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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Because of her blues-based comeback in the '90s, Etta James is usually thought of by the general public -- if she's thought of at all -- as a blues singer, but there's a good deal more to the picture than that, and this well-chosen and stunningly varied two-disc, 36-track anthology provides strong evidence that Etta James has long been one of the best singers of her generation -- in any style. In many ways James resembles a female Ray Charles in her unerring ability to tackle (and sometimes combine) all of the strands of American popular music, from rock & roll to R&B, blues, country, gospel, jazz, and pure pop and soul, while still maintaining a distinct feel and...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Because of her blues-based comeback in the '90s, Etta James is usually thought of by the general public -- if she's thought of at all -- as a blues singer, but there's a good deal more to the picture than that, and this well-chosen and stunningly varied two-disc, 36-track anthology provides strong evidence that Etta James has long been one of the best singers of her generation -- in any style. In many ways James resembles a female Ray Charles in her unerring ability to tackle (and sometimes combine) all of the strands of American popular music, from rock & roll to R&B, blues, country, gospel, jazz, and pure pop and soul, while still maintaining a distinct feel and sound that is all her own, and she has done this throughout a five decade career that is astounding for its consistency. This well-chosen compilation covers the whole span of that career, beginning with 1955's "Dance with Me Henry" (an answer song to Hank Ballard's "Roll with Me Annie") and ending with her amazing re-imagining of Elmore James' "The Sky Is Crying" from 2004. In between this set shows off the range of this impressive artist, who tackles everything from orchestral pop (her signature "At Last" from 1960), torch songs ("Don't Cry Baby" from 1961), gospel ("Something's Got a Hold on Me" from 1962), and heart-wrenching soul ("Tell Mama" and "I'd Rather Go Blind," both from 1967) to the unclassifiable (Randy Newman's gothic and lusty "Let's Burn Down the Cornfield" from 1974). Most of James' key and signature tracks are included, and this set compares favorably with 1993's The Essential Etta James from MCA/Chess in that regard. Several of James' original albums are classics, but listeners should particularly check out 1961's At Last! from Chess Records (it was actually first released on the Argo subsidiary) and 2004's blues masterpiece Blues to the Bone from RCA.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/30/2007
  • Label: Hip-O Records
  • UPC: 602517166783
  • Catalog Number: 000812702
  • Sales rank: 59,931

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Etta James Primary Artist, Vocals
Matt "Guitar" Murphy Guitar
Johnny Otis Drums
Ashley Cleveland Background Vocals
Steve Cropper Guitar
Sugar Pie DeSanto Vocals
Dobie Gray Background Vocals
Larry Carlton Rhythm Guitar
Red Holloway Saxophone
Cedar Walton Piano
John Young Piano
King Errisson Conga
Chuck Rainey Bass
Richard Berry Vocals
Carol Chase Background Vocals
Lowell George Guitar
David T. Walker Guitar
George Davis Piano
Josh Sklair Guitar
Joyce Austin Background Vocals
Carl Banks Organ
Barry Beckett Organ, Keyboards
Leard Bell Drums
Reggie Boyd Bass
Gary Burnette Rhythm Guitar
Thomas Cain Background Vocals
Charles Chalmers Saxophone
Gene Cipriano Horn
Merry Clayton Background Vocals
Gary Coleman Percussion
Henry Jackson Company Background Vocals
Cornell Dupree Guitar
Charles Dinwiddie Horn
Tony Dumas Bass
Al Duncan Drums
Gordon Edwards Bass
Rueben Franklin Background Vocals
Harvey Fuqua Vocals
Steve Gadd Drums
Kenny Greenberg Guitar
Alexander Hamilton Leader
Riley Hampton Conductor
Roger Hawkins Drums
Mabon "Teenie" Hodges Rhythm Guitar
David Hood Bass, Electric Bass
Jim Horn Horn, Saxophone
Gilbert Ivey Background Vocals
Danny Kortchmar Guitar
Mike Lawler Synthesizer
Trevor Lawrence Horn
Steve Madaio Horn
Ken Marco Guitar
Carl Marsh fairlight
Arik Marshall Guitar
Lew McCreary Horn
Gabriel Mekler Keyboards
Gene Miller Trumpet
James Mitchell Saxophone
Larry Mizell ARP
Jonell Mosser Background Vocals
Bobby Murray Electric Piano
Larry Nash Keyboards
Floyd Newman Saxophone
Jeff Porcaro Drums
Ralph Penland Drums
Brian Ray Guitar, Slide Guitar
Danny Rhodes Rhythm Guitar
Michael Rhodes Bass
Tom Roady Percussion
Louis Spears Bass
Richard Tee Organ, Piano, Keyboards
Aaron Varnell Saxophone
Wah-Wah Watson Guitar
Willie Weeks Bass
Devonia Williams Piano
Bob Wray Bass
Big Jim Wynn Baritone Saxophone
Reggie Young Guitar
William D. "Smitty" Smith Keyboards
Donto Metto James Percussion, Drums
The Dreamers Background Vocals
Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis Saxophone
Roger Dawkins Drums
Dewey Oldham Organ, Piano
Bobby Keyes Horn
Don Johnson Trumpet
Marion Wright Bass
Keith Johnson Electric Piano
Sametto James Bass
Gavrell Cooper Tenor Saxophone
Vonzell Cooper Organ
Matt Murphy Guitar
Jean Mitchell Background Vocals
Albert Jr. Lowe Guitar
Mr. William Henry Smith's Jubilee Singers Background Vocals
Maxwell Davis Orchestra Track Performer
Maritto Corea Percussion
Charlie Findley Horn
Kinfolks Track Performer
David Duke Horn
Jim Pugh Keyboards
Technical Credits
Paul Gayten Composer
Etta James Composer, Producer
Johnny Otis Composer
George Gershwin Composer
Louis Prima Composer
Hank Ballard Composer
Jesse Belvin Contributor
Sugar Pie DeSanto Duet
Don Henley Composer
Randy Meisner Composer
Randy Newman Composer
Otis Redding Composer
Cedar Walton Arranger
Pee Wee Ellis Arranger
Burt Bacharach Composer
Richard Berry Composer
Tom Jans Composer
Josh Sklair Producer, rhythm arrangement, Music Direction
Dan Penn Composer
Ralph Bass Producer
Barry Beckett Producer
Steve Bogard Composer
Marcus Daniel Composer
Quitman Dennis Contributor
Gwen Edwards Contributor
Bill Foster Composer
Glenn Frey Composer
Harvey Fuqua Composer, Duet
Ira Gershwin Composer
Mack Gordon Composer
Berry Gordy Jr. Composer
Jack Hale Contributor
Rick Hall Producer
Alexander Hamilton Vocal Arrangements
Riley Hampton Orchestral Arrangements
Jimmie Haskell Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Michael Haynes Contributor
Bob Hilliard Composer
Jim Horn Horn Arrangements
Elmore James Composer
Trevor Lawrence Composer
Leroy Kirkland Composer
Clarence Lewis Composer
Gabriel Mekler Composer, Producer
Morgan Robinson Composer
John Snyder Producer
Glenn Sutton Composer
Harry Warren Composer
Jerry Wexler Producer
Carson Whitsett Composer
Carlena Williams Contributor
Catherine C. Williamson Composer
Barbara Wyrick Composer
Eddie Bocage Composer
Donto Metto James Producer
Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis Producer
Floyd Hunt Composer
Raynard Miner Composer
Kevin Bowe Composer
Bud Scoppa Liner Notes
Billy Davis Producer
Joe Josea Composer
Harry Link Composer
Jack Strachey Composer
Holt Marvell Composer
Eric Maschwitz Composer
Anita Leonard Composer
Bucky Lindsey Composer
Stan Rhodes Composer
Pearl Woods Composer
Milton Agar Composer
Barbara Bell Composer
Saul Bernie Composer
Leon David Bonds Composer
Stella Unger Composer
Ned Wever Composer
Sametto James Producer
Jean Schwartz Composer
Ryan Null Photo Coordination
Ellington Jordan Composer
Gwen Gordy Composer
Jimmy Johnson Composer
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