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Legends of Specialty

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 6, 1992
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Bony Moronie
  2. She Said Yeah
  3. Hocus Pocus
  4. Lawdy Miss Clawdy
  5. Just Because
  6. Dizzy, Miss Lizzy
  7. Rockin' Pneumonia
  8. High School Dance
  9. Heeby-Jeebies
  10. Iko Iko Aka Jockomo
  11. Short Fat Fannie
  12. Zing Zing
  13. Ting-A-Ling
  14. Make A Little Love
  15. Hootchy-Koo
  16. Slow Down
  17. You Bug Me, Baby
  18. Oh Baby
  19. Little School Girl
  20. Bad Boy
  21. Peaches & Cream (Bonus Track)
  22. Marie Marie (Bonus Track)
  23. The Dummy (Bonus Track)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 6, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Specialty
  • ASIN: B000000QLZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #354,375 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

5 star
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2 star
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
What a GREAT disc! And it's just ONE of the fine offerings in the Legends of Specialty series; maybe the best one at that. 23 smoking tracks from the Specialty vaults showing Larry Williams in excellent form throughout. All the hits and influential cuts ("Bony Maronie", "Dizzy Miss Lizzy", "Slow Down", "Short Fat Fannie", "Bad Boy"), not to mention great covers (Lloyd Prices "Just Because", Huey 'Piano' Smith's "Rockin' Pneumonia", Aaron Neville's "Zing Zing")and many many more. I can't even imagine how they cooled down the original vinyl 45's that paired "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and "Slow Down."

Great rock 'n' roll vocals and piano from Williams complemented by several different swingin' studio combos. Little Richard's band appears on one track, and tracks recorded in New Orleans feature the likes of Lee Allen on sax and Art Neville on piano. Rene Hall provides some stinging guitar here and there, and Ted Brinson (bass) and Earl Palmer (drums) form the rhythm section on most of the tracks. And if that's not enough to get you clicking "Buy," dig this: TWO tracks co-written by Sony Bono! That's right, you get both "High School Dance" AND "You Bug Me Baby" (a Williams/Bono co-credit!).

The sound quality is great, having been produced mostly (if not exclusively) from the original master tapes. The track selection is first-rate, with some great B-sides, previously unreleased tracks and alternate takes. The liner notes are quite good, giving an overall perspective of Williams' career, and particular notes about each song. The track-by-track listing gives master numbers and recording dates, and the personnel at each session are detailed.

Five stars. Must buy.
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Format: Audio CD
One of the poorest mastering jobs I have heard and surely one of the worst cover designs ever. Whoever did the mastering obviously had no idea how Larry's great Specialty records sounded. Unfortunately this CD was issued before Billy Vera became involved with the reissue program of Specialty material. The sound is strangely 'muddy' and way too compressed, which gives the tracks a tunnel echo effect which simply isn't on the original tapes. If you want to hear Larry Williams how he should be heard in crystal clear sound, invest your cash in the UK Ace CD "The Bad Boy Of Rock'n'Roll" (CDCHD 709) or better still, chase up the 47 track 2CD set on Ace - "Larry Williams At His Finest" (CDCHD2 1021). They are both streets ahead of this rubbish.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Larry Williams one of the "original bad boys" of r&r. His musical career spanned a very brief number of years, but during that time he recorded some of the best uptempo early r&b tunes that LEAPT across into the r&r charts. He recorded original songs on Specialty label, used Little Richard's band and his singing was quite similar to Richard's style. This album has MANY great tunes for those that enjoy that frantic 50's music style --- a true collectible album.
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Format: Audio CD
This one from the Specialty vaults came so very close to fulfilling a completist hit collector's dream. Yes, I knew I wouldn't be getting either of his two "comeback" hits - Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (a # 23 R&B/# 96 Billboard Pop Hot 100 in 1967 under the billing Larry Williams & Johnny Watson), and Nobody (a # 40 R&B in 1968 under the billing Larry Williams & Johnny Watson With The Kaleidoscope). Both of those were recorded for Okeh in the years following his release from prison for a narcotics offense, and this is a Specialty retrospective.

But I do think, in a 23-selection CD, they could have made it an even two dozen and added Let Me Tell You Baby, which was the flipside of his first charted hit in 1957, Just Because, which went to # 11 R&B in April on Specialty 597. However, both sides of the other three hits are here for the former Lloyd Price band member (and his one-time valet). Short Fat Fannie, which made it to # 1 R&B/# 5 Billboard Pop Top 100 in July-Aug 1957 had High School Dance as the flipside, and that is regarded as a "follow along" hit on Specialty 608. The A-side is a clever amalgam of names from among numerous other hits of the day. Then, in Nov-Dec 1957 the driving Bony Moronie made it to # 4 R&B/# 14 Top 100 b/w You Bug Me Baby, which also scored at # 45 Top 100 on Specialty 615.

By this stage Specialty thought they had a successor to Little Richard, who had bolted the music scene for religious reasons, and when listening to his frantic wailing on many of the cuts you can see why.
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