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Complete Hit Singles A's & B's (2 CD-Set)

Little Willie John Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Complete Hit Singles A's & B's (2 CD-Set) + Nineteen Sixty Six: The David Axelrod & HB Barnum Sessions + Fever: Little Willie John's Fast Life, Mysterious Death and the Birth of Soul: The Authorized Biography
Price for all three: $53.84

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 17, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Real Gone Music
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,315 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. All Around the World
2. Don't Leave Me Dear
3. Need Your Love So Bad
4. Home at Last
5. Fever
6. Letter from My Darling
7. Do Something for Me
8. My Nerves
9. Talk to Me, Talk to Me
10. Spasms
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Let Them Talk
2. Right There
3. Cottage for Sale
4. I'm Shakin'
5. Heartbreak (It's Hurtin' Me)
6. Do You Love Me
7. Sleep
8. There's a Difference
9. Walk Slow
10. You Hurt Me
See all 16 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Diminutive in size but gigantic in stature, Little Willie John was a genuine architect of soul. Along with Clyde McPhatter, Ray Charles, and Sam Cooke, the visionary singer stood at the forefront of fusing gospel intensity to rhythm and blues tradition. And had he not died inside a Walla Walla prison at the age of 30, his name would likely be etched in the same soul Pantheon as his peers.

Despite his abbreviated career, Willie cut a string of seminal sides for Cincinnati-based King Records from 1955 to 1961 that rank among the finest R&B waxed by any singer for any label of the period. It didn't matter whether the song was an after-hours blues ballad or an uptempo footstomper: Willie's agile, melismatic voice made the number soar. As Motown legend Lamont Dozier says in Bill Dahl's notes to this collection, "Willie John was just an extraordinary talent. He knew how to touch you with a song, and he knew how to raise the hairs on the back of your neck."

Now, from Real Gone Music comes the most comprehensive collection of this overlooked soul superstar ever assembled: two CDs, 32 tracks that include every chart hit plus its accompanying, seldom-compiled B-side. And the B-sides are where some of the real fun is, for Willie saved some of his most rockin recordings for the flip; joining such landmark R&B recordings as "Fever," "All Around the World," "Need Your Love So Bad" and "Home at Last" on this collection are such crackling tunes as "Spasms," "Let's Rock While the Rockin's Good" and "Do You Love Me" (recorded with Little Richard's Band The Upsetters).

With notes by R&B expert Bill Dahl and photos from the King label archive, Little Willie John: Complete Hit Singles A s & B s offers the casual listener all the hits and the collector the requisite rarities. It s an essential addition to any soul library.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The birth of soul May 22, 2012
I placed this CD in my car player and my wife commented--When was this recorded? 1965?--and I said no about 1954 and that about sums it up. The Detroit dweller, the amazing Little Willie John anticipated the high falsetto voice typical of the best soul music by at least ten years, an amazing and very likely unconscious fusion of pop, blues and gospel that sounds fresh and prophetic today. While this IS NOT the only Little Willie John CD worth having (the "comeback" album which is available on CD is quite good), this is his best work.
I owned the Collectable CD which covers roughly the same territory; I didn't like the mastering of that CD. This CD has much better balance between bass and treble (the Collectable CD was almost annoying in its emphasis on treble) and so much more listenable. Most of the songs are not great--except Fever, which is one of the great classics of rock and roll--but the renditions are.
I highly recommend this CD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sing it Willie! June 18, 2013
Verified Purchase
The feeling he put into a song is palatable, whether begging, pleading, or declaring love, hurt or life. His "My Love Is", "I'm shakin'" and "I Need Your Love So Bad" has it all. Just wish I could find "Person to Person" and "Inside Information" then I'll be satisfied, for a moment.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great soul music! January 30, 2013
Verified Purchase
This probably one of the best if not the best soul singers that has ever lived.He's voice is just cuts through you. This comp is one of my favorites I've purchased in awhile. If you don't know much about little Willie, take a chance and buy this cd. You won't regret it.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fatal mistake November 4, 2012
By The OC
Verified Purchase
I heard an old LWJ song on the radio recently for the first time in a long time. I knew he had been jailed for killing a man and then died while in prison. Forgot the details and checked Wikipedia. (Cause of death still remains a mystery to me - pneumonia? heart attack?) Then checked to see if any of his recordings were still available. I found this album on Amazon and I'm glad I bought it. I'm old so I remembered Fever, Sleep and Talk to Me. They still sound good and I like several other songs on the album which show his talent in different ways. Was surprised to see some old standards like The Very Thought of You. Many lyrics are not great but in the fifties it was the sound not the lyrics that counted. According to the interesting liner notes LWJ's behavior was deteriorating before the fatal fight. Too bad he did not live longer and record more.
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