Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Little Willie John|
Fever: Best of Little Willie John
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B
Standing slightly more than five feet tall, Little Willie John scored his first hit at age 17. That 1955 R&B smash--"All Around the World" (also known as "Grits Ain't Groceries")--reflected his status as a seasoned veteran... more »
Standing slightly more than five feet tall, Little Willie John scored his first hit at age 17. That 1955 R&B smash--"All Around the World" (also known as "Grits Ain't Groceries")--reflected his status as a seasoned veteran of several leading jazz/R&B big bands. John went on to record such noble rockers as "I'm Shakin'" (covered by the Blasters) and "Leave My Kitten Alone" (covered by the Beatles). However, his greatest success came when he set his torchy, gospel-drenched tenor to slow blues ("Need Your Love So Bad"), standards ("Sleep"), heartbreak ballads ("Talk to Me" and "Let Them All Talk"), and his flame-broiled original version of the oft-covered (Peggy Lee, Madonna, the Cramps, among others) incendiary title track. John was only 30 when he died--reportedly of either pneumonia or a heart attack--while imprisoned for manslaughter in 1968. That same year, James Brown recorded an album called Thinking of Little Willie John and a Few Nice Things. One listen to this 20-song Little Willie John compilation will tell you why. --Don Waller
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An Essential R&R CD for your Collection!
F. Barton | Newport, WA USA | 09/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Little Willie John was a tremendous talent. Much more so than can be measured in a single release on 45, or even many albums. So it was a treat to get this Rhino CD, because they always have the BEST sound, and remaster from original sources.The one thing, soundwise, that cannot be removed, is distortion. Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for his studio recordings, Willie possessed such a HUGE voice, that it often overloaded his solo microphone, and while that is disguised wonderfully on this release, it cannot be eliminated.On "Fever", "All Around the World" and "Sleep" is it overcome almost entirely, and these are the best sounding versions you will find of these. However, "Spasms" and "Talk to Me" are not as wonderous in the audio category.If you have to purchase ONE disc of this legendary writer/singer......grab this one. However you will also need "Little Mister Willie John", "Sure Things" and "Home at Last" to get all of his great songs!! The CD "28 Big Ones" is a great buy considering all the music, but has the worst sound quality of any. It's rather strange how a singer who influenced every R&B singer of his day, and well beyond, not to mention Peggy Lee and Sinatra, does not have a boxed set of all his recordings...............together, and possibly with a few radio appearances and live tracks. At LEAST his CDs are still in print, and I'd grab them ALL while they are. King records is still handling the releases, which might be why it would be wiser to turn the master session tapes over to, say, Bear Family, to make a thorough, complete release of this immortal artist, lost too soon."
I highly recommend it
F. Barton | 11/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i've always felt that little willie john was the most underrated singer of his era. called "little" because of his age and stature, he had one of the most powerful and emotional voices of his and any day.two excellent examples are "talk to me" and "i need your love so bad". one "discovery" i made on this cd was "blue diamonds". i love it but find it to be rather haunting, especially after reading the cd's liner notes and the details of his death. i love this cd, but find it hard to listen to a whole lot because i always feel melancholy after listening to it. i was glad to see his talent finally recognized when he was inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame in 1996"
Soul music before soul existed as a category
ksbooksandmusic | 04/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is truly astonishing collection of songs from a singer who sang soul music before "soul" existed as a label for r&b music in the 60's. An amazingly influential singer who was cited as an inspiration by Marvin Gaye and James Brown who recorded a tribute album after his death in the late 60's. You may have heard "Fever" from the Peggy Lee cover, but that version, of course, can't hold a candle in comparison to Little Willie John's original. Another stand out track is "Need Your Love so Bad" with its gut-wrenchingly aching vocals. A notoriously difficult and mercurial personality who died in prison, Little Willie John deserves wider recognition for his genius. I suggest this CD unequivocally to any fan of r&b and soul music. An absolute must"