"What a GREAT disc! And it's just ONE of the fine offerings in the Legends of Specialty series; maybe the best one at that. 23 smoking tracks from the Specialty vaults showing Larry Williams in excellent form throughout. All the hits and influential cuts ("Bony Maronie", "Dizzy Miss Lizzy", "Slow Down", "Short Fat Fannie", "Bad Boy"), not to mention great covers (Lloyd Prices "Just Because", Huey 'Piano' Smith's "Rockin' Pneumonia", Aaron Neville's "Zing Zing")and many many more. I can't even imagine how they cooled down the original vinyl 45's that paired "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and "Slow Down."
Great rock 'n' roll vocals and piano from Williams complemented by several different swingin' studio combos. Little Richard's band appears on one track, and tracks recorded in New Orleans feature the likes of Lee Allen on sax and Art Neville on piano. Rene Hall provides some stinging guitar here and there, and Ted Brinson (bass) and Earl Palmer (drums) form the rhythm section on most of the tracks. And if that's not enough to get you clicking "Buy," dig this: TWO tracks co-written by Sony Bono! That's right, you get both "High School Dance" AND "You Bug Me Baby" (a Williams/Bono co-credit!).
The sound quality is great, having been produced mostly (if not exclusively) from the original master tapes. The track selection is first-rate, with some great B-sides, previously unreleased tracks and alternate takes. The liner notes are quite good, giving an overall perspective of Williams' career, and particular notes about each song. The track-by-track listing gives master numbers and recording dates, and the personnel at each session are detailed.
Five stars. Must buy."
AVOID THIS CD - music fan from Australia
Aj Watson | Sydney, Australia | 09/25/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"One of the poorest mastering jobs I have heard and surely one of the worst cover designs ever. Whoever did the mastering obviously had no idea how Larry's great Specialty records sounded. Unfortunately this CD was issued before Billy Vera became involved with the reissue program of Specialty material. The sound is strangely 'muddy' and way too compressed, which gives the tracks a tunnel echo effect which simply isn't on the original tapes. If you want to hear Larry Williams how he should be heard in crystal clear sound, invest your cash in the UK Ace CD "The Bad Boy Of Rock'n'Roll" (CDCHD 709) or better still, chase up the 47 track 2CD set on Ace - "Larry Williams At His Finest" (CDCHD2 1021). They are both streets ahead of this rubbish."
"Terrific CD. If you're old enough to know of Larry Williams, you won't be disappointed. All the hits are here as well as tunes that weren't hits but are worth hearing just the same. The Beatles covered several of his tunes. This CD has all the Larry Williams you'll ever need---and then some!!! Highly recommended!!!"
Lloyd Price sound a like but still great !
L. E STOTTLEMEYER | KCMO | 06/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Larry Williams is one of the many kings of Rock and Roll. And although his sound was completely derived from two other Specialty recording artists (Little Richard and Lloyd Price) doesn't and should not take away from his greatness as a rocker. He sounds just like Lloyd on his classics "Just Because" and "Lawdy Miss Clawdy. Short Fat Fannie hit #1 on the R&B charts in July of 1957 and was his biggest hit. The title of this cd couldn't be more appropriate for Larry Williams and Hank Ballard and Gene Vincent were the three baddest boys(men) of 50's Rock and Roll."