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Little Willie John - The Very Best Of (2001)
Artist: Little Willie John
Title Of Album: The Very Best Of
Year Of Release: 2001
Label (Catalog#): Collectables [COL 2822]
Country: United States
Genre: Rhythm & Blues, Funk / Soul, Rock & Roll
Quality: Mp3 / FLAC (tracks +.cue,log)
Bitrate: CBR 320 kbps / Lossless
Time: 66:27 min
Full Size: 160 mb / 334 mb

In the mid-1950s, just as James Brown and Jackie Wilson were getting started, Little Willie John came along and defined what a soul singer could do. He swerved into sweetness, shouted with earthshaking feeling, transformed phrases like "Talk to Me" into desperate cries for help. The diminutive Arkansas native had the nuance of a jazz singer and the emotional focus of a blues belter, traits that made him a key connecting point between musical worlds that were at that time isolated from each other. He showed everybody who followed how to draw on different realms, as James Brown acknowledged later, explaining why he was moved to record a tribute a month after John died in prison in 1968, while serving time on a murder charge. "Willie John was a singer that could take you places," Brown said in Gerri Hirshey's 1984 book Nowhere to Run. "I did not want this fact to be lost to man."

John's recordings have not been lost. But they haven't exactly been enthusiastically rediscovered, either—even his most famous song, "Fever," is best known for recordings by Peggy Lee and Elvis Presley, which are both virtual note-for-note copies of John's still-definitive original. But it's the other singles that remain John's best legacy: The bended-knee plea "Need Your Love So Bad," the rough "Suffering with the Blues," and "Leave My Kitten Alone" are the work of a singer who always got himself immersed in the emotional netherworld of a song. One reason to seek this Collectables set over the Rhino anthology Fever is "A Cottage for Sale," a dreamy ballad that presents John as a master of perfectly timed persuasion.


1. All Around the World (2:57)
2. Home at Last (2:46)
3. I'm Sticking With You Baby (2:48)
4. Need Your Love So Bad (2:17)
5. Fever (2:42)
6. Letter from My Darling (2:31)
7. Do Something for Me (2:59)
8. Suffering with the Blues (2:30)
9. Tell It Like It Is (2:23)
10. Will the Sun Shine Tomorrow (2:49)
11. You Got to Get Up Early in the Morning (2:20)
12. Person to Person (2:19)
13. Talk to Me, Talk to Me (2:43)
14. You're a Sweetheart (2:44)
15. Let Them Talk (2:37)
16. Let Nobody Love You (2:52)
17. Leave My Kitten Alone (2:34)
18. A Cottage for Sale (2:54)
19. Flamingo (2:18)
20. Heartbreak (It's Hurtin' Me) (3:02)
21. Sleep (2:54)
22. Walk Slow (2:43)
23. (I've Got) Spring Fever (2:11)
24. Take My Love (2:39)
25. Big Blue Diamonds (2:45)

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Tags: Little, Willie

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