Among musicians, Arthur Alexander was always considered one of the greatest R&B songwriters. Both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones covered his songs, "Anna (Go to Him)" and "You Better Move On," respectively, early in their careers. But they weren't the only ones – throughout the years, his work was rich source material for many blues, soul, rock, and country artists. He may have earned the recognition of his peers, but he remained relatively unknown to the general public, right up to his death in 1993. In order to raise his profile, Razor & Tie released Adios Amigo: A Tribute to Arthur Alexander in 1994, assembling a stellar and diverse lineup to record new versions of his songs. The diversity and the fresh arrangements illustrates the depth of Alexander's songs and how well they lent themselves to new readings. Like any tribute album, Adios Amigo is uneven, with a few tracks falling flat, but the best moments – Elvis Costello's "Sally Sue Brown," Robert Plant's "If It's Really Got to Be This Way," Chuck Jackson's "You Better Move On," Frank Black's "Old John Amos," John Prine's "Lonely Just Like Me," Gary U.S. Bonds' "Genie in the Jug," Graham Parker's "Every Day I Have to Cry" and Nick Lowe's "In the Middle of It All" – are affectionate salutes to a departed master, and they're damn enjoyable in their own right as well.
While Arthur Alexander made a name for himself as a songwriter and vocalist in the early '60s, he was best known for the hits other folks had enjoyed with his songs (among them the Beatles and the Rolling Stones), while his performing career hit an unfortunate slump by the end of the decade. Alexander been out of the public eye for a few years when he scored a deal with Warner Brothers and cut a self-titled album in 1972. Alexander had great faith in the project, which was produced by Tommy Cogbill and featured the cream of the Muscle Shoals studio players, along with songwriting contributions from Dan Penn, Donnie Fritts, and Alexander himself.