Chuck Willis Chuck Willis Wails - The Complete Recordings 1951-1956 (2-CD)
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- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: February 25, 2003
- Originally Released: 2003
- Label: Sundazed Music Inc.
Living Blues - 6/03, p.105"...Yes. Chuck Willis wailed. He also soothed.....Perhaps, this set will help reestablish Willis in pre-rock black music..."
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Can't You See
- 2.Be Good Or Be Gone
- 3.It Ain't Right To Treat Me Wrong
- 4.Let's Jump Tonight
- 5.It's Too Late Baby
- 6.I Rule My House
- 7.My Baby's On My Mind
- 8.I Tried (To Get Along With You)
- 9.Here I Come
- 10.Caldonia (What Makes Your Big Head So Hard?)
- 11.Loud Mouth Lucy
- 12.Salty Tears
- 13.Take It Like A Man
- 14.Wrong Lake To Catch A Fish
- 15.My Story
- 16.I've Been Treated Wrong Too Long
- 17.Don't Decieve Me
- 18.My Baby's Coming Home
- 19.You Broke My Heart
- 20.When My Day Is Over
- 21.Going To The River
- 22.Baby Have Left Me Again
- 23.You're Still My Baby
- 24.What's Your Name?
- 25.Make Up Your Mind
- 26.I Feel So Bad
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Need One More Chance
- 2.You Win This Time - (previously unreleased)
- 3.Keep A Knockin'
- 4.If I Had A Million
- 5.Change My Mind
- 6.My Heart's Been Broke Again
- 7.I Don't Mind If I Do
- 8.Blow, Freddy Jackson
- 9.Welcome Home
- 10.Give And Take
- 11.I've Been Away Too Long
- 12.Peace And Love - (previously unreleased)
- 14.It Were You
- 15.Lawdy Miss Mary
- 16.Search My Heart - (previously unreleased, early version)
- 17.Come On Home
- 18.One More Break
- 19.I Can Tell
- 20.Search My Heart
- 22.Two Spoons Of Tears
- 23.Charged With Cheating
- 24.Bless Her Heart
- 25.Night Of Misery
Personnel includes: Chuck Willis (vocals); Quincy Jones (arranger); Freddy Jackson (tenor saxophone); Sam "The Man" Taylor (saxophone); Alfred "Chips" Outcalt (trombone); Ray Gaines (piano); Earl Van Dyke (keyboards); Ollie Jones (background vocals); The Royals.
Compilation producer: Stephanie Kennedy.
Recorded between 1951 & 1956. Includes liner notes by Bill Dahl.
Personnel: Chuck Willis (vocals); Freddie Jackson (saxophone, tenor saxophone).
Recording information: 01/26/1951-01/26/1956.
Photographers: Galen Gart; Bill Dahl.
Arranger: Leroy Kirkland.
This two-CD, 51-song set is indeed the complete output of Chuck Willis for Columbia. It's the kind of overview that 1950s collectors expect only of import labels such as Bear Family, in fact, gathering not only every last single, but various songs that didn't surface at the time, including three previously unissued tracks (one of them an early version of "Search My Heart"). It isn't, of course, the complete work of everything he waxed before his death in 1958, as it has nothing from his subsequent stint at Atlantic, a period which though brief included his best and most commercial music. That means there's no "What Am I Living For," "C.C. Rider," "Hang Up My Rock & Roll Shoes," or "Betty and Dupree." It also means that this collection is far more tilted toward early-'50s R&B and jump blues than rock & roll. For those reasons it's the second Willis compilation of choice, but it's still superior R&B on the verge of transition into rock & roll, including the Latin-tinged number that became something of a standard, "I Feel So Bad." Much of the earlier sides here were spirited but similar-sounding jump blues-R&B, broken up by some urbane ballads, most of the material written by Willis himself. Truthfully, it gets more interesting and diverse on the later sides on disc two, in which Willis started admitting some rock & roll and doo wop into his style, as on the romantic ballad "I Can Tell," the minor-keyed "Night of Misery," and "Bless Her Heart," which sounds like an early rock & roll spin on Little Walter's "My Babe." Also of interest is "Keep a Knockin'," a 1954 recording that seems to foreshadow some of the ideas used in the 1957 Little Richard hit of the same name, though it's far from the exact same song. ~ Richie Unterberger
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