Rolling Stone - p.925 stars out of 5
- "[H]e defined a dramatic sound in which terse horn phrases, an infallible rhythm section and Steve Cropper's spindly guitar lines accentuated the inexorable force of his vocals."
Q - 7/93, p.1114 Stars
- Excellent - "...sassy, driving, a horn section pounding away, testifying, mesmerising. It's all here..."
Personnel includes: Wilson Pickett (vocals); Steve Cropper, Chips Moman, Bobby Womack, Duanne Allman, Jimmy Johnson, Reggie Young, Eddie Hinton, Norman Harris (guitar); Packy Axton, Charlie Chalmers, Jimmy Mitchell, King Curtis (tenor saxophone); Floyd Newman (baritone saxophone); Gene "Bowlegs" Miller (trumpet); Joe Hall, Bobby Woods, Ugene Dozier, Lenny Pakula, Isaac Hayes (piano); Spooner Oldham, Barry Beckett, Dave Crawford (piano, keyboards); Thom Bell (organ); Bobby Emmons (keyboards); Donald "Duck" Dunn, Tommy Cogbill, David Hood (bass); Al Jackson, Roger Hawkins, Gene Chrisman, Earl Young (drums); Cissy Houston (background vocals).
The Memphis Horns: Andrew Love (tenor saxophone); Wayne Jackson (trumpet).
Producers include: Jim Stewart, Steve Cropper, Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, Tommy Cogbill.
Recorded between 1965 and 1971. Originally released as a 2 LP set.
Personnel: Wilson Pickett (vocals); Cold Grits (vocals); Chips Moman, Jimmy Johnson , Dennis Coffey, Duane Allman, Eddie Hinton, Jay O'Rourke, Norman Harris, Reggie Young , Roland Chambers, Steve Cropper, Tippy Armstrong, Bobby Eli, Bobby Womack (guitar); Don Renaldo (strings); Gilbert Caples, King Curtis, Andrew Love, Ed Logan, Jimmy Mitchell, Charles "Packy" Axton, Charles Chalmers (tenor saxophone); Floyd Newman (baritone saxophone); Gene Miller, Wayne Jackson (trumpet); Sam Reed (horns); Barry Beckett (piano, keyboards); Joe Hall , Ugene Dozier, Isaac Hayes, Lenny Pakula, Spooner Oldham, Bobby Woods (piano); Thom Bell (organ); Dave Crawford , Billy Carter, Bobby Emmons (keyboards); Vince Montana (vibraphone, percussion); Donald "Duck" Dunn, Gerald Jemmott, Ron Baker, Tommy Cogbill, Albert Lowe (electric bass); Earl Young, Gene Chrisman, Tubby Zeigler, Al Jackson, Jr. , Roger Hawkins (drums); Eddie "Bongo" Brown (congas); Jack Ashford (percussion); Cissy Houston, John Utley, Jackie Verdell, Judy Clay (background vocals).
Recording information: Criteria Recording Studios, Miami, FL (05/12/1965-01/27/1971); Fame Recording Studios, Muscle Shoals, AL (05/12/1965-01/27/1971); Memphis, TN (05/12/1965-01/27/1971); Sigma Sound Studios, Philadelphia, PA (05/12/1965-01/27/1971).
Arranger: Wade Marcus.
Wilson Pickett was one of the most consistently strong performers of the great soul era of the 1960's, but like most R&B artists of the period he was strongest in his singles, not his albums, and while he cut some fine long-players in his day, a quality compilation is still the best place to get started with The Wicked Pickett's raw but passionate music. Originally released in 1973 as a two-LP set, Wilson Pickett's Greatest Hits got an upgrade to CD in the mid-1980's, and while it's value has since been supplanted by the more efficient The Very Best Of Wilson Pickett and the more thorough A Man and a Half: The Best Of Wilson Pickett, this still pulls together twenty-four stellar performances from Pickett's glory days (including three recordings from his early group The Falcons). A few of the choices are not especially well advised - while not exactly awful, Pickett's versions of "Sugar, Sugar" and "You Keep Me Hanging On" may be best left to history - but can you really argue with an album that includes "Mustang Sally", "Land Of 1,000 Dances", "In The Midnight Hour", "Funky Broadway", and "634-5789 (Soulsville U.S.A.)"? Not the very best Pickett collection, but still a good one, and fine value for money if you should find it in a bargain bin. ~ Mark Deming