Queen of Soul

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
In part because it didn't have any of her biggest hits, the 1964 album Queen of Soul is a relatively overlooked one in Etta James' discography, even for an artist whose LPs weren't all that well known. The ten songs are dependable early soul music, though the material isn't quite on the level of her best mid-'60s work. "I Wish Someone Would Care" is about the best tune, but Etta was beaten to the punch on that score by Irma Thomas, who not only recorded the original and superior version, but also wrote the song. The one track to bear a James writing credit "Bobby Is His Name," co-penned with Ed Townsend is a pretty lightweight, almost teen pop-influenced number; ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
In part because it didn't have any of her biggest hits, the 1964 album Queen of Soul is a relatively overlooked one in Etta James' discography, even for an artist whose LPs weren't all that well known. The ten songs are dependable early soul music, though the material isn't quite on the level of her best mid-'60s work. "I Wish Someone Would Care" is about the best tune, but Etta was beaten to the punch on that score by Irma Thomas, who not only recorded the original and superior version, but also wrote the song. The one track to bear a James writing credit "Bobby Is His Name," co-penned with Ed Townsend is a pretty lightweight, almost teen pop-influenced number; "That Man Belongs Back Here with Me," co-composed by noted tunesmith Clint Ballard, is fair but not great pop-soul with a jazzy touch; "Flight 101" has a tinge of over-melodrama, though Etta's typically strong vocal saves it. "Loving You More Every Day" has a satisfying blues-gospel feel, but much of this has dated orchestration, even the closing "Mellow Fellow," which has one of her trademark throaty drawn-out testifying openings. Perhaps some of the album's overall unevenness can be attributed to it having been taken from sessions done over a period of two years, though such haphazard LP track selection was not rare in the early to mid-'60s. What really separates this CD reissue from the pack when it comes to collecting James, however, are the 13 bonus tracks, the majority of them taken from 1962-1965 singles, though there are also some cuts from the period that weren't released until 1997 or 2000. A couple of them are pretty familiar to James fans "Pushover" and "Stop the Wedding," both of which are among her best Chess sides, but most of these will be new to most listeners, even ones with a few James records in their collection. Again, the quality among these cuts is a little up and down, but overall it's better than what's heard on Queen of Soul, including not only some bluesy soul, but also the country-pop-influenced "Would It Make Any Difference to You" recorded in Nashville in 1962; the lush ballad "How Do You Speak to an Angel"; and the girl group-ish "Two Sides To Every Story."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/5/2012
  • Label: Kent Records Uk
  • UPC: 029667237727
  • Catalog Number: 6723772
  • Sales rank: 96,653

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Etta James Primary Artist, Vocals
Technical Credits
Etta James Composer, References
Gene Autry Composer
Ray Pennington Composer
Carl Smith Composer
Irma Thomas Composer
Norman Mapp Composer
Sonny Thompson Composer
Riley Hampton Arranger
Bob Hilliard Composer
Bert Keyes Arranger
Leroy Kirkland Composer
Jimmy Radcliffe Composer
Don Robey Composer
Fred Rose Composer
Jule Styne Composer
Ed Townsend Composer
David Ritz References
Maurice McAlister Composer
Phil Stern Composer
Cliff Parman Arranger
Phil Wright Arranger
Rudy Calvo Illustrations
Duncan Cowell Mastering
Terry Vail Composer
Billy Davis Composer, Producer
Mick Patrick Illustrations
Sam Coslow Composer
Clint Ballard Jr. Composer
Cathy Lynn Composer
Wilfred McKinley Composer
Angela Riela Composer
Pearl Woods Composer
Bob Forshee Composer
Fred Johnson Composer
Tony Clarke Composer
Jimmy Davis Composer
Will Grosz Composer
Garth Cartwright Liner Notes
Michel Ruppli References
Nadine Cohodas References
James Sherman Composer
Roger Ramirez Composer
Robert Higgenbotham Composer
Ronny Mitchell Composer
Al Pokonka Arranger
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