Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Tell Mama

Etta James - Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions
CHESS Records - 2001
Original Release CADET Records - 1968

Original Album:
01 - Tell Mama
02 - I'd Rather Go Blind
03 - Watch Dog
04 - The Love Of My Man
05 - I'm Gonna Take What He's Got
06 - The Same Rope
07 - Security
08 - Steal Away
09 - My Mother In Law
10 - Don't Lose Your Good Thing
11 - It Hurts So Much
12 - Just A Little Bit
Bonus Tracks:
13 - Do Right Woman, Do Right Man
14 - You Took It
15 - I Worship The Ground You Walk On
16 - I Got You Babe
17 - You Got It
18 - I've Gone Too Far
19 - Misty
20 - Almost Persuaded
21 - Fire
22 - Do Right Woman, Do Right Man (alternate)

Despite having a string of hits for Chess between 1960 and '63, by 1967 Etta James had not had a significant seller for four years. Leonard Chess always believed in his favourite female singer, so he sent Etta to Rick Hall's Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama to see if they could work the same magic for her that they had for Aretha Franklin. In August 1967 Leonard went with a pregnant Etta, her Boyfriend and two poodles to the first of four sessions at Fame. The results were some of the finest work she ever recorded. The first release from these sessions was the hard sockin' single 'Tell Mama' backed with the sublime 'I'd Rather Go Blind'. 'Tell Mama' a reworking of Clarence Carter's 'Tell Daddy' was a top ten R&B hit and 'I'd Rather Go Blind' became a blues/soul classic. The original Queen Of Soul was back. The album was released in January 1968, went to number 21 in the R&B chart and produced another single 'Security'. Her take on the Otis Redding classic got to 11 in the R&B charts. Subsequent singles from the sessions, 'You Got It' and 'Almost Persuaded' didn't do quite so well, in fact none of her future singles ever charted so high.

For me the songs Etta recorded at Fame Studios captured her at her best. From the upbeat, hard driving, gutsy dance tunes of 'Tell Mama', 'Watchdog' and 'Fire' to the heart wrenching soul of 'I'd Rather Go Blind', 'The Love Of My Man' and 'Steal Away' and all points in between she was rarely better.

Enjoy both sides of the single 'Tell Mama'/'I'd Rather Go Blind' and the downright funky 'Fire'.....

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments welcomed, what do you think?.........

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...