D.V. Lindner | King George, VA, USA | 09/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Tally Ho" is the only cut on this album that I'm not sure whether it made it `out' as a 45, but otherwise this set could have fairly been labeled a "Greatest Hits." It supplied Junior and his men with a roster of sturdy hit singles that spanned better than a year and a half."Cleo's Mood" had originally been released on the Harvey Records label in 1962; well before that label was eventually folded into the Motown family. And "Money Jump" from September 1964, was the group's first single release on Motown's subsidiary Soul label after Walker signed with the company. Both of these brought at least some local attention, but it was the gun blast of the next 45 that inaugurated the immediate fame for Junior Walker that lasts to this day."Shotgun" backed with "Hot Cha" was issued in January 1965 and is arguably the record that gave Junior Walker instant national (and even international) identity. It is forever associated with him as much as one immediately sees The Temptations when "My Girl" plays, the Supremes, palms-out and declaring, "Stop! In the Name Of Love," the Vandellas "Dancing In the Street," and Levi Stubbs leading the Four Tops dramatically through "Reach Out I'll Be There." "Shotgun" was the signal to increase my personal roster of must-have Motown artists by one. In the 1990s, I can think of two moments in movies where the song was used quite creatively: a key scene late in Spike Lee's "Malcolm X," and even more spectacularly over the opening credits of the Stephen King thriller, "Misery," starring James Caan and Kathy Bates. Like the other songs listed in this paragraph, "Shotgun" doesn't age a bit.By May of '65, the LP (originally Soul 701) itself along with a 45 of "Boomerang" & "Tune Up" were in record stores. When July rolled around you could buy a single of "Shake & Fingerpop" backed with "Cleo's Back." Come December, Motown re-issued "Cleo's Mood," a fantastically hypnotic and funky instrumental, as an `A'-side single, now on Soul. In March of 1966 - and I'm surprised Motown waited that long - the wonderful Holland-Dozier-Holland party jam "Road Runner" was put out together with "Shoot Your Shot." But we're still not done.In the summer of 1967 when it was time to put a new Walker 45 out there, and with now three of his LP's to choose from, Motown went back into "Shotgun," to re-issue "Shoot Your Shot" as an A-side along with "Ain't That The Truth." Like I said, it could fairly be re-titled a "Greatest Hits." All of these tracks, while of varying commercial success, kept the legions of fans Walker won overnight with "Shotgun" quite sated. (A lost treasure today is Walker's follow-up album, "Soul Session," originally Soul LP 702, which gathered many of the mainly-instrumentals that had been recorded in the Harvey Records' days.)I bought the CD of "Shotgun" in February of '93, but then a few years later and for considerably more dollars, I didn't waste a chance at a near-mint mono 1965 vinyl pressing. It's one of the jewels of my collection. Soul music aficionados should certainly have this in their collections in at least one form. "Put on yer wig woman, we go'nout to shake and fingerpop!""
Need more Jr. Walker
bluemamma | San Luis Obispo, CA USA | 07/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Motown used to have "Shotgun" and "Roadrunner" - two of Jr. Walker's best albums - available on a single disc. I wish they'd reissue that one. Still, this is one of the best albums of the sixties available at an astonishing price. Grab it! There's not a bad cut on it. Every song is rich and soulful and funky. Great party music, and great for just sitting down and listening to (okay, sitting down while you're listening to this album might be tough, what I mean is, you don't need a party to enjoy it.). Just a perfect record."