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Sunday, 28 October 2018

Etta James - Chess Masters

Side 1:
01. I'd Rather Go Blind
02. All I Could Do Was Cry
03. Stop The Wedding
04. Security
05. Tell Mama
06. Something's Got A Hold On Me
07. At Last

Side 2:
01. Only Time Will Tell
02. My Dearest Darling
03. Don't Pick Me For Your Fool
04. I Worry About You
05. The Same Rope
06. Steal Away
07. I Prefer You

In early 1960 Etta James signed for Chess Records of Chicago, a move facilitated by her then boyfriend Harvey Fuqua of The Moonglows. This period of Etta's career saw a move away from the rockin' R&B she had recorded for the Bihari brothers' labels in Los Angeles to a more soulful (and pop) sound with a series of ballads and weepers backed by the lush arangements of  Hampton Hawes. The change in her musical fortunes was instant. Having achieved only 2 R&B chart entries with her rocking West Coast sound ("The Wallflower" and "Good Rockin' Daddy"), Etta began a remarkable sequence not only of R&B hits, but also of pop chart entries.

Etta's chart success ran out of steam around 1963 while at the same time heroin addiction dominated her personal life. However in 1967-68 she was back in the R&B and pop charts thanks to a series of sides recorded over 4 sessions at the Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. "Tell Mama," "I'd Rather Go Blind," "Security" and "Steal Away" were all brilliant examples of "southern soul" and make this 14 track compilation an excellent overall listening experience.

The Tracks - Original Issues and Chart Info

All I Could Do Was Cry / Girl Of My Dreams - Argo 5359 in March 1960. #2 R&B; #33 Pop.

My Dearest Darling / Tough Mary - Argo 5368 in August 1960. #5 R&B; #34 Pop.

At Last / I Just Want To Make Love To You - Argo 5380 in December 1960. #2 R&B; #47 Pop.

Something's Got A Hold On Me / Waiting For Charlie To Come Home - Argo 5409 in January 1962. #4 R&B, #37 Pop.

Stop The Wedding / Street Of Tears - Argo 5418 in July 1962. #6 R&B; #34 Pop.

Two Sides (To Every Story) / I Worry 'Bout You - Argo 5452 in September 1963.

Only Time Will Tell / I'm Sorry For You - Cadet 5539 in January 1966.

I Prefer You / I'm So Glad - Cadet 5562 in December 1966. #42 R&B.

It Must Be Your Love / Don't Pick Me For Your Fool - Cadet 5564 in May 1967.

Tell Mama / I'd Rather Go Blind - Cadet 5578 in October 1967. #10 R&B; #23 Pop.

Security / I'm Gonna Take What He's Got - Cadet 5594 in February 1968. #11 R&B; #35 Pop.

The Same Rope and Steal Away first released on Cadet LP 802 - "Tell Mama" in February 1968.

Almost Persuaded / Steal Away - Cadet 5630 in December 1968. #32 R&B; #79 Pop.

We're not quite done with Etta - one more post is in the pipeline!


enoch said...

Thanks, Woody, for the Etta James sides. Great stuff


Bob Mac said...

Thanks from me too.

boogiewoody said...

Cheers folks. This is yet another LP I hadn't listened to for decades. It turns out to be a cracker!


heylee said...

Thank you for sharing, Etta James...appreciated.

boogiewoody said...

Thanks for commenting folks!


Paolo Meccano said...

Thanks for sharing.