"While there are some largely forgettable Wilson Pickett records out there - 'Pickett in the Pocket' and 'Miz Lena's Boy' for examaple- his entire Atlantic catalog is impeccable. This album features many of the seminal southern soul sidemen such as the great Jimmy Johnson on guitar and the equally superb Roger Hawkins, the drummer on numerous soul and R&B hits such as 'I'll Take You There'. The obvious highlight is 'Mustang Sally' but the oft covered 'You Left the Water Running' is equally as good. Don Covay's 'Three Time Loser' is justly placed on his double LP greatest hits. Pickett also scorches 'Knock On Wood' and really nails the great Laura Lee ballad, 'Up Tight Good Woman'. Also his version of 'Sunny'is pretty cool. There's some filler on this but hey, it's still Wilson Pickett with a great band."
Prime Pickett, - But Buyer Beware!
J P Ryan | Waltham, Massachusetts United States | 02/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wilson Pickett, who died last month at age 64, was one of the most dynamic, exuberant, and compelling soul singers of his generation. At his creative and commercial peak he recorded a dozen albums for Atlantic (including two hits compilations - and I'm not counting two various artist sets that each featured a pair of riveting Pickett live performances), released during 1964 - 72, when he left the label for a rather misguided period at RCA that, along with changing popular tastes, led his career to nosedive. But those Atlantic albums (which in the beginning included some earlier material, dating as far back as the Falcons' 1961 "I Found A Love") are all worthwhile, ranging from very good to classic. "The Wicked Pickett" is Pickett's third for the label, a terrific set mostly recorded at Rick Hall's Fame Studios in October 1966. As such it has a consistancy of feel lacking in some of the artist's more randomly compiled (but still worthwhile) sets, like the debut "In The Midnight Hour" or 1968's "Midnight Mover." With Hall and Tom Dowd overseeing a core band that includes Chips Moman, Roger Hawkins, Spooner Oldham, and Tommy Cogbill (the horn section includes Floyd Newman and Charles Chalmers) the emphasis is on deep Southern soul, slinky mid-tempo funk and the occasional rave-up. The hits include the immortal 'Mustang Sally' and a revved up 'Everybody Needs Somebody To Love'. 'Sunny', the suave Bobby Hebb hit, is the wild card, but Pickett's version works, and as always it is a pleasure to hear the artist's distinctive, blistering take on New Orleans r & b (Jessie Hill's 'Ooh Poo Pah Do' and Gary "U.S." Bond's slinky 'New Orleans') - Pickett transforms the usually relaxed, laconic character that typifies the city's r & b and funk. Perhaps the most curious thing about Pickett's third Atlantic album is the lack of any original material - Pickett was a prolific and underrated songwriter - but as he'd soon be back to penning many of his own songs this fact warrants a mere aside. "The Wicked Picket" captures Pickett in his stride, and the four star rating - as opposed to five - is for the questionable CD version listed first on Amazon. I bought it and found that this European import (not identified as such in the product information) contains a meticulous transfer of what must be an old 'fake stereo' master: dissatisfied with the less than punchy-sound, I isolated each speaker and discovered the left channel to be transistor-radio thin, with a blurry low end fog emaninating from the right channel. The unacceptable practice of 'simulating stereo' mostly went out with the '60s. Fortunately, perhaps, Collectables recently reissued this gem and having just ordered a copy I can only hope the label used a true stereo - or mono - master. Collectables is hardly noted for its sensitivity to sonic nuance (or original packaging - you get the front cover and a coupon for the label's catalog, with no annotation, notes or remastering credits), but they have improved somewhat in recent years. The label seems to have taken over from Rhino in reissuing much of Pickett's Atlantic catalog. Too bad, for the best produced Pickett on CD remain Rhino's 1995 remasters of two classics, "I'm In Love" (1968) and "In Philadelphia" (1970) - both sound superb, warm and detailed, and feature excellent notes and worthwhile bonus tracks. Now out of print, these editions are definitive if you can find them at a reasonable price. With the tragic death of this great artist, we still don't have the state of the art restoration, with bonus material, and serious attention to quality that Chronicles has given (say) James Brown's sprawling catalog, or that Sundazed routinely gives its splendid reissues (the latter label's complete set of Meters albums on CD, or their 180 gram vinyl Otis Redding series, are exemplary). Amazingly, some of Pickett's Atlantic albums (and single sides) have at this late date still not been issued on CD, and that is truly a shame."
One Of Wilson Pickett's Best ,Remastering Needs Polishing..
R. Webb | u.s.a. | 08/20/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Recorded 1966 on the Atlantic label,THE WICKED PICKETT,Wilson Pickett sings out the heart of soul with his gritty swaying vocals on songs like,MUSTANG SALLY,Gary U.S. Bonds',NEW ORLEANS,SUNNY,Solomon Burke's,EVERYBODY NEEDS SOMEBODY TO LOVE,KNOCK ON WOOD,the Stones',TIME IS ON MY SIDE,and Bobby Womack's,NOTHING YOU CAN DO,every song on this album rocks and souls,Pickett's best record along with 1969's "hey jude". The problem is the remastering,if it was at all,half the songs "sound" decent , of course,Mustang Sally,and songs like New Orleans,sound as if they were transferred from an 8 track tape,leaving the vocals drowning and the instrumentation off balanced. This is a "collectables" co. CD, manufactured by Atlantic/Rhino,obviously Rhino had nothing to do with the remastering,Rhino is always reliable with their audio products,too bad, this is one of Wilson Pickett's elite,although all covers,so we'll have to make due with what's available,five stars for "the wicked pickett" compilation,minus two stars for the audio,also read there's a sound problem with the import version,what gives."
Quicicasco | Colorno,Italy | 01/01/2010
(1 out of 5 stars)
""The wicked Pickett" is a masterpiece of this great R&B shouter.But this CD edition is really bad.On the right channel a distant,muddy music,Wilson is singing in another room...in the left channel,sometimes,a thin chorus.Fake lightweight stereo.I have 9 out of 12 songs in "Wilson Pickett greatest hits" and "Greatest hits vol.2" and the difference is enormous.I have spent money for a big mistake."