by Etta James


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Because of her blues-based comeback in the '90s, Etta James is usually thought of by the general public -- if she's thought of at all -- as a blues singer, but there's a good deal more to the picture than that, and this well-chosen and stunningly varied two-disc, 36-track anthology provides strong evidence that Etta James has long been one of the best singers of her generation -- in any style. In many ways James resembles a female Ray Charles in her unerring ability to tackle (and sometimes combine) all of the strands of American popular music, from rock & roll to R&B, blues, country, gospel, jazz, and pure pop and soul, while still maintaining a distinct feel and sound that is all her own, and she has done this throughout a five decade career that is astounding for its consistency. This well-chosen compilation covers the whole span of that career, beginning with 1955's "Dance with Me Henry" (an answer song to Hank Ballard's "Roll with Me Annie") and ending with her amazing re-imagining of Elmore James' "The Sky Is Crying" from 2004. In between this set shows off the range of this impressive artist, who tackles everything from orchestral pop (her signature "At Last" from 1960), torch songs ("Don't Cry Baby" from 1961), gospel ("Something's Got a Hold on Me" from 1962), and heart-wrenching soul ("Tell Mama" and "I'd Rather Go Blind," both from 1967) to the unclassifiable (Randy Newman's gothic and lusty "Let's Burn Down the Cornfield" from 1974). Most of James' key and signature tracks are included, and this set compares favorably with 1993's The Essential Etta James from MCA/Chess in that regard. Several of James' original albums are classics, but listeners should particularly check out 1961's At Last! from Chess Records (it was actually first released on the Argo subsidiary) and 2004's blues masterpiece Blues to the Bone from RCA.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/30/2007
Label: Hip-O Records
UPC: 0602517166783
catalogNumber: 000812702
Rank: 9395

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Etta James   Primary Artist,Vocals
Matt "Guitar" Murphy   Guitar
Johnny Otis   Drums
Ashley Cleveland   Background Vocals
Steve Cropper   Guitar
Sugar Pie DeSanto   Vocals
Dobie Gray   Background Vocals
Larry Carlton   Rhythm Guitar
Red Holloway   Saxophone
Cedar Walton   Piano
John Young   Piano
King Errisson   Conga
Chuck Rainey   Bass
Richard Berry   Vocals
Carol Chase   Background Vocals
Lowell George   Guitar
David T. Walker   Guitar
George Davis   Piano
Josh Sklair   Guitar
Joyce Austin   Background Vocals
Carl Banks   Organ
Barry Beckett   Organ,Keyboards
Leard Bell   Drums
Reggie Boyd   Bass
Gary Burnette   Rhythm Guitar
Thomas Cain   Background Vocals
Charles Chalmers   Saxophone
Gene Cipriano   Horn
Merry Clayton   Background Vocals
Gary Coleman   Percussion
Henry Jackson Company   Background Vocals
Cornell Dupree   Guitar
Charles Dinwiddie   Horn
Tony Dumas   Bass
Duncan   Drums
Gordon Edwards   Bass
Chuck Findley   Horn
Rueben Franklin   Background Vocals
Harvey Fuqua   Vocals
Steve Gadd   Drums
Kenny Greenberg   Guitar
Alexander Hamilton   Leader
Riley Hampton   Conductor
Roger Hawkins   Drums
Mabon "Teenie" Hodges   Rhythm Guitar
David Hood   Bass,Electric Bass
Jim Horn   Horn,Saxophone
Gilbert Ivey   Background Vocals
Danny Kortchmar   Guitar
Mike Lawler   Synthesizer
Trevor Lawrence   Horn
Albert Lowe   Guitar
Steve Madaio   Horn
Ken Marco   Guitar
Carl Marsh   fairlight
Arik Marshall   Guitar
Lew McCreary   Horn
Gabriel Mekler   Keyboards
Gene Miller   Trumpet
James Mitchell   Saxophone
Larry Mizell   ARP
Jonell Mosser   Background Vocals
Bobby Murray   Electric Piano
Larry Nash   Keyboards
Floyd Newman   Saxophone
Jeff Porcaro   Drums
Ralph Penland   Drums
Brian Ray   Guitar,Slide Guitar
Danny Rhodes   Rhythm Guitar
Michael Rhodes   Bass
Tom Roady   Percussion
Louis Spears   Bass
Richard Tee   Organ,Piano,Keyboards
Aaron Varnell   Saxophone
Wah Wah Watson   Guitar
Willie Weeks   Bass
Devonia Williams   Piano
Bob Wray   Bass
Big Jim Wynn   Baritone Saxophone
Reggie Young   Guitar
William D. "Smitty" Smith   Keyboards
Donto Metto James   Percussion,Drums
Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis   Saxophone
Roger Dawkins   Drums
Dewey Oldham   Organ,Piano
Bobby Keyes   Horn
Don Johnson   Trumpet
Marion Wright   Bass
Keith Johnson   Electric Piano
Sametto James   Bass
Gavrell Cooper   Tenor Saxophone
Vonzell Cooper   Organ
Dreamers   Background Vocals
Jean Mitchell   Background Vocals
William Henry Smith's Jubilee Singers   Background Vocals
Maxwell Davis Orchestra   Track Performer
Maritto Corea   Percussion
Kinfolks   Track Performer
David Duke   Horn
Jim Pugh   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Paul Gayten   Composer
Etta James   Composer,Producer
Johnny Otis   Composer
George Gershwin   Composer
Louis Prima   Composer
Hank Ballard   Composer
Jesse Belvin   Contributor
Sugar Pie DeSanto   Duet
Don Henley   Composer
Randy Meisner   Composer
Randy Newman   Composer
Otis Redding   Composer
Cedar Walton   Arranger
Pee Wee Ellis   Arranger
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Richard Berry   Composer
Tom Jans   Composer
Josh Sklair   Producer,rhythm arrangement,Music Direction
Dan Penn   Composer
Ralph Bass   Producer
Barry Beckett   Producer
Steve Bogard   Composer
Marcus Daniel   Composer
Quitman Dennis   Contributor
Gwen Edwards   Contributor
Bill Foster   Composer
Glenn Frey   Composer
Harvey Fuqua   Composer,Duet
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Mack Gordon   Composer
Berry Gordy   Composer
Jack Hale   Contributor
Rick Hall   Producer
Alexander Hamilton   Vocal Arrangements
Riley Hampton   Orchestral Arrangements
Jimmie Haskell   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Michael Haynes   Contributor
Bob Hilliard   Composer
Jim Horn   Horn Arrangements
Elmore James   Composer
Trevor Lawrence   Composer
Leroy Kirkland   Composer
Clarence Lewis   Composer
Gabriel Mekler   Composer,Producer
Morgan Robinson   Composer
John Snyder   Producer
Glenn Sutton   Composer
Harry Warren   Composer
Jerry Wexler   Producer
Carson Whitsett   Composer
Carlena Williams   Contributor
Catherine C. Williamson   Composer
Barbara Wyrick   Composer
Eddie Bocage   Composer
Donto Metto James   Producer
Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis   Producer
Floyd Hunt   Composer
Raynard Miner   Composer
Kevin Bowe   Composer
Bud Scoppa   Liner Notes
Billy Davis   Producer
Joe Josea   Composer
Harry Link   Composer
Jack Strachey   Composer
Holt Marvell   Composer
Eric Maschwitz   Composer
Anita Leonard   Composer
Bucky Lindsey   Composer
Stan Rhodes   Composer
Pearl Woods   Composer
Milton Agar   Composer
Barbara Bell   Composer
Saul Bernie   Composer
Leon David Bonds   Composer
Stella Unger   Composer
Ned Wever   Composer
Sametto James   Producer
Jean Schwartz   Composer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Ellington Jordan   Composer
Gwen Gordy   Composer
Jimmy Johnson   Composer

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