"Although I wouldn't be completely happy with this cd alone, it needs to be bought hand in hand with Rhino's generally exellent "Fever: The Best Of Little Willie John", that having been said, this cd still gets the edge, between the two, for the inclusion of teh quentessential Little Willie John track "I'm Sticking With You Baby", not on the Rhino comp. This cd however has more slower songs with too many backup singers, more reminiscent of doo-wop, and the Rhino cd, has almost all the jump blues and blues sides, so it makes for an easier listen. As where this cd is best on the 1st half, which is more jump blues and r&b, and the 2nd half is almost exclusively ballads, that haven't dated too well. So if the Rhino disc included "I'm Sticking With You Baby", it would definately have gotten the edge. Also this cd has 24 tracks to Rhino's 20. Both cd's have some of teh same songs, and a lot of different ones, making it essential to pick them both up. Fever is of course here, as well as All Around The World, Home At Last, Leave My Kitten Alone and the essential hits and r&b stompers, making this a nice intro cd to John's work. These 50's tracks are seminal r&b/blues/jump blues sides, and not as gutsy as Hank Ballards singing, John has a rich almost sensual voice. And a very appealing voice it is, slick and sophistocated, and as urbam as the blues can be, he sounds best when belting out a jump blues, and doesn't hadle the ballads as well, with the exception of teh mod tempo numbers like Fever where he uses his sensuality and smoothness, to pull it off(though Peggy Lee would later make it a hit). This is good stuff, thogh not every track is a gem, the jump blues sides are spectacular, and this cd needs to be owned by jumpin' jive fans, it'll be something new to lindy hop to."
Finally - stereo!
Zub | Forks Twp., PA | 12/01/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The owners of the King catalog have arguably one of the worst records for quality in their attempts at reissues of the material from the King vaults. It wasn't until Rhino, and more recently See For Miles and Ace Records, started producing compilations of King artists that these recordings were available on decent-quality CDs. Somewhat unexpectedly, Collectables Records whose own reputation for sound quality is uneven (but improving of late) has come out with a Little Willie John compilation CD that offers some singles in first-time stereo! Although not a totally complete hits package, most of the bigger chart successes are here and the cuts from about 1960 on (tracks 15-25) appear in stereo, albeit the somewhat primitive binaural type. Presenting tracks in this mode can be a tricky balancing act, but it has been done admirably here, due to the mastering by Little Walter DeVenne. Sound is a bit harsh on some of the older mono tracks but that is surely due to the original source and is as good as to be found anywhere else. The four-page liner notes booklet contains a brief two-page musical history of John's career. Even if you own other quality Little Willie John collections, and if you appreciate the dramatic sound stage effect of stereo, you will get renewed enjoyment from these stereo cuts of songs heretofore only available in mono."
Little Willie John is the Best
Jim Boldebook | Biddeford, Maine USA | 08/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a soul music fanatic and I received this CD for my birthday this past July. It is truly one of the best CDs I have and if it were a record I would have worn out the grooves because I've played it so often. My favorite cut, Heartbreak, is in my mind the perfect song. Little Willie's powerful voice draws you into the music. The big down beat with lots of horns just rocks you out of your chair. My other favorite cuts are Sufferin with the Blues, You're a Sweetheart, Cottage for Sale, I love you, but the truth is...I love Little Willie's sound and every cut on this CD. I often listen to one or two cuts on a CD then hit the eject. This one I listen to all 25 cuts and then replay and replay. If you can only buy one Little Willie John CD. If you can only buy one Soul CD...buy this one. You just might become as big of a Little Willie fan as me. I was a DJ for 10 years in the 60's and early 70's. I also promoted shows for James Brown in the Northeast. How I wish I had a chance to see Little Willie on stage but he was slightly before my time. It's apparent that all the great artists I did meet and played their music were deeply influenced by Mr. John. Including the great James Brown and Jackie Wilson."
The songs were not the original -very disappointed
William T. Hunter | 07/17/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The songs were remix - remakes were not the original - I'm quite disappointed - you cannot fool a 70 year old African American who danced to Little Willie John's music in the fifties.
His singing was breath taking !
L. E STOTTLEMEYER | KCMO | 03/03/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When you hear LWJ hold that last note at the end of the classic R&B song "Let them talk" you realize just how much of an incredible talent he was. His approach to a ballad was the best of all 50's singers even surpassing Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson when it came to pure emotion in a ballad reading of a song. He was one marvelous singer. I already had owned several other LWJ cd's but one song was missing. The top 10 1956 R&B classic "Letter from my darling". This is the only cd out that includes this forgotten classic. This cat was an inventor of soul music and I still marvel at what he did vocally-even after all these years have passed since his death. And please- a note to some record company out there- When you come out with the next cd on LWJ- please include his classic version of the George Jones classic "She thinks I still care". It is not available today on any disc anywhere in the world.And I'm always amazed that people have no idea that this man war the original interpreter of the classic song "Fever" in 1956 some 2 years before Peggy Lee laid it wax. It was a #1 r&b hit for him for a full 5 weeks in 1956 and it even made it #24 on billboards pop charts that year."