Record Collector (magazine) - p.844 stars out of 5
-- "[T]his is the historic sound of Cassius Clay more than living up to his reputation as he delivers a white hot selection of routines from his collected wit and wisdom."
Personnel includes: Cassius Clay (vocals); Sam Cooke (arranger).
Recording information: New York, NY (08/1963-03/1964).
While the balance of sheer force and nimble grace that defined Muhammad Ali's style is unquestionable, it was just as much his pre-fight braggadocio and penchant for the poetic that made him the pre-eminent name in boxing history. I AM THE GREATEST, released in 1963 after a run of Olympic glory, as the loquacious warrior then still named Cassius Clay prepared for the heavyweight bout with Sonny Liston that would make his name a legend, captures many sides of the man whose words helped lift his American mythology to Paul Bunyan/Babe Ruth levels. Opening with a fanfare, and a dignified emcee's introduction before giving way to Clay's swagger, the record serves as both fascinating character study and eclectic timepiece.