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Complete Hit Singles A's & B's

4.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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  • Complete Hit Singles A's & B's
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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.

Track Listings

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
  11. You're A Sweetheart
  12. Let's Rock While The Rockin's Good
  13. Tell It Like It Is
  14. Don't Be Ashamed To Call My Name
  15. Leave My Kitten Alone
  16. Let Nobody Love You

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
  11. The Very Thought Of You
  12. I'm Sorry
  13. (I've Got) Spring Fever
  14. Flamingo
  15. Now You Know
  16. Take My Love (I Want To Give It All To You)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 17, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: April 17, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Real Gone Music
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • ASIN: B007DIQAZQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,888 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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What a great collection. This set brings us all of LWJ's chart hits (R&B and Pop) plus the flip sides to those singles. I was only familiar with about six of the songs on this set but after listening to this set over and over, I have several more favorites. All tracks are mono, but several of the later songs have been stereo elsewhere. While this collection only contains the singles that charted, he had several others that didn't, and it might be nice to have those on a companion collection with the lp-only sides. Or perhaps there should be a complete works box set with as much in stereo as possible with alternate takes or unreleased sides, if any exist. As it stands, this lone collection will go down in history as the definitive LWJ collection. They set the bar high with this one. Kudos to Real Gone Music for this fantastic release. I can't stop playing it.
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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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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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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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By Frankie on December 23, 2014
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I love old music from this time frame it is very easy to listen to and the songs are as if they were released today. This cd is in my car
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An amazing R&B vocalist, this collection has no weak songs. If you are a fan of classic R&B you want this collection.
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