Ace last released a vinyl LP on Etta James, the CD medium was still in
its infancy, Etta’s career was on hiatus and she hadn’t put out a new
album in years. Flash forward 30 years and Etta is now regarded as one
of music’s most cherished icons. She staged a comeback with excellent
new albums and the popularity of her classic recordings for the Modern
and Chess labels increased as some began to appear in TV ad campaigns.
When she died last year, Etta was more popular than she had ever been.
Etta spent most of her career with Chess; we have several exceptional
CDs of her recordings for that company in the Kent catalogue. Prior to
Chess, she spent four years with Modern, where she cut almost three
dozen superb R&B sides; we also have all of those out on a great 2
CD set, but we felt that Etta was deserving of a good old-fashioned
vinyl album as part of our new HIQLP series.
“Good Rockin’ Mama” compiles all of Etta’s best up-tempo Modern
tracks into a set that will prod any dancin’ party into life, from her
first single ‘The Wallflower’ (aka ‘Roll With Me Henry’) through to her
final recording for the company, ‘“Baby, Baby” Every Night’. All 14
tracks are classic examples of the young Etta.
For anyone who needs further enlightenment, Etta sounds like the
female Little Richard on ‘Tough Lover’ and ‘Dance With Me Henry’ (a
‘Wallflower’ remake) – both recorded in New Orleans with many of the
musicians who frequently backed Richard. There’s her original take on
‘W-O-M-A-N’, which she returned to on a couple of occasions later in her
career, and for lovers of TV ads everywhere, ‘Hickory Dickory Dock’ and
‘Good Rockin’ Daddy’.
It’s a safe bet that anyone who plays this hot biscuit will just flip
it over and play it again from start to finish when it’s through. Not
just good rockin’, but grea
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