His Greatest Recordings Little Richard


World excluding USA & Canada
Ace Records
Catalogue Id:
CDCH 109

There are certain undisputed truths in the history of rock’n’roll; among the first is the importance of the recordings made by Little Richard between 1955 and ’58. For many teenagers, from John Lennon and Paul McCartney on, Richard provided the template they would build their lives around. Elvis aside, he was theUSartist who enjoyed the longest string of hits in theUK. ‘Long Tall Sally’, which made it to #3 in 1956, established the song as a mark by which aspiring UK rockers would be judged.

This 24-track collection was compiled in 1990 by Ace founder Ted Carroll. With the aim of achieving the best sound possible, the mastering was done from digital transfers of the original Specialty Records tapes. Often imitated, never bettered is the phrase that comes to mind as you listen to Richard’s classic hits ‘Ready Teddy’, ‘Rip It Up’, ‘Lucille’ and ‘Good Golly, Miss Molly’. He was truly a one-off, making some of the most memorable rocking tracks ever, aided by the driving band based in Cosimo Matassa’s New Orleans studio. Musicians such as drummer Earl Palmer and saxophonists Lee Allen and Alvin “Red” Tyler were players anyone would want in their corner.

Alongside the classic hits, the collection features a number of lesser-known tracks, some of which present Richard in a different light. Try his mid-tempo version of Lloyd Price’s ‘Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave’ or his soulful interpretation of ‘Send Me Some Lovin’’, or enjoy the splendid piano intro to his own composition ‘Chicken Little Baby’. Talking of intros, this CD includes arguably the most famous in rock: ‘Tutti-Frutti’. ‘Nuff said.

Adding great collector interest to the package are the final four tracks, ones not always found on Little Richard compilations. ‘Wonderin’’ is a slower song featuring him singing against a strong female chorus, who crop up again very effectively on ‘Directly From My Heart’. ‘All Around The World’ was probably the first song to include the line “rock’n’roll is here to stay”, while ‘Baby’ makes a slightly less frenetic closer.

Anyone wanting a comprehensive rock collection has to include some Little Richard. This great Ace CD is a very fine place to start.

Track listing

Side 1

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