Friday, 9 December 2016

"Original Album Series" by WILSON PICKETT (2010 Atlantic/Rhino 5CD Mini Box Set Of Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...

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A brilliant set in the ongoing "Original Album Series" - but this WILSON PICKETT set is not without its problems. Here are the uptight and outta sight details...

UK released August 2010 - "Original Album Series" by WILSON PICKETT on Atlantic/Rhino 8122 79837 7 (Barcode 081227983772) is a 5CD Mini Box Set of 1995 Rhino Remasters in Stereo and Mono and play out as follows:

Disc 1 (30:31 minutes):
1. In The Midnight Hour
2. Teardrops Will Fall
3. Take A Little Love
4. For Better Or Worse
5. I Found A Love
6. That's A Man's Way
7. I'm Gonna Cry [Side 2]
8. Don't Fight It
9. Take This Love I've Got
10. Come Home Baby
11. I'm Not Tired
12. Let's Kiss And Make Up
Tracks 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 Stereo mix is used on the CD.

Disc 2 (30:41 minutes):
1. Land Of 1000 Dances
2. Something You Got
3. 634-5789
4. Barefootin'
5. Mercy, Mercy
6. You're So Fine
7. In The Midnight Hour [Side 2]
8. Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do)
9. Danger Zone
10. I'm Drifting
11. It's All Over
12. She's So Good To Me
Tracks 1 to 12 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 Stereo mix is used.

Disc 3 (30:43 minutes):
1. Mustang Sally
2. New Orleans
3. Sunny
4. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
5. Ooh Poo Pah Doo
6. She Ain't Gonna Do Right
7. Knock On Wood [Side 2]
8. Time Is On My Side
9. Up Tight Good Woman
10. You Left The Water Running
11. Three Time Loser
12. Nothing You Can Do
Tracks 1 to 12 are his 3rd album "The Wicked Pickett" - released January 1967 in the USA on Atlantic 8138 (Mono) and Atlantic SD 8138 (Stereo). It was released February 1967 in the UK on Atlantic 587 057 (Mono) and 588 057 (Stereo). The MONO mix is used.

Disc 4 (29:48 minutes):
1. Soul Dance Number Three
2. Funky Broadway
3. I Need A Lot Of Loving Every Day
4. I Found A Love, Part I
5. I Found A Love, Part II
6. You Can't Stand Alone
7. Mojo Mamma [Side 2]
8. I Found The One
9. Something Within Me
10. I'm Sorry About That
11. Love Is A Beautiful Thing
Tracks 1 to 11 are his 4th album "The Sound Of Wilson Pickett" - released August 1967 in the USA on Atlantic 8145 (Mono) and Atlantic SD 8145 (Stereo) and in the UK on Atlantic 587 080 (Mono) and 588 080 (Stereo). The Stereo mix is used.

Disc 5 (25:44 minutes):
1. Jealous Love
2. Stagger Lee
3. That Kind Of Love
4. I'm In Love
5. Hello Sunshine
6. Don't Cry No More [Side 2]
7. We've Got To Have Love
8. Bring It On Home To Me
9. She's Lookin' Good
10. I've Come A Long Way
Tracks 1 to 10 are his 5th album "I'm In Love" - released February 1968 in the USA on Atlantic SD 8175 (Stereo Only) and April 1968 in the UK on Atlantic 587 107 (Mono) and 588 107 (Stereo). The Stereo mix is used.

There's no booklet with these card slipcases - but the front and rear artwork for each card sleeve uses the gorgeous American LPs - and what a treat they are to look at too. These are straightforward transfers of the original albums minus any bonus tracks (the "In The Midnight Hour" song gets repeated across two of the discs). Sonically each CD is the 1995 Rhino remasters - but for some reason they've used the Mono Mix (and cover art) for "The Wicked Pickett" album - and man do you notice the downgrade in sound when you play it. Pickett albums were always recorded rough (all feel and no finesse) - but when you go to "The Sound Of" album (Disc 4) and the Stereo returns - it's like audio chalk and cheese. But don't let this put you off - these albums are so crammed with storming Sixties Soul and Funk - it's just not true and you want them in your life. To the music...

Apart from his own great originals (9 of the 12 on his debut had his hand in them) - Pickett smartly uses the similar voice and genius songwriting talent of Bobby Womack, Don Covay and Booker T's guitar wizard Steve Cropper. Throw in an Eddie Floyd song here and a King Curtis tune there - and you get album after album of winners. But of course the best part of listening to these discs is getting away from the overplayed (but still classic) "Mustang Sally", "Land Of 1000 Dances" and "In The Midnight Hour" and digging those album treasures.

Songs like Bobby Womack's truly gorgeous torch song "I'm In Love", the storming funk of "Mojo Mama" by Jerry Wexler and Bert Barns and the blaster "She's Lookin' Good" which feels like Ike & Tina Turner in your living room with The Ikettes shimmying over by the curtains in a salacious way.

Something seemed to happen to our hero after "The Wicked" album because his next two LPs (and the final two in this set) are absolute barnstormers in every sense. When you come off the rough MONO of "Wicked Pickett" and play "Soul Dance Number Three" from the STEREO LP "The Sound Of Wilson Pickett" - the audio is shockingly better - full of power and clarity. "Soul Dance Number Three (a stunning funky Pickett original) is followed by the equally kicking "Funky Broadway". The two parts of "I Found A Love" (the A&B-side of a single) are mid-tempo but just so damn good - a great groove they let run. The Bobby Womack ballad "I've Come A Long Way" is another tearjerker masterpiece.

At just over a ten-spot (two quid per album) - "Original Album Series" by Wilson Pickett is a whole lotta Soul that will make your church-going granny's knees knobble and generally mess with her other bodily extremities. Indeed Wilson Pickett was (and still is) wicked...

PS: Also check out Edsel's superb 5 Volume Series - all of his albums from 1965 to 1972 in five separate digipaks with bonus tracks on three and new Tony Rounce liner notes on all...

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