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Essential Etta James
Etta James
Essential Etta James
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
 
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (22) - Disc #2

Etta James is the dues-paying blues mama. Throughout her tragic and storied career, Miss Peaches has successfully delivered her growling soul and soaring vocals to everything from Chicago blues to pop. Her voice is one of ...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Etta James
Title: Essential Etta James
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: Chess
Original Release Date: 6/8/1993
Release Date: 6/8/1993
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
Styles: Vocal Blues, Traditional Blues, Soul
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 076732934128, 0076732934128, 076732934142

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Etta James is the dues-paying blues mama. Throughout her tragic and storied career, Miss Peaches has successfully delivered her growling soul and soaring vocals to everything from Chicago blues to pop. Her voice is one of the most distinctive in the entire blues canon and The Essential Etta James captures it in its prime; 44 tracks cover her best Chess Records work from 1960 to the early '70s. And though her early R&B hits for Modern like "Roll with Me Henry" are not here, just about everything else is: the supreme balladry of "All I Could Do Was Cry" and "At Last," the sassy bump of "Seven-Day Fool" and "Pushover," the raucous soul of "In the Basement," and even bell-bottomed funk of "All the Way Down." But the finest evidence of James's versatility can be heard in her outstanding Memphis soul covers of "Tell Mama" and "Security." There's a lot of Etta James out there, but this is likely the best compilation of her work you're going to find. --Ken Hohman

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CD Reviews

Etta James makes every song a gem.
bluemamma | San Luis Obispo, CA USA | 08/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This a great sampler of the early Etta James, 1960 to 1975, when she sang like a cross between Billie Holiday and Janis Joplin. One minute her voice is gentle and yearning. the next minute sheÕs stomping, growling, and roaring Ð the greatest r&b belter of all time. She has one of the most striking, goosebump-raising voices in the history of music. If all you know of Etta James is "At Last," you owe yourself this album. Not every song on here is a winner. For years no one seemed to be able to figure out what to do with Etta JamesÕ obvious talent, and they kept trying her out in different styles of music. The album is arranged in chronological order, so you hear her move from melodramatic teenage tearjerkers like "All I Could Do Was Cry," to romantic ballads ("At Last" is her most famous song, but there are a half dozen others on this album just as beautiful), to party r&b ("In The Basement"), to the Memphis Soul of "Tell Mama" and "IÕd Rather Go Blind," and finally into adventurous explorations of challenging songwriters like Randy Newman (her version of NewmanÕs "GodÕs Song" still gives me chills no matter how many times I listen to it.) The Essential Etta James is like a history of 60s and 70s soul music. Fascinating. But itÕs not just a period piece. The truth is, thereÕs no kind of music Etta James canÕt sing. She bring soul and grace to everything she touches. She makes the dumb songs fun, and the great ones masterpieces. And sheÕs STILL doing wonderful work, more than forty years after she started. But this album is where you can hear the astonishing range of her gift. This is where any newcomer should begin."
Oh, my, Miss Peaches...
LillyDale | Cochise County | 07/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is an excellent cross-section of Miss James' vocal ability. It's all here - smoke-filled standards, rockin' R&B, scorching soul, and yes indeed, torch songs to put modern "divas" to shame. Though Etta's voice has spectacular range and emotional drive, these recordings do not contain the shrill vocal calesthenics forced on us by the 90's pop divas. The result was this ultra-quality collection, which I guarantee you will never loan out, even to your best friend."
But...look, a box set is coming
gordon@ruraltel.net | 06/06/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'm happy to see such an overwhelming positive response to this lady...I guess there is SOMETHING good about appropiating old classics for tv commercials. Hey, Aretha's great, but Etta James takes a back seat to NO ONE! Nor do the Chess productions of the 60s. This stuff is so hot you'll wonder, as I did, how you could possibly have lived without all these years.Citing highlights is futile...this is one CD where you won't use the skip button, I can assure you. If you really like Etta, though, you might want to wait for the box set."