Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
As the title suggests, this is the definitive edition of Etta James' Tell Mama long-player. For this single-disc release the original album is augmented with five previously unissued tracks -- documented during James' four Muscle Shoals sessions circa '67-'68. The question of why a rural Alabama town became a conduit for some of the most memorable and instantly identifiable grooves may still be up for debate. The evidence exists in droves and Tell Mama could certainly be considered exhibit A. These sessions feature the same impact that would redirect several first ladies of soul. Notable among them are Dusty Springfield's Dusty in Memphis, Aretha Franklin's I Never Loved...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
As the title suggests, this is the definitive edition of Etta James' Tell Mama long-player. For this single-disc release the original album is augmented with five previously unissued tracks -- documented during James' four Muscle Shoals sessions circa '67-'68. The question of why a rural Alabama town became a conduit for some of the most memorable and instantly identifiable grooves may still be up for debate. The evidence exists in droves and Tell Mama could certainly be considered exhibit A. These sessions feature the same impact that would redirect several first ladies of soul. Notable among them are Dusty Springfield's Dusty in Memphis, Aretha Franklin's I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You and to somewhat lesser acclaim, Jackie DeShannon's Jackie. Tell Mama showcases some of the unique and admittedly darker qualities of what might best be described as R&B noir. "I'd Rather Go Blind," "Steal Away," "I'm Gonna Take What He's Got" all exemplify the essence of the blues -- making the best of a bad situation. The flipside of the sombre subject matter is the satisfying conviction in the music -- which is where the remastering becomes particularly noticeable. No longer does the brass section sound alternately muffled or harsh as it has on previous releases. Likewise, the churning Hammond B-3 organ swells with rich textures. Perhaps the most sonically evident improvements are the subtle ones, such as the supple fretwork on "Sweet Dreams," "I'd Rather Go Blind," and the jazzy percussive shuffle of "The Same Rope."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/24/2001
  • Label: Mca
  • UPC: 008811251826
  • Catalog Number: 112518
  • Sales rank: 23,340

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Etta James Primary Artist, Vocals
Carl Banks Organ
Barry Beckett Organ
Charles Chalmers Saxophone
David Hood Bass, Electric Bass
Gene Miller Trumpet
Floyd Newman Saxophone
Spooner Oldham Organ, Piano
Marvell Thomas Piano
Aaron Varnell Saxophone
Roger Dawkins Drums
Technical Credits
Clarence Carter Composer
Rosco Gordon Composer
Erroll Garner Composer
Dan Penn Composer
Johnny Burke Composer
Marcus Daniel Composer
Bill Foster Composer
Rick Hall Arranger, Engineer
Andy McKaie Reissue Producer
Spooner Oldham Composer
Wilbur Terrell Composer
Ellington Jordan Composer
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