Music ReviewsREVIEWSVERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE

    THE STORY SO FAR: The Original Rock’n Roller unleashes an essential collection of 25 digitally remastered greatest hits including “Tutti Frutti”, ‘Long Tall Sally”, “Good Golly, Miss Molly” and more! These are the original hits as recorded for the legendary Specialty Records label from the fabulous `50s!   THE CRITICISM Fifty-plus years after budding blues singer Richard Penniman transformed himself into the prototype wild man rock `n’ roller Little Richard, these seminal sides...
August 13, 200815 min


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THE STORY SO FAR:

The Original Rock’n Roller unleashes an essential collection of 25 digitally remastered greatest hits including “Tutti Frutti”, ‘Long Tall Sally”, “Good Golly, Miss Molly” and more! These are the original hits as recorded for the legendary Specialty Records label from the fabulous `50s!

 

THE CRITICISM

Fifty-plus years after budding blues singer Richard Penniman transformed himself into the prototype wild man rock `n’ roller Little Richard, these seminal sides on Specialty retain every bit of their invention and abandon. Recorded in New Orleans with the rock ‘n’ roll pillars of Earl Palmer’s second-line drumming and Lee Allen’s muscular, swinging saxophone, Little Richard’s best singles are as good as any rock ‘n’ roll records ever recorded. His outlandishly raw and seductive vocals stretched the microphones to their limits, just as his hammering on the piano often threatened to shake his instrument apart.

 

TRACK LIST

1
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Tutti Frutti
2
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Long Tall Sally
3
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Good Golly, Miss Molly
4
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Slippin’ and Slidin’ Peepin’ and Hidin’
5
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Rip It Up
6
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Read Teddy
7
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Heeby-Jeebies
8
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
She’s Got It
9
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Girl Can’t Help It, The
10
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
All Around
11
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Lucille
12
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Send Me Some Lovin’
13
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Jenny Jenny
14
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Miss Ann
15
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Keep a-Knockin’
16
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Ooh! My Soul
17
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
True Fine Mama
18
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Baby Face
19
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Medley:Kansas City/ Hey Hey Hey Hey
20
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
By the Light of the Silvery Moon
21
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Baura Laura Bana Loo
22
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On [Rehearsal Take]
23
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Hound Dog [Rehearsal Take]
24
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Baby [Demo]
25
VERY BEST OF LITTLE RICHARD, THE 51
Medley: Ain’t That a Shame/ I Got a Woman/Tutti Frutti [Live] – (live)
 
The hits are radioactive elements of the rock ‘n’ roll lexicon, their radiance undimmed by fifty years of tribute, imitation and repetition. Starting with 1955’s “Tutti Frutti” Richard waxed a string of scorching sides that included “Long Tall Sally,” “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” “Rip It Up,” and “Ready Teddy,” each invested with a level of vocal exuberance unmatched by his contemporaries. Even when he’d take a breath and drop the key below the top-edge of his range, as on the mid-tempo “Slipin’ and Slidin’ (Peepin’ and Hidin’),” his voice remained edgy, and his instrumental battles with Lee Allen reaped brilliant rewards. Richard wrote or chose songs whose themes matched the newly acquired independence felt by mid-50s teens. Even with the lyrics tidied up here and there, the sexuality was hard to miss, and coupled with the brazenness of Richard’s vocals (and Lee Allen’s sax), it’s easy to see how rock ‘n’ roll menaced 1950s Eisenhower America.

Even with all this inventiveness, as early as 1956 some of Richard’s singles began to sound repetitive. “Heeby Jeeby” and “She’s Got It,” for example, borrowed liberally from their predecessors. Later in the year, Richard’s label head, Art Rupe, maneuvered him into the title song of “The Girl Can’t Help It,” written by Bobby Troup. The production retains the New Orleans phrasings and edgy vocals of Richard’s earlier sides, but adds stagey background singers. Richard still had plenty of thrills in him, however, laying down “Lucille” and “Jenny Jenny” to fill out the year. In between he dropped the Lloyd Price styled ballad “Send Me Some Lovin,” penned by Price’s brother, adding dynamics to accommodate a bluesier tune.

 

The CD is an amazing collection that ends right before Little Richard became a caricature.The Tin Pan Alley covers, the early hits and everything in-between is captured on this amazing CD. Hell, the audio is crisper than anything that I’ve heard in awhile. Such a blind buy for music fans, that I’m floored. One of the best of the year.

 

THE BREAKDOWN

  • Final Score: 99% – A
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TroyAnderson

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