Thursday, 26 May 2011

“He’s So Fine + Lonely Teardrops” by JACKIE WILSON. A Review Of The 2011 Hoodoo Records CD Reissue.

"…It Thrills Me So…I Turn A Back-Over Flip…"

Hoodoo Records is a relatively new label to the reissue marketplace and in the last few years they've amassed lots of these releases - 'twofer' sets that mostly concentrate on the first two albums of an artist and then add on some relevant extras. "He's So Fine + Lonely Teardrops" reissues Jackie Wilson’s first two Fifties Rhythm 'n' Blues/Soul albums for the Decca subsidiary label Brunswick and adds on six bonus tracks. Here’s the details…

Released in April 2011 in the UK, Hoodoo Records 263393 breaks down as follows (71:33 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 12 are his debut album "He's So Fine", released March 1958 on Brunswick Records BL 54042 in the USA and October 1958 on Vogue Coral LVA 9087 in the UK [both MONO]

Tracks 13 to 24 are his 2nd LP "Lonely Teardrops", released March 1959 in the USA on Brunswick Records BL 54045 and September 1959 on Coral LVA 9108 in the UK [both MONO]

Bonus Tracks are:
Track 25 is "I'll Be Satisfied", a non-album track issued in 1959 as the A-side of USA 7” single on Brunswick 55136
Track 26 is "The Magic Of Love", was issued in April 1960 as the B-side to the UK 7” single “Doggin’ Around” on Coral Q 72393 and appears on the "So Much" LP of 1960
Track 27 is "Give Me You" by BILLY WARD and HIS DOMINOES (which featured Jackie Wilson on Lead Vocals), issued in September 1955 on King Records 1502
Track 28 is “Rags To Riches” by BILLY WARD and HIS DOMINOES (which featured Jackie Wilson on Lead Vocals), issued in October 1953 on King Records 1280
Track 29 is “You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down” by BILLY WARD and HIS DOMINOES (which featured Jackie Wilson on Lead Vocals), issued in July 1953 on Federal 12139
Track 30 is “Never Go Away”, a non-album track issued in 1959 as the B-side to “You Better Know It” on USA 7” single Brunswick 55149

The packaging tells us it’s digitally remastered - but craftily doesn’t state by who or where and what was used – but it doesn’t take your ears long to work out that these Brunswick masters are in great shape because the sound quality is glorious – most of it is fresh, clean and muscular without being overbearing. It’s very good indeed…

The 16-page booklet has an essay on Wilson by Vic Westley and it’s peppered with colour photos of 7” singles, trade adverts, concert snaps and even has the original liner notes for the “He’s So Fine” LP featured on a separate page – it’s an informative read and very nice to look at.

The songs themselves vary - the magical “Reet Petite” of course and the Grammy winning “Lonely Teardrops” and the jaunty “That’s Why (I Love You So)” with its irresistible beat (lyrics above) shine. But then there’s the terrible crooner crud in-between like “In The Blue Of Evening”, “Danny Boy” and “By The Light Of The Silvery Moon” – time hasn’t been kind to any of them. Luckily the more mid-paced and ballad R’n’B numbers fare better – “Each Time (I Love You More)” and “I’m Wanderin’” are all saved by his wonderful operatic vocals. “It’s So Fine”, “If I Can’t Have You” and “Why Can’t You Be Mine” are such fun too – a little like the material Presley was drawn too (Wilson was a huge influence on him).

Niggles – some of the bonus tracks make no rhyme nor reason – the inclusion of “I’ll Be Satisfied” and “Never Go Away” as non-album songs are right and proper – but “Ask” is the non-album B-side of “I’ll Be Satisfied” – and it isn’t on here? The inclusion of “The Magic Of Love” isn’t right either because it’s off the next album “So Much” from 1960 - while the 3 Billy Ward and His Dominoes choices hark back to his material at Federal and King and his output there would take up a whole CD in itself (and has). It’s a shame, because had that other B-side been included here, this release would have allowed fans to sequence all 8 of his first solo single releases around the 2 LPs. It’s a minor point I know, but one worth making.

Summing up - it doesn’t take particular genius to work out that all of these Fifties issues are proliferating in 2010 and 2011 because of the 50-year Copyright law – but that doesn’t stop this CD from being a bit of a peach really. Great music, nice packaging and really clear sound make it a tasty little number indeed. And didn’t the great “Mr. Entertainment” deserve just that…

Recommended.

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April 2011 – Other Hoodoo Records releases so far include:
1. La Vern & Rock & Roll – LaVERN BAKER [Two Rare Atlantic LPs from 1956 and 1957 Plus 4 Bonus Tracks]
2. Hank Ballard & The Midnighters + Singin’ & Swingin’ – HANK BALLARD and THE MIDNIGHTERS [2 LPs on King plus 2 Bonus Tracks]
3. Rollin’ Till The Break Of Dawn – 25 Original Chess Masters - CHUCK BERRY
4. Little Boy Blue – The Duke Sides 1952-1959 – BOBBY BLAND [22 Tracks]
5. Please Please Please & Think! – JAMES BROWN and HIS FAMOUS FLAMES [His First 2 LPs with 4 Bonus Tracks]
6. Rock & Roll & Miss Rhythm – RUTH BROWN [2 Rare LPs From 1957 and 1959 Plus 4 Bonus Tracks]
7. The Fabulous Cadillacs & The Crazy Cadillacs – THE CADILLACS [Two LPs from 1957 and 1959 Plus 6 Bonus Tracks]
8. Dee Clark & How About That – DEE CLARK [His first 2 LPs from 1959 plus 4 bonus tracks]
9. The Coasters & One By One – THE COASTERS [Two Rare LPs from 1958 and 1960 Plus 3 Bonus Tracks]
10. Eddie Cochran & Singin’ To My Baby – EDDIE COCHRAN [His 2nd and 1st LPs Plus 9 Bonus Tracks]
11. Rockin’ Robin – BOBBY DAY [features his 11-track 1958 debut LP plus 13 bonus tracks]
12. Esquerita! – The Definitive Edition – ESQUERITA [20 Tracks]
13. Little Bitty Pretty One – THURSTON HARRIS [25 Tracks]
14. Oh! Suzy-Q – DALE HAWKINS [12-track album plus 12 bonus tracks]
15. Ronnie Hawkins & The Hawks & Mr. Dynamo – RONNIE HAWKINS and THE HAWKS [Two Rare LPs from 1959 and 1960 Plus 5 Bonus Tracks]
16. At Home With… - The Epic and Okeh Recordings – SCREAMIN’ JAY HAWKINS [12-track album plus 11 bonus tracks]
17. Shout! The Definitive Edition – THE ISLEY BROTHERS [The 1958 “Shout!” LP Plus 8 Bonus Tracks]
18. Little Mister Willie John + Talk To Me – LITTLE WILLIE JOHN
19. No Buts, No Maybes – PROFESSOR LONGHAIR [28 Tracks]
20. Nightless Lover – The Specialty Sides – PERCY MAYFIELD [29 Tracks]
21. Clyde & Rock’n’Roll – CLYDE McPHATTER
22. Rack ‘Em Back – New Orleans R&B Stompers – BOBBY MITCHELL & THE TOPPERS (26 Tracks)
23. Doin’ The Hlly Gully & Dance By The Light Of The Moon – THE OLYMPICS [2 Rare LPs Plus 5 Bonus Tracks]
24. The Exciting Lloyd Price + Mr. Personality – LLOYD PRICE
25. Rock With Me Baby – Classic Recordings 1956-1960 - BILLY LEE RILEY [26 Tracks]
26. Gonna Let It Go This Time – RAY SHARPE [20 Tracks]
27. Crazy About You Baby – The Complete 1950-1957 Recordings – RUFUS THOMAS [20 Tracks]
28. Here’s Larry Williams – LARRY WILLIAMS
29. Rockin’ With The Sheik Of The Blues – The Okeh and Atlantic Recordings (29 Tracks) – CHUCK WILLIS
30. He’s So Fine & Lonely Teardrops – JACKIE WILSON (His Rare 1958 and 1959 LPs Plus 6 Bonus Tracks]

1 comment:

oleconquistador said...

Did you end up purchasing more releases from Hoodoo Records? I'm leaning towards the Brenda Lee release but I keep reading some negative reviews pertaining to sound quality on some of their other releases.

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