Monday, July 28, 2014

Etta James - a few tracks from "Call My Name"

 A few months back, I bought a nice collection of records that included a handful of sealed LP's; mostly 60's jazz, but also this rare 1966 Etta James release. One of my personal peeves of record collecting is the whole phenomenon of collecting sealed records. Of course I understand the rarity of finding a 50 year old record in an unplayed state, but what's the fun of that??? I collect records because I enjoy the music, so the idea of leaving a record sealed is an alien concept to me. (The pic above shows this LP still sealed).

I've had a great time opening up the other LP's and enjoying them, and one thing I saw first hand is that some still sealed records were probably returns that were defective or had other problems. One record had the LP placed inside the gatefold cover (not in the pocket where it belongs) without a sleeve!

But anyhow, this LP from the legendary Etta James is easily one of  the greatest female soul LP's cut to wax in the '60's. Every track is superb, and it flows together like a real 'album' (as opposed to many '60's soul and rock LP's that are a quickie job containing one or two singles and plenty of filler). Etta is in top form vocally (not unusual) and the material (much of which is provided by St Louis>Chicago musician/ producer/ writer/ band leader/ talent scout/ all around musical raconteur Monk HIggins. Monk Higgins' production here is as good as it gets, with a raw Chicago soul sound matched with horns that mimic Etta's voice at every turn. This is the type of music that has the potential to win over anybody to the majesty of soul music.

Just take a listen to the closing track "Nobody Like You"; it would be a crime for this LP to remain unplayed! Plus, the audio fidelity is incredible- a super high quality pressing and it was a real thrill to hear it on its inaugural spin.

And here's another highlight (among an album of highlights), "Don't Pick Me For Your Fool".

And, finally, the most rockin' version of 'You Are My Sunshine' ever cut to wax.

The postcard to send for the Cadet Records catalog was still inside the jacket, and the 69 cent price tag from Wherehouse Records is still intact on the back cover. Looks like 69 cents was a further markdown (judging by the yellow tag below); it's unbelievable to think that an album of this quality (and one that is so sought out today) could be marked down to remainder prices at one point in time.
On the turntable, where this beauty belongs.

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