Originally released in 1960 when she was 22; she had her first hit 5 years earlier. The "chart topper" on this LP is "All I Could Do Is Cry"; my personal faves are her versions of Willie Dixon's "Spoonful" & "I Just Want to Make Love to You".
Lovely collection of Etta James songs including At Last and her cover of Stormy Weather. The last four songs are duets with Harvey Fuqua who was in the 1950s group The Moonglows. He married a Gordy and went to work at Motown as a songwriter (his nephew is film director Antoine Fuqua which reminds me – I have his version of the Magnificent Seven to watch.) I love Etta because whether she is belting them out, or moaning the blues – every track is full of feeling and delivered in her unique sexy, sultry, sassy manner. Definitely worth borrowing.
One of my all-time favorites and a rarity in that it's a "happy" blues song.
A near perfect example of vintage orchestral soul music. James is in her finest voice, bringing her trademark brashness to well-composed and expertly arranged ballads.
Fabulous dance music for swooning & crooning; one of the best! She was influenced by Billie Holiday, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and others. This talented singer’s legacy of blues, R&B, soul, rock & roll, jazz and gospel lives on in an impressive, growing number of soundtracks. And she continues to inspire future artists.
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The first thing you notice is the orchestration. All of the songs were arranged. Lush strings, horns move along with the song. Then their is Etta's voice. The songs are so short that you think that she has to rush thorugh the song but she sings at her own pace. She transports you into the studio where she is recording. You can almost visualize her singing into the microphone when she sings this songs. The recording is split in half. Towards the end of the records she sings with men. The sad part about this is that the men get to play with their lyrics and vocals. Etta has to be Etta. Nevertheless, this recording was a treat.
This album is just about flawless.. James trades her standard straight-up bluesy raunch for more nuanced singing, and wonderful arrangements. Just an unbelievably good vocal album.
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