Heavy Picks: The Robert Cray Collection

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Roberta Penn
The soulful singer and rockin' blues guitarist and singer Robert Cray cruises into the new century with two decades of recording to his credit, and in celebration of that milestone a compilation of cuts spanning his career has been released. HEAVY PICKS reaches back to his 1980 debut release, WHO'S BEEN TALKIN', for Cray's cover of Willie Dixon's "Too Many Cooks" and boogies up to Otis Redding's "Trick or Treat," from his last album for Mercury, 1997's SWEET POTATO PIE. In between are "Smokin' Gun," "Forecast (Calls for Pain)," and "Right Next Door (Because of Me") -- tunes that put Cray on rock radio and brought the blues back into the '80s mainstream. The set also ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Roberta Penn
The soulful singer and rockin' blues guitarist and singer Robert Cray cruises into the new century with two decades of recording to his credit, and in celebration of that milestone a compilation of cuts spanning his career has been released. HEAVY PICKS reaches back to his 1980 debut release, WHO'S BEEN TALKIN', for Cray's cover of Willie Dixon's "Too Many Cooks" and boogies up to Otis Redding's "Trick or Treat," from his last album for Mercury, 1997's SWEET POTATO PIE. In between are "Smokin' Gun," "Forecast (Calls for Pain)," and "Right Next Door (Because of Me") -- tunes that put Cray on rock radio and brought the blues back into the '80s mainstream. The set also includes one of Cray's most inspired vocal performances, "The Dream" from SHOWDOWN, the blues guitar triumvirate release he made with Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland. HEAVY PICKS showcases an artist who defied the odds (few other African-American musicians - especially ones with a strong affinity for blues and R&B -- made it onto rock radio in the '80s) and proved his staying power without compromising his singular style.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Robert Cray left his longtime home Mercury Records following the release of 1997's Sweet Potato Pie, moving to Rykodisc in 1999. Not long after his Ryko debut Take Your Shoes Off -- just a little over six months, actually -- Mercury released Heavy Picks: The Robert Cray Collection. It wasn't really an attempt to steal the thunder from Take Your Shoes Off, since that album had eased into the catalog by that point; it was merely a welcome compilation of Cray's first 17 years of recording. Almost all of his albums, from 1980's Who's Been Talkin' to Sweet Potato Pie, are represented 1995's Some Rainy Morning is conspicuously missing, perhaps because of its slick soul direction, and the selections are by and large on the money -- the crossover hits "Smoking Gun," "Right Next Door Because of Me," and "I Guess I Showed Her" are here, but so are some straight-ahead blues cuts, too, including the Albert Collins duet "The Dream." The only real fault with Heavy Picks is that the collection feels haphazardly assembled, bouncing from era to era. Ultimately, however, that doesn't matter, since this captures the highlights from his Tomato and Mercury recordings quite well.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/16/1999
  • Label: Mercury
  • UPC: 731454655729
  • Catalog Number: 546557
  • Sales rank: 12,556

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Phone Booth - Robert Cray Band (3:28)
  2. 2 Forecast (Calls for Pain) - Robert Cray Band (4:00)
  3. 3 Smoking Gun - Robert Cray Band (4:05)
  4. 4 Playin' in the Dirt - Robert Cray Band (3:42)
  5. 5 Don't Be Afraid of the Dark - Robert Cray Band (3:46)
  6. 6 Too Many Cooks - Robert Cray Band (2:48)
  7. 7 The Dream - Robert Cray Band (5:32)
  8. 8 Right Next Door (Because of Me) - Robert Cray Band (4:16)
  9. 9 Consequences - Robert Cray Band (4:24)
  10. 10 Bad Influence - Robert Cray Band (2:51)
  11. 11 I Guess I Showed Her - Robert Cray Band (3:37)
  12. 12 I Shiver - Robert Cray Band (5:07)
  13. 13 Trick or Treat - Robert Cray Band (3:09)
  14. 14 I Was Warned - Robert Cray Band (7:15)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Robert Cray Primary Artist, Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Allen Batts Organ
Peter Boe Keyboards
Richard Cousins Bass
Johnny B. Gayden Bass
Wayne Jackson Trombone, Trumpet
Tim Kaihatsu Guitar
David Li Tenor Saxophone
Andrew Love Tenor Saxophone
Tom Murphy Drums
Night Train Clemons Rhythm Section
Mark Pender Trumpet
Warren Rand Saxophone
Curtis Salgado Harmonica
Antoine Salley Rhythm Section
Karl Sevareid Bass
Lee Spath Percussion
Mike Vannice Keyboards
Ed Manion Tenor Saxophone
Jim Pugh Keyboards
Technical Credits
Robert Cray Producer
Bruce Bromberg Producer
Bill Dashiell Engineer
Bruce Iglauer Producer
Andy McKaie Executive Producer
Justin Niebank Engineer
Dick Shurman Producer
Larry Sloven Executive Producer
Dennis Walker Producer
Vartan Art Direction
Suha Gur Mastering
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