J P Ryan | Waltham, Massachusetts United States | 02/28/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When Wilson Pickett died last year, it seemed his classic Atlantic catalog
- long overdue for a domestic upgrade - just might get the TLC it deserves. Death can either stimulate interest in a neglected legend's work (Ray Charles and Johnny Cash for two recent examples), or not if tragedy is compounded by indifference, and for Pickett fans there just isn't much available in the marketplace. The soul great recorded his most rewarding music for Atlantic from 1962 until 1973, and yet aside from some substandard (sonically and in terms of packaging) titles reissued by Collectables, all we get are the same old repackagings. A decade ago Rhino released two superp expanded editions of Pickett gems, "I'm In Love" (1968) and "In Philadelphia" (1970), both long out of print.
Now Pickett is victim of the "Definitive Soul Collection" treatment. This double CD set collects a mere 30 tracks, 15 per disc, and the selection is deeply obvious. For those who want a solid overview, Rhino's "A Man And A Half," released back in 1992, features 44 tracks including some rarities such as a pair of blistering live performances as well as a decent essay, annotation, a discography, and more. It remains the best Pickett compilation that is fairly easy to find. Of course there is much, much more, and I hope somebody sees that Pickett gets the posthumous respect he so deserved during the last decades of his life.
In short, this "Definitive" collection, designed for the casual buyer I suppose, is another travesty in the recent series, and should be avoided.
The Wicked Pickett at his best!
Spencer Marquart | St. Louis, MO USA | 02/27/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Along with Rhino's other "Definitive Collections", the remastering on this release is impeccable and easily the best sounding Wilson Pickett collection you'll hear. It's not as thorough as "Man & A Half", but it's a revelation to hear these tunes in pristine sound! The cd covers the best of his work. Starting with the Falcons up in Detroit, and then heading to Memphis at Stax. It just gets better as he heads to Muscle Shoals and then to Chips Moman's studio in Memphis. It ends with his work with Gamble/Huff and then back to Muscle Shoals.
This is essential soul music. Lord, have mercy!!"