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Heart & Soul: A Retrospective

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Etta James 10/18/2011

Review

Because of her blues-based comeback in the '90s, Etta James is usually thought of by the general public as a blues singer, but there's a good deal more to the picture than that, and this well-chosen and stunningly varied four-disc anthology, the first extensive survey of her entire career from 1955 to 2008, makes clear that Etta James has long been one of the best singers of her generation -- in any style. In many ways James resembles a female Ray Charles in her unerring ability to tackle (and sometimes combine) all of the strands of American popular music, from rock & roll to R&B, blues, country, gospel, jazz, and pure pop and soul, while still maintaining a distinct feel and sound that is all her own, and she has done this throughout a five-decade career that is astounding for its consistency. There’s so much to marvel at here, beginning with 1955's "The Wallflower" (an answer song to Hank Ballard's "Roll with Me Annie") and ending with a previously unreleased version of Rodney Crowell's “Ashes by Now” from 2008. In between, this set shows off the range of this impressive artist, who tackles everything from orchestral pop (her signature "At Last" from 1960), torch songs ("Don't Cry Baby" from 1961), gospel ("Something's Got a Hold on Me" from 1962), and heart-wrenching soul ("Tell Mama" and "I'd Rather Go Blind," both from 1967) to the unclassifiable (Randy Newman's gothic and lusty "Let's Burn Down the Cornfield" from 1974). It’s all here, drawn from James' incredible recording career on the Modern, Argo, Chess, Warner Bros., Fantasy, Island, Private Music, and RCA Victor imprints. Yeah, Etta James can sing the blues. She can sing anything she wants to, and there’s plenty of proof of that in this welcome (and long overdue) retrospective. ~ Steve Leggett
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 The Wallflower (Dance With Me Henry) Etta James 3:4
  3. 2 Good Rockin' Daddy [Single Version] Etta James 2:24
  4. 3 Crazy Feeling [Single Version] Etta James 3:15
  5. 4 W.O.M.A.N. [Single Version] Etta James 2:43
  6. 5 Tough Lover Etta James 2:8
  7. 6 The Pick Up [Single Version] Etta James 2:19
  8. 7 Every Night [a.k.a. Baby Baby Every Night][Single Version] Etta James 2:21
  9. 8 Sunshine of Love [Single Version] Etta James 2:24
  10. 9 Strange Things Happening Every Day Etta James 2:28
  11. 10 All I Could Do Was Cry Etta James 2:54
  12. 11 My Dearest Darling [Single Version] Etta James 3:0
  13. 12 If I Can't Have You [Single Version] Etta James 2:45
  14. 13 I Just Want to Make Love to You [Single Version] Etta James 3:5
  15. 14 My Heart Cries [Single Version] Etta James 2:32
  16. 15 Spoonful [Single Version] Etta James 2:46
  17. 16 A Sunday Kind of Love Etta James 3:15
  18. 17 At Last [Single Version] Etta James 2:58
  19. 18 Stormy Weather Etta James 3:6
  20. 19 Trust in Me [Single Version] Etta James 2:57
  21. 20 Don't Cry Baby [Single Version] Etta James 2:21
  22. 21 Fool That I Am [Single Version] Etta James 2:56
  23. 22 Waiting for Charlie (To Come Home) [Single Version] Etta James 2:5
  24. 23 Next Door to the Blues [Single Version] Etta James 2:45
  25. 24 Something's Got a Hold on Me [Single Version] Etta James 2:46
  26. 25 These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You) Etta James 3:57
  27. 1 Stop the Wedding [Single Version] Etta James 2:49
  28. 2 Pushover [Single Version] Etta James 2:53
  29. 3 Would It Make Any Difference to You [Single Version] Etta James 2:36
  30. 4 Pay Back [Single Version] Etta James 2:36
  31. 5 Two Sides (To Every Story) [Single Version] Etta James 3:0
  32. 6 Baby, What You Want Me to Do [Live] (1963/New Era Club) Etta James 4:15
  33. 7 Lovin' You More Every Day [Single Version] Etta James 3:18
  34. 8 I Wish Someone Would Care Etta James 2:33
  35. 9 Breaking Point [Single Version] Etta James 2:24
  36. 10 Only Time Will Tell [Single Version] Etta James 3:20
  37. 11 It's Here for You Etta James 3:3
  38. 12 Do I Make Myself Clear [Single Version] Etta James 2:57
  39. 13 Lover Man (Oh Where Can He Be?) Etta James 3:52
  40. 14 In the Basement, Pt. 1 Etta James 2:20
  41. 15 I Prefer You [Single Version] Etta James 3:2
  42. 16 It Must Be Your Love [Single Version] Etta James 2:56
  43. 17 842-3089 (Call My Name) [Single Version] Etta James 2:57
  44. 18 I'd Rather Go Blind [Single Version] Etta James 2:32
  45. 19 Tell Mama [Single Version] Etta James 2:20
  46. 20 Do Right Woman, Do Right Man Etta James 2:57
  47. 21 The Same Rope Etta James 2:37
  48. 22 Security [Single Version] Etta James 2:26
  49. 23 Almost Persuaded [Single Version] Etta James 3:19
  50. 24 You Got It [Single Version] Etta James 2:23
  51. 25 The Soul of a Man Etta James 3:11
  52. 1 Miss Pitiful [Single Version] Etta James 2:19
  53. 2 Losers Weepers, Pt. 1 [Single Version] Etta James 2:57
  54. 3 I Found a Love [Single Version] Etta James 3:23
  55. 4 Never My Love Etta James 3:47
  56. 5 Sail Away Etta James 3:56
  57. 6 Down So Low Etta James 3:38
  58. 7 All the Way Down [Single Version] Etta James 5:30
  59. 8 God's Song (That's Why I Love Mankind) Etta James 3:35
  60. 9 Feelin' Uneasy [Single Version] Etta James 2:46
  61. 10 St. Louis Blues Etta James 4:30
  62. 11 Let's Burn Down the Cornfield Etta James 3:39
  63. 12 Lovin' Arms [Single Version] Etta James 3:46
  64. 13 Only Women Bleed Etta James 4:6
  65. 14 Take It to the Limit Etta James 4:1
  66. 15 Please Send Me Someone to Love [Live] Etta James 5:6
  67. 16 How Strong Is a Woman Etta James 3:23
  68. 17 Damn Your Eyes Etta James 4:6
  69. 18 Higher Ground Etta James 3:53
  70. 1 What's Wrong Etta James 4:1
  71. 2 I've Got Dreams to Remember Etta James 4:24
  72. 3 Whatever Gets You Through the Night Etta James 3:47
  73. 4 Out of the Rain Etta James 4:31
  74. 5 A Lover Is Forever Etta James 3:16
  75. 6 There's Something on Your Mind B.B. King 5:57
  76. 7 The Man I Love Etta James 4:20
  77. 8 Don't Explain Etta James 5:11
  78. 9 Don't Go to Strangers Etta James 4:58
  79. 10 If I Had Any Pride Left at All Etta James 3:45
  80. 11 Love Letters Etta James 3:56
  81. 12 The Blues Is My Business Etta James 3:29
  82. 13 On the 7th Day Etta James 4:56
  83. 14 The Sky Is Crying Etta James 3:56
  84. 15 I Believe I Can Fly Etta James 5:6
  85. 16 Ashes by Now Etta James 3:16

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