Little Willie John Heaven All Around Me: The Later King Sessions 1961-63

Heaven All Around Me: The Later King Sessions
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CD Details

  • Released: March 30, 2009
  • Label: Ace Records

Entertainment Reviews:

Living Blues - p.63
"'Take My Love (I Want To Give It All To You), a blues shuffle with a bridge and a Jimmy Reed-like rhythm guitar pattern, was John's final hit....The original John composition is one of the standout tracks on HEAVEN ALL AROUND ME."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.90
4 stars out of 5 -- "HEAVEN ALL AROUND ME gathers the early incubator of soul music's recordings for the King label, spanning 1961 to '63, which is bookended by the sublime poignancy of '(I'm Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over'..."


  • 1.(I'm Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over
  • 2.Every Beat of My Heart
  • 3.Until Again My Love
  • 4.Inside Information
  • 5.Take My Love (I Want to Give It All to You)
  • 6.Big Blue Diamonds
  • 7.My Baby's in Love with Another Guy
  • 8.My Love Will Never Change
  • 9.Mister Glenn
  • 10.Doll Face
  • 11.Heaven All Around Me
  • 12.Don't Play with Love
  • 13.She Thinks I Still Care
  • 14.Come Back to Me
  • 15.Half a Love
  • 16.Without a Friend
  • 17.(I've Got) Spring Fever
  • 18.Bill Bailey
  • 19.Come on Sugar
  • 20.Now You Know
  • 21.Like Boy, Like Girl
  • 22.I Wish I Could Cry
  • 23.Don't You Know I'm in Love
  • 24.Rock Love

Product Description:

Liner Note Author: Tony Rounce.
The third and final of Ace's series documenting Little Willie John's recordings for King is the weakest of the trio, though like the others it's a great service to fans who want as much of his output as possible available on CD. All of these two dozen sides originally appeared on 1961-1964 singles, with the exception of one previously unissued track, "Like Boy, Like Girl," which is actually one of the better cuts. By this time, John's records had largely stopped selling, though his last big R&B hit, 1961's "Take My Love (I Want to Give It All to You)," is included on this disc. His voice remained as strong and soulful as ever, but the material he was given -- most of these songs, unlike "Take My Love (I Want to Give It All to You)," weren't written by John himself -- was largely unimpressive. What's more, though this doesn't really matter so many years after this was recorded, it was also pass‚, for the most part not reflecting the trends that had displaced him from the charts. The best tunes here tend to be the covers of well-known songs, like the orchestrated version of the pop standard "(I'm Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over"; "Every Beat of My Heart," the Johnny Otis composition that was a big hit for the Pips; and, in a much more unlikely selection, the country hit "She Thinks I Still Care." Other songs are often dragged down by a formulaic early rock & roll feel that was becoming dated by the early 1960s, and "Mister Glenn," inspired by astronaut John Glenn, even tries to ride a novelty bandwagon. While the sessions John did in early 1966 for Capitol (now available on the Ace CD Nineteen Sixty Six: The David Axelrod & H.B. Barnum Sessions) weren't great, they nonetheless found him more comfortably adapting to the times. This collection isn't so bad either, but is more for dedicated John fans than the typical soul listener looking for the best one or two compilations of the singer's work. Incidentally, the liner notes, in addition to being up to Ace's usual high standard, are of more interest than usual in this case, including fascinating if sad descriptions of letters exchanged between John and King label boss Syd Nathan in the final years of John's life, when John was facing imprisonment or incarcerated. ~ Richie Unterberger

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Product Info

  • UPC: 029667036320
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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