Has This Magnificent Release Fallen Between The Cracks?
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A couple of things are obvious if you search the material available for Fats Domino. Many of the titles are "out of stock" - which could mean either they are temporarily unavailable or are simply out of print - and this one does not even turn up under his name (at least I couldn't find it there). I found it by searching under the sub-title "They Call Me The Fat Man."
This is surprising because, simply put, this entry from the EMI Legends of Rock n' Roll Series is THE best single collection of Fats Domino you are going to find, 4 CDs containing 100 of his best offerings recorded at Imperial from 1949 to 1962.
It also contains a magnificent 84-page booklet with a fold-out back cover showing reproductions of many of his LP covers, extensive liner notes with 29 pages written by Jeff Hannusch and Adam Block in July 1991, one page containing a "note from a friend" - tenor saxophonist extraordinaire Herbert Hardesty - numerous vintage photographs (including one from 1945 showing a young Antoine with Harrison Verret), and more LP, EP, singles, and poster reproductions.
Another 12 pages are devoted to the box-set's contents, showing recording and release dates, label numbers, and chart performances where applicable. Those are followed by page after page giving you his complete sessionography with Imperial, followed by lists of his singles, LPs, and EPs (including the contents of each). Also included is a single-page separate insert showing the complete EMI Legends of Rock n' Roll Series entries (many of which are also probably long out of print).
Producer Ron Furmanck is to be congratulated for putting together the best such set covering one of R&R's greatest legends. Why this is no longer generally available is beyond my comprehension. I've had my copy for years and the only reason I never included it in my reviews before now is because I could never find it in the listings. It deserves to be more prominently displayed under the basic "Fats Domino" search.
If you are a Fats Domino fan and do not have this set, search out a copy - used or otherwise. It is indispensable."
Boogie Woogie Country Man
Martin 13 | Slovenia | 06/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like New Orleans Rock 'n' Roll this is one thing for you. I bought this box because I wanted best of the Fat Man and this box (4 cd set) was cheap, nicely done and included the best songs he ever recorded. Booklet is nicely done too (almost hundred pages)."
Overall, a really strong 4-CD collection of Fats Domino
Danny A. Vogel | Chicago, IL, USA | 12/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let's make no mistake about it. The two most important figures spearheading the new art form known today as rock'n'roll, essentially transforming in speed and rawness the existing styles of rhythm and blues, jazz boogie, blues, and country, were Fats Domino and Chuck Berry (with Little Richard likely qualifying for third place).
This 4-CD collection is therefore one of the most important items for those attempting a musical survey of the genre known as rock. Even 4 CDs means a lot of great tracks must be omitted, though this is a cheap collection of 4, pricewise. Still, this collection made a brave effort to include most of the R&B hits of Fats Domino but not all singles (an almost impossible task, given this man's gigantic repertoire). So, for instance, the collection starts with The Fat Man which is side 2 of Detroit City Blues, but a better song so Side 1 was omitted. Early R&B chart hits such as Every Night About This Time, Goin' Home, Going To The River, All By Myself, or Poor Me, are all included on the first CD that takes the listener up to 1955 (culminating in one of his biggest "crossover" hits Ain't That A Shame).
CD #2 thus has the greatest hits so far as the Top 100 is concerned, during the golden era of Rock'n'Roll (e.g., Blueberry Hill). But Fats Domino continued to chart right through the 1960s, and so this collection ends in 1962 (curious, given this is a collection of Imperial Recordings, since he had some more Imperial singles up to 1964, but admittedly perhaps less "Legendary" ones!)
It is really important for those studying rock, or engaged in composing and performing it, to study the roots, and no investigation of such roots would be complete without Fats Domino and (as I've said earlier) Chuck Berry. There is a looseness, a playfulness, a grittiness, and a profoundly heartfelt quality, that are positively moving. Knowing what was to come for the next 50 years, you can hear the seeds of the future in these short recordings - the Stones, the Doors, Soft Machine, the Velvets, Punk, Alternative Rock, Hip Hop.
We are now over 50 years past the beginning of rock. You see, it never did die. And these sweet recordings are the glorious sounds of its bastard birth."