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Her Best - The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection

Etta JamesAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)

Price: $11.01 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 20 Songs, 1997 $7.99  
Audio CD, 1997 $11.01  

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. At Last (Single Version) 3:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. All I Could Do Was Cry (1960 Single Version) 2:54$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. If I Can't Have You (Single Version) [feat. Harvey Fuqua] 2:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. A Sunday Kind Of Love (Single Version) 3:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. My Dearest Darling (Single Version) 2:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Something's Got A Hold On Me (Single Version) 2:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Trust In Me (Single Version) 2:57$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Next Door To The Blues (Single Version) 2:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Don't Cry Baby (Single Version) 2:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Fool That I Am (Single Version) 2:56$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Two Sides (To Every Story) (Single Version) 3:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Pushover (Single Version) 2:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Stop The Wedding (Single Version) 2:51$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen14. In The Basement, Part One (Single Version) 2:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. Baby, What You Want Me To Do (Live) 4:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. I'd Rather Go Blind (Single Version) 2:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. Security (Single Version) 2:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen18. Losers Weepers, Part One (Single Version) 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. All The Way Down (Single Version) 5:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Tell Mama (Single Version) 2:21$1.29  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Etta James Store


Image of album by Etta James


Image of Etta James


Live At Montreux 1993 Clip


The great Etta James has been a musical force and a major hit-maker since the '50s earning numerous accolades including six Grammy Awards®, among them the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, a Best Jazz Vocal Performance and two Hall of Fame Awards. In 1993, James was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2001 she was inducted by both the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame ... Read more in Amazon's Etta James Store

Visit Amazon's Etta James Store
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Her Best - The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection + 20th Century Masters: The Best Of Etta James (Millennium Collection) + Love Songs
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 25, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: March 25, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000005KQE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,721 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Whether she sings string-laden pop ballads, lively soul, or gritty electric blues, James's high-powered, enormously expressive voice displays a knack for passionate blues inflections. Emotionally charged ballads including "At Last" and "All I Could Do is Cry" find James blasting through the orchestra with unearthly wails and moans. "If I Can't Have You," a duet with Harvey Fuqua, drops the orchestra in favor of horn-driven R&B and "Something's Got a Hold On Me" is a gospel-flavored romp reminiscent of Ray Charles. A live version of Jimmy Reed's "Baby, What You Want Me to Do" shows her raunchiest Chicago-blues style, and "In the Basement," with Sugar Pie DeSanto, is a funky workout. Also here are three classics from her soul-drenched 1967 Muscle Shoals sessions. --Marc Greilsamer

Product Description

Her Best - The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection by Etta James

This product is manufactured on demand using CD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
I discovered Etta James when I was a teenaged black girl growing up in Berkeley, California. I was too young for Muddy Waters, and Billie Holiday. Before I was born,my parents fled segregated New Orleans for the wartime jobs of Oakland and San Francisco naval bases. I heard blues in the background of my life. From my aunt's honky-tonk piano playing to the sexual innuendo of Big Mama Thorton. I took it all in. This album captures every single bit of the innuendo of my life, either real or imagined.
I love the songs everyone loves, At Last, A Sunday Kind of Love, Fool That am I, Trust in Me, All I Could Do is Cry. These songs speak truth to a woman's powerlessness. What I noticed after playing this album over, and over, and over is that she sounds like a horn, a sassy, jazzy blues horn. When she goes wanh, wanh, wanh, in Jimmy Reed's, Baby, What you Want Me to Do, she is the perfect vocal instrument. Anyone who wants to meet Etta, must have this cd. I have the two cd box set and other "essential" cds, but this is simply THE BEST!
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50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Single Disc Compilation Of Etta's Music September 9, 2004
Format:Audio CD
For someone on a budget who is interested in the music of this legendary artist, look no further than this single disc album. The sound and track selection here are excellent. Anyone interested in the blues needs to have at least one Etta James album in their collection and you can't go wrong here. For those of you have a few extra dollars around, I strongly suggest 2 disc set "The Essential Etta James" on the MCA/Chess label. "The Essential" boasts 44 tracks an is more comprehensive than this release, but also twice the price.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Etta James Singin' Away June 9, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Though I'm an admitted jazz-and-blues fan, it doesn't take a hard-core fan to appreciate the beauty and richnesss of Etta James. "At Last" remains her most well-known song for good reason: it's an eloquent, evocative, soulful masterpiece. Her voice is absolutely entrancing here and on the admittedly saccharine "A Sunday Kind of Love". Etta's voice ranges from bluesy sass in "Next Door to the Blues" to gospel power in "Something's Got a Hold on Me" to the smooth and smoldering notes of "Don't Cry Baby".
But while her voice is easy to like, this is a blues album. It's great for those who like the blues but aren't hard-core fans of the genre. The album is easy to listen to and has several recognizable songs. But fans of James won't be disappointed either. With 20 songs of pure Etta, even they should get their fill. For those who aren't well-acquainted with her, Etta's voice is a rough mixture of Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin. And when she's wailing the blues, you can feel her raw strength and conviction. This album really is Etta at her best.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am proud to have this album! February 20, 2001
Format:Audio CD
One day I decided to visit the mega HMV store in downtown Toronto in search of Blues and Jazz CDs, which is a genre I have been increasingly becoming a fan of. I knew the song "At Last" (like many people) as it is indeed a Classic and has been featured in many movies. I liked it enough to look for Etta James in the Blues section and I am so glad the first Jamesetta CD I bought was this one!
You know there are some CDs that grow on you and there are some you love from the get go. This Greatest Hits package duly falls in the latter category. What a wonderful collection of soulful, somber, pop-rock, r&b, jazzy and uptempo songs! It would be difficult for me to rank them as I love almost each and everyone of the tracks. I bought this album last summer and it still sounds so invigorating and fulfilling even after playing it for God knows how many times!
For someone who was not born until the mid seventies and who did not become very familiar with western music until the early nineties (except eighties music that I grew up listening to in guess where?... Bangladesh!), this CD made me take a renewed interest in music that was created back in the 60's whether it be the Beatles or Marvin Gaye. Too bad that artists like Ms. James never got ALL the accolades or commercial success they actually deserve.
Almost every time I listen to her music and THAT voice I can't help but cry. I have never been moved so much my someone's singing that comes from so deep within one's soul.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Etta at Her Best; Disappointing Fade-Out Cuts. October 16, 1999
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This re-master of some of Ms. James' best works is a memorable, must-have for any fan. Her soaring vocals and intricate, symphonic arrangements produce an angelic combination. WARNING: The decision to shorten many cuts on this CD by prematurely fading out of song selections, however, is a travesty akin to "editing" a great work of fiction -- and greatly diminishes the listener's enjoyment. For shame!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great selection (but oh those abrupt fade-outs) May 5, 2001
Format:Audio CD
There are numerous repackagings of Etta James' Chess recordings and they all have something to recommend them. As an intro to this great singer's work, however, this collection is hard to beat. All her classics, from the elegant "At Last" to the soulfully rocking "Tell Mama" are included here. No doubt some listeners will prefer one side of her musical personality to another, but her versatility is genuine, and it's impossible to imagine her limiting herself to just one genre. A live version of Jimmy Reed's "Baby, What You Want Me To Do" prefigures her more recent forays into rootsier blues. And "All the Way Down," produced by Gabriel Mekler, has all the funk of a Sly & the Family Stone track. Etta can and does do it all. The only problem with this collection--as one other reviewer has pointed out--is the fact that too many tracks come to an abrupt ending. (You can't even really call them fade-outs: they just stop.) Still it's wonderful to have so much great Etta on one disk, that's something of a quibble. Very good, informative liner notes by Peter Grendysa.
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