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Release Info: Etta James - The Definitive Collection
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.
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