lady Madonna" has a similarly drugged-out approach, almost like Junior's just playing what feels good, forget about the song, man. "Tomorrow Never Knows" is a real curiosity. I mean, did someone tell him, "Junior, the blues has too many chords. Can't you do a song with just one chord?" I love this album!

Review by Jeremy Spoken