- Very Good
Living Blues - 7-8/01, pp.73-4
"...Edgy, brassy and stunningly assertive....these songs have stood the test of time..."
Personnel includes: Etta James (vocals); Albert Lowe, Jr., Jimmy Ray Johnson (guitar); Charles Chalmers, Aaron Varnell, Floyd Newman, James Mitchell (saxophone); Gene "Bowlegs" Miller (trumpet); Dewey Oldham (piano, organ); George Davis, Marvell Davis (piano); Carl Banks, Barry Beckett (organ); David Hood (bass); Roger Dawkins (drums).
Producer: Rick Hall.
Reissue producer: Andy McKaie.
Recorded at Fame Studios, Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Originally released on Cadet (802). Includes liner notes by Lee Hildebrand & Morry Roth.
Digitally remastered by Erick Labson (Universal Mastering Studios-West, North Hollywood, California.
Personnel: Etta James (vocals); Floyd Newman, Aaron Varnell, Charles Chalmers (saxophone); Gene Miller (trumpet); Spooner Oldham (piano, organ); Marvell Thomas (piano); Carl Banks, Barry Beckett (organ); David Hood (electric bass); Roger Dawkins (drums).
Recording information: 08/02/1967-08/??/1968.
Arranger: Rick Hall.
Having already been an established leading soul singer for 13 years and having 18 R&B hits to her name, in 1967 Etta went to record in Alabama at the legendary Muscle Shoals studio. The result was her most accomplished album, on which her voice had been mixed to perfection, allowing her to sound strong on the previously distorted high notes. James was rightly seen in a different light as one of the great soul voices of all time as she belted out powerful tracks such as "The Love Of My Man" and "Watch Dog." Her slower numbers were equally arresting, including the wonderful "I'd Rather Go Blind."