All nine of Eddie’s Ric 45s plus several originally unissued masters making their CD debut.
We’ve already brought you two multi-artist overviews of New Orleans’ R&B from Joe Ruffino’s Ric and Ron labels and a collection of Johnny Adams’ complete recordings for the company. Now it’s the turn of his label mate Eddie Bo to be anthologised.
The years 1959 to 1962 were a musically fertile period in Eddie’s career, yet his Ric recordings are often overlooked in favour of his later funk classics. The tracks here show just what a great singer and songwriter Eddie was in his youthful prime, and how unlucky he was not to have made it as big as, say, his Crescent City compatriot Lee Dorsey.
“Baby I’m Wise” contains the A and B-sides of all nine of Eddie’s great Ric 45s, plus four tracks that somehow didn’t come out at the time but are as good as anything that did. The uniformly high quality of them makes the fact that not one of them breached the charts something of a surprise, but all were hits in Eddie’s New Orleans hometown and each one sounds much better than a lot of records that charted nationally.
Many of these classics would make it into any definitive list of New Orleans’ all-time great R&B records. This is the first time they’ve been collected in the same CD, with all tracks coming to you from fresh transfers of the original mastertapes.