Etta James – The Definitive Collection

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How do you cover an artist with nearly 50 years worth of recorded material
on one disc? Use this as an example. With so many different collections of artists like Ms. Etta James out there, it can be a complicated task of what to choose. Others may focus on one particular area of her recording career, but this one goes all the way back to her 1955 smash of “The Wallflower (Dance With Me Henry)” all the way up to a 2004 recording of a blues recording “The Sky Is Crying” in which her sons take part in the production. Many of the well known Argo/Cadet sides from the ’60s are represented like “At Last”, “Something’s Got A Hold On Me”, and “Tell Mama” and then moving on to her gutsy and gritty rendition of “Take It To The Limit” from 1978, which was so chilling and moving, and ending up in the ’80s and ’90s with some Nashville recordings containing a country tinge to them as well as a Gershwin tune “The Man I Love”, and Otis Redding’s “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” Etta had such a versatile style from cool, refined, and seductive to passionate, gutsy and rollicking. If only some young female singers today could take a lesson from her; she could do it all, and is still doing it today. That’s why this package can do wonders for somebody who wants to know which great artists from the past are still performing today and wants to see a dynamic balance and mix of different material in a career-spanning perspective. This one certainly has it. With so much material from her earlier years, some things may be missing, but as stated before, with one disc in a complete career overview theme in mind, the debate rests on what really is essential in representing the artist’s entire career. All 23 tunes are very enjoyable. If you’re new to Etta, this a great place to start.

Etta James – Life, Love & The Blues

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5 STARS IS NOT ENOUGH!! There is no greater blues recording by a female artist than this! I have played it over & over again and still, a year later, I listen to it every day. It is in my car, my wife has it it her car. I have it in both of my CD jukeboxs in my home stereo systems (bedroom and main room). Everyone who hears it wants to have it. I have an extensive Blues & Jazz collection and have been an avid blues fan since the early 60’s. I recommend that you don’t even think about buying another blues recording until you own this. People who don’t enjoy or listen to the blues always ask what it is that I am playing. If I stop at a traffic light, pull into a parking lot or just drive down the road I constantly have to answer the same question. WHO IS THAT??? I turned a friend of mine onto this recording. She works nights in a convienience store and plays it continuously. She told me that the customers rave about the music. They stop in their tracks frequently and hang out listening until a song or the CD ends. This is the BEST. This is Etta James at her best. The recording is “Life, Love & The Blues”. Simply stated, if you have LIFE and are still breathing, whether or not you know LOVE or the BLUES, you will be deeply moved by this recording.