To some degree, Games People Play was a rushed album, issued to capitalize on the unexpected hit single title track (which had first been issued as an LP-only cut on South's previous long-player, Introspect). Three songs that had appeared on Introspect ("Games People Play," "Birds of a Feather," and "These Are Not My People") were placed on Games People Play as well, and some of the other songs (like "Untie Me" and "Concrete Jungle") had been recorded by other artists as early as 1962. For all that, however, it was a pretty cracking good set of country-soul-rock, and if it was hastily thrown together, it certainly didn't show in the songwriting, production, or performances.
South's sage, humanistic, and somewhat outside-looking-in view of the madding crowd came through forcefully in "Party People," "These Are Not My People," and "Birds of a Feather." Wholehearted romantic lust and confusion laced his energetic recastings of "Untie Me" (first a hit for the Tams back in 1962) and "Hush" (which had just been a smash for Deep Purple), as well as the respectable Elvis Presley-meets-Neil Diamond-styled "Heart's Desire," which had the catchiness of a hit single. The dabs of psychedelia throughout the record -- some electric guitar here, some weird echo there (both at once on "Hole in Your Soul," the most avowedly strange track) -- might have been trendy, but were nonetheless effective. Quite a lot of fine music not found on best-of compilations awaits South fans who have yet to discover this record.
|Games People Play / Joe South||Joe South||3:37|
|Party People / Joe South||Joe South||4:27|
|Untie Me / Joe South||Joe South||2:40|
|Concrete Jungle / Joe South||Joe South||2:55|
|Hole in Your Soul / Joe South||Joe South||3:40|
|Hush / Joe South||Joe South||3:47|
|Birds of a Feather / Joe South||Joe South||4:24|
|Hearts Desire / Joe South||Joe South||2:54|
|Leanin' on You / Joe South||Joe South||2:53|
|I Knew You When / Joe South||Joe South||2:57|
|These Are Not My People / Joe South||Joe South||2:35|
|It Got Away / Joe South||Joe South||2:30|