Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
If Walls Could Talk
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
2008 reissue of Little Milton's fourth LP for Chess originally released in 1969. If Walls Could Talk features a selection of brassy versions of old R&B hits and original Soul songs, some featuring Donny Hathaway in the st... more »
2008 reissue of Little Milton's fourth LP for Chess originally released in 1969. If Walls Could Talk features a selection of brassy versions of old R&B hits and original Soul songs, some featuring Donny Hathaway in the studio band. Little Milton Campbell first made impact when he hit #1 on the R&B chart in 1965 with the roaring Soul-Blues of 'We're Gonna Make It' on Chess Records. In a career lasting 50 years, this son of a Mississippi sharecropper also recorded for Sun and Bobbin in the '50s, moving to Stax in the '70s with a Watt Stax movie appearance and more hit singles, then a wealth of LPs on Malaco in the '80s and '90s and finally on Telarc shortly before his sad death in 2005. Shout.
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A real long player.- not a collection!
Dr.D.Treharne | Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom | 06/18/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Even by the end of the 1960's you had to be a special artist to get an album release on Chess records, as opposed to a collection of singles. This Little Milton collection, originally released in January 1970 was just that - and though the running time at 32.31 was meagre even for those days it's a great representation of Little Milton Campbell attempting to extend the range of material that he performed. It helped that the title track was such a strong song - even if this album contains the single rather than the original LP version of it.Just to confuse, there are other versions because Campbell re-recorded the vocal track a couple of times.Elsewhere the highlights are an excellent passionate version of Guitar Slim's "Things I used to do", a downhome version of "Blues get off my shoulder" and a version of Brook Benton and Brian Stevensons "I don't know" that rather upstages other vesrions of the song that I've heard. Some of it is less successful; his own part-written "Poor man's song" hasn't come through well, and the version of Aretha Franklins "Good to me as I am to you" doesn't come anywhere near the original.All-in-all this is Campbell at the height of his powers during his time with Chess getting to stretch out. Like a lot of the rest of the Chess catalogue it's disappointing that it's so erratically available. Certainly one to look back for from time to time."
4 1/2 stars. One of Milton's very, very best
Docendo Discimus | Vita scholae | 03/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a 2008 reissue of Little Milton Campbell's 1970 LP, all eleven original tracks and seven impressive bonus cuts.
"If Walls Could Talk" was Milton's last LP for Chess Records subsidiary Checker, eleven sides recorded in October and November, 1969, and it finds Milton moving gradually away from the blues and R&B of his earlier recordings and towards soul and soul-blues. He is backed by an excellent (if annoyingly uncredited) orchestra which includes a pianist and a thick, muscular horn ensemble, and while his own lead guitar isn't nearly as prominent as I would have liked, his strong, expressive baritone is a terrific instrument its own right, and the horns provide a nice counterpoint anyway.
The original eleven 1969 waxings include the driving soul-stompers "Let's Get Together" and "Poor Man", the slow, intense "Blues Get Off My Shoulder", a magnificent soulful cover of Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones' "The Things That I Used To Do", and a powerful re-interpretation of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller's 50s R&B classic "Kansas City".
The bonus cuts are unusually good as well, no bottom-of-the-barrel scrapings here. Recorded in 1968, but not included on that year's LP "Little Milton Sings Big Blues", they include Milton's version of Dann Penn's and Chips Moman's all-time classic soul lament "The Dark End Of The Street", a great, plaintive "Let Me Down Easy", Willie Dixon's slow blues "I Can't Quit You Baby", and one of Milton's long-time staples, the tough, supple "Grits Ain't Groceries". A wonderful selection of songs.
Excellent production here as well, and excellent fidelity, too. This is a great slice of juicy soul-blues, and one of the very best things in Little Milton's catalogue. No, it isn't as gritty as his early R&B sides, and it isn't pure blues, either, like this earliest Chess waxings, but it is plenty powerful in its own right, and judged on its own merits it is a winner, plain and simple. Highly recommended!"