Etta James’ approach to both singing and life was one akin to riot and rebellion that included violence, drug addiction, armed robbery and highly impulsive behaviour. She sang with unrivalled emotion and a pain that can leave the stoniest listener in emotional turmoil. The ferocity of her voice reflected her traumatic life… a neglected child, a teen drug addict, a woman constantly entering into bad relationships and an artist raging against an industry and a society that had routinely discriminated against her.
Over a career spanning more than half a century Etta ‘Peaches’ James has become a true blues icon. Widely acknowledged as one of the most important and influential female blues and R&B singers of the post-war era, she has been cited by critics, peers, younger artists whom she influenced, industry insiders and consumer aficionados, as one of most versatile and expressive blues singers. Effortlessly bridging the divides between pure blues, rhythm and blues, rock n’ roll, sophisticated pop and jazz with an intensity and passion rarely matched. From Bonnie Raitt to Beyonce, Tina Turner to Adele, Etta James stands alone in her far reaching influence.
This LP shines a light on her early career, showcasing some of her greatest and earthiest recordings. From her first single as a delinquent teenager The Wallflower, through to the distinctly Motown influenced Next Door To The Blues we hear just why Etta James is the true embodiment of blues.
1. THE WALLFLOWER (ROLL WITH ME HENRY) - Etta James and the Peaches (Jamesetta Rogers, Johnny Otis, Hank Ballard) 1955
2. GOOD ROCKIN DADDY - Etta James (Richard Berry, Saul Bihari) 1955
3. IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU - Etta and Harvey (Harvey Fuqua, Etta James) 1960
4. SPOONFUL - Etta and Harvey (Willie Dixon) 1960
5. ALL I COULD DO WAS CRY - Etta James (Gwendolyn Fuqua, Roquel Davis, Berry Gordy Jr.) 1960
6. MY DEAREST DARLING - Etta James (Edwin Bacage, Paul Gayten) 1960
7. AT LAST - Etta James (Harry Warren, Mack Gordon) 1961
1. I JUST WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU - Etta James (Willie Dixon) 1961
2. TRUST IN ME - Etta James (Milton Ager, Jean Schwartz, Ned Wever) 1961
3. FOOL THAT I AM - Etta James (Floyd Hunt) 1961
4. DON'T CRY, BABY - Etta James (James P. Johnson, Stella Unger, Saul Bernie) 1961
5. SOMETHING'S GOT A HOLD ON ME - Etta James (Leory Kirkland, Etta James, Pearl Woods) 1962
6. STOP THE WEDDING - Etta James (Leory Kirkland, Pearl Woods, Freddy Johnson) 1962
7. NEXT DOOR TO THE BLUES - Etta James (Leory Kirkland, Etta James, Pearl Woods) 1962