Midnight Mover: The Bobby Womack Collection
is a double-disc set offering 44 tracks from Womack
's 1968-1976 stint with United Artists and its related labels. Early selections like "I'm a Midnight Mover," "I'm in Love," and "Broadway Walk" have Womack feeling his way with producer Chips Moman. After parting ways with Moman, Womack himself became one of the more skilled and inventive producers in the Muscle Shoals tradition. "That's the Way I Feel About 'Cha" and "I Can Understand It" both have plaintive melodies and are punctuated by Womack's guitar skills plus his ever-broadening vocals. Disc two covers the years 1973-1976, during which time he had become an even bigger star with albums that were sagacious ruminations on love and life. From an effortlessly revamped and rock-fueled "Nobody Wants You (When You're Down and Out)" to his perfect cover of Sam Cooke
's "That's Heaven to Me," Womack's interpretive skills were only matched by his rootsy yet polished productions. After the frisky "Check It Out," Womack seemed preoccupied with the darker side of love with a little religion on the side to confuse things. Tracks like "Jealous Love" and "Interlude #1/I Don't Know" have the message and meaning slipping through his fingers. Midnight Mover
is a flawless anthology.