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Friday, 9 December 2016
"In The Midnight Hour/The Exciting Wilson Pickett" by WILSON PICKETT (2016 Edsel CD Remasters - Volume 1 of 5) - A Review by Mark Barry...
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"...Land Of 1000 Dances..."
Edsel Records are no strangers to Soul-reissues. Across the decades they've
touched on major retrospectives for Philadelphia International (O'Jays, Billy
Paul, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes), Holland-Dozier-Holland's HDH Label
and Invictus Records (Chairmen Of The Board, Freda Payne and The Glass House)
as well as anthologies for Ann Peebles, The Chi-Lites and Al Green covering
their Hi Records label output.
2016 - our Demon Group heroes are tackling the whole of Wilson Pickett's
ten-album stay between 1964 and 1972 at the legendary Atlantic Records. This
first of five '2on1' sets issued 26 November 2016 in the UK (see full list
below) deals with his debut and follow up LPs from 1965 and 1966 –
supplementing those two incendiary platters with three relevant bonus tracks to
the time period.
these five digipak-releases (three come with extras) - you also get exclusive
single mixes and many unreleased tracks formerly only available on 2009's
"Funky Midnight Mover..." – a 6CD mail-order set from Rhino Handmade
– an item that is now long deleted and extremely pricey into the bargain. The
booklets also feature new liner notes from noted Soul writer and uber-fan Tony
Rounce. Here are the details for Alabama's finest Midnight Mover...
released 26 November 2016 (2 December 2016 in the USA) – "In The Midnight
Hour/The Exciting Wilson Pickett" by WILSON PICKETT on Edsel EDSA 3059
(Barcode 740155505936) offers 2LPs Remastered onto 1CD with 3 Bonus Tracks and
plays out as follows (68:03 minutes):
In The Midnight Hour
Teardrops Will Fall
Take A Little Love
For Better Or Worse
I Found A Love
That's A Man's Way
I'm Gonna Cry [Side 2]
Don't Fight It
Take This Love I've Got
Come Home Baby
I'm Not Tired
Let's Kiss And Make Up
1 to 12 are his debut album "In The Midnight Hour" - released October
1965 in the USA on Atlantic 8144 (Mono) and Atlantic SD 8144 (Stereo). It was
issued December 1965 in the UK on Atlantic ATL 5037 in Mono only. The Mono mix is used on this CD – a Rhino Remaster.
Land Of 1000 Dances
Something You Got
You're So Fine
The Midnight Hour [Side 2] * See NOTES
Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do)
It's All Over
She's So Good To Me
13 to 13 (and Track 1) are his 2nd album "The Exciting Wilson
Pickett" - released August 1966 in the USA on Atlantic 8129 (Mono) and
Atlantic SD 9129 (Stereo). It was released September 1966 in the UK on Atlantic
587 029 (Mono) and 588 029 (Stereo). The Mono mix is used and is the 1995
the song "In The Midnight Hour" was repeated on the second LP opening
Side 2 of "The Exciting Wilson Pickett". If you want to sequence the
US and UK LP proper – use Tracks 13 to 18 for Side 1 with Tracks 1 and 19 to 23
to make up Side 2.
Don't Fight It (Single Edit) – October 1965 US 7" single on Atlantic
If You Need Me (Live)
I'm Gonna Cry (Live) – Tracks 25 and 26 from the 1965 US Various Artists LP
"Saturday Night At The Uptown" on Atlantic 8101 Track 24 is Mono, Tracks 25 and 26 are Stereo
of these five card digipaks is a gatefold with Volume 1 sporting a
comprehensive 16-page booklet in the left flap with new liner notes from
legendary Soul writer TONY ROUNCE – a man whose name has graced literally
hundreds of quality CD reissues. He goes into all the chart statistics for 1965
and 1966 where he notes 'Pickett couldn't put a foot wrong' and the string of
No. 1 US R&B hits prove it. I'd have to say though that the inner flap and
the space beneath the see-through CD tray being 'blank' and the nondescript
colouring of the CD itself let the visual side down somewhat (could have been
filled out with pictures and black/red label memorabilia).
the kicking music doesn't let anyone down. Mastered by PHIL KINRADE – the
tracks are licensed from Warners and are therefore the 1995 Rhino Remasters of
old – full and punchy Bill Inglot and Dan Hersch Remasters from original tapes.
debut LP "In The Midnight Hour" is chock-full of singles and their
equally cool flipsides. Winners include June 1965's classic floor-filler
"In The Midnight Hour" b/w "I'm Not Tired" on Atlantic
45-2289 (his first R&B No. 1) – November 1965's "Don't Fight It"
b/w "It's All Over" on Atlantic 45-2306 (R&B No. 4) and February
1966's "634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)" b/w "That's A Man's
Way" on Atlantic 45-2320 (his second R&B No. 1). Before that trio
struck gold - Atlantic Records had tried "I'm Gonna Cry" b/w
"For Better Or Worse" in June 1964 on Atlantic 45-2233 – following
that in January 1965 with "Come Home Baby" b/w "Take A Little
Love" on Atlantic 45-2271 – but neither took.
"In The Midnight Hour" (the third single around the LP) slaughtered
all in its path – Pickett's high octane strident Soul mirrored his nickname
'wicked' – and almost everything he released was met with excitement second
only to Otis Redding and Solomon Burke – the two other great shouters on Atlantic's
classy books. The huge bass and drum opening to "Ninety Nine And A Half
(Won't Do)" led the assault for the second LP in early May 1966 - Atlantic
45-2334 stalling at No. 13 with the album cut "Danger Zone" as its
B-side. Perhaps it was the slower slinky groove in "Ninety Nine..."
that saw it not puncture the Top 10 - no such worries for the album's other
monster "Land Of 1000 Dances". Released only weeks later in July 1966
and backed with his cover of the 1959 Falcons ballad "You're So Fine"
- Atlantic 45-2348 quickly made mincemeat of the charts and raced to No. 1 -
his third chart topper.
of a reissue like this is the undiscovered LP cuts that never get the attention
they deserve - "It's All Over" was penned by Picket with his pal
Steve Cropper - the guitarist in Booker T & The MG's. Everything about it
rocks - the slow Soulful groove - the piano playing and Pickett's distinctive
growl given full reign as he pleads with the listener to feel his pain. And not
for the first time will he reach to Bobby Womack for a stone-cold killer like
"She's So Good To Me" (he penned "Midnight Mover" on the
next twofer). It's interesting also to note the subtle differences between the
LP and edit of "Don't Fight It" - another great hooky brass-driving
sanctifier. The "Come Home Baby" duet with Tami Lynn is a bit rough
around the edges recording-wise - but its full of emotion and 60ts passion.
Better is another Pickett/Cropper composition - the stroller "I'm Not
Tired" - in the fact the man had his songwriting hand in 9 of the LPs 12
are other ways to get this music I know (and cheaper). I reviewed the August
2010 "Original Album Series" 5CD Mini Box Set for instance which is
available for a ten spot - but I prefer the better presentation and the ever so
slightly uplifted audio in evidence here.
as I groove to Wilson Pickett's version of Chris Kenner's "Something You
Got" - I'm glad to say that Edsel have done his huge set of vocal pipes
justice. I'm off now to do the Watusi (Lord help me) and lay into the other
four digipaks...get me wicked with Wilson Pickett. Dig in and enjoy...
Titles in the 26 Nov 2016 Edsel CD Reissue series for WILSON PICKETT
In The Midnight Hour/The Exciting Midnight Mover
and 1967 Stereo 1st and 2nd LPs plus Three Bonus Tracks
EDSA 3059 - Barcode 740155505936)
The Wicked Pickett/The Sound Of Wilson Pickett
and 1967 Stereo/Mono 3rd and 4th LPs – no bonus tracks
EDSA 3060 - Barcode 740155506032)
I’m In Love/The Midnight Mover
for both his 5th and 6th LPs – no bonus tracks
EDSA 3061 - Barcode 740155506131)
Hey Jude/Right On
and 1970 Stereo 7th & 8th LPs with Three Bonus Tracks
EDSA 3062 - Barcode 740155506230)
In Philadelphia/Don’t Knock My Love
and 1972 9th & 10th Stereo LPs with Seventeen Bonus Tracks
EDSK 7112 - Barcode 740155711238)
have also touched on PERCY SLEDGE in this series and his stay at Atlantic
Records (three digipak CD reissues):
When A Man Loves A Woman/Warm & Tender Soul
and 1967 Stereo 1st & 2nd LPs plus Four Bonus Tracks
EDSA 3063 - Barcode 740155506339)
The Percy Sledge Way/Take Time To Know Her
and 1968 Stereo 3rd & 4th LPs with Eight Bonus Tracks
EDSK 7116 - Barcode 740155711634)
My Special Prayer/Singles And Rarities
fifth and final Atlantic LP with 27 Bonus Tracks