LITTLE WILLIE JOHN
SLEEP - THE SINGLES As & Bs 1955-1961 (2CD)
All Around The World, Don't Leave Me Dear, Need Your Love So Bad, Fever, Letter From My Darling, Suffering With The Blues, If I Thought You Needed Me, Person To Person, Tell It Like It Is, Let Them Talk, Drive Me Home and many more...
A sensational 60 tracks from one of the very best, if not the actual best, singer that emerged during the 1950s R&B and early soul movement. Best known today perhaps for recording Fever (that Peggy Lee went on to have international success with) and I Need Your Love So Bad (that Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac did so well with), Little Willie John still does not get the credit he deserves as a brilliant singer who, before he went off the rails and dissipated his talents in the 1960s, just could not be touched.
So where better to start than on this excellent value collection of all his great sides of the period? It includes breathless rockers like Leave My Kitten Alone (an early live favourite of The Beatles) and Look What You've Done To Me, alongside heartbreaking ballads If I Thought You Needed Me and No More In Life, alongside knock-out versions of standards Cottage For Sale and You're A Sweetheart. And if you want to hear a performance full of lung-power, control, phrasing and passion, just give Suffering With The Blues a listen. Just don't try to sing it in the shower - get this wrong and you just might end up coughing up a kidney! Vocalising like Little Willie John is, like grouting the bathroom and open heart surgery, best left to the experts.
Review Date: March 2013