Press Archive - The Best Of Little Richard !! (LP, 10inch, Ltd.) - oldtimereview.co.uk
There was a period around ten years ago when I began to assess recordings made in the first wave of Rock n Roll. Everything from Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Chuck Berry to Buddy Holly passed through my speakers. Upon reaching the work of (Little) Richard Penniman, it took things to another level. From the moment the vocals blast from the grooves of the record, few can match the energy and eccentric style of Little Richard.
The 11000 series from Bear Family Records is a selection of limited edition vinyl reissues of rare and sometimes pricey vinyl collectibles. This new addition to the collection is a Japanese album from 1962 called ‘The Best Of Little Richard’; originally released on the London/King label. Limited to just 500 copies pressed on colored vinyl, is this 10″ record worth picking up?
The label of the 10″ vinyl reissue of ‘The Best Of Little Richard’ from Bear Family Records. Photograph: Jane Grandle.
When I got my hands on this release, the attention to detail was impressive. Comparing images of the rare original with this new version brings up very few differences. The reproduction of the artwork is convincing, with all Japanese text left in for authenticity. The change of the label logo is possibly the most striking alteration, but the Bear Family design fits comfortably. A colored vinyl does not really appeal to me, but I can appreciate the advantages; It distinguishes it from the original release and looks attractive.
Press Archive - The Best Of Little Richard !! (LP, 10inch, Ltd.) - now dig this
A faithful, detailed reworking of the rare 1953 RCA album (LPM 3167), this 10" reissue comes in Gretsch guitar orange vinyl on a limited 500 copy run. The Country All Stars were the brain child of Chet Atkins and were Jerry Byrd on steel guitar, Dale Potter on fiddle and Homer & Jethro on guitar and mandolin the music. As the title suggests, it's a compilation delving into the Specialty back catalogue. I love the track listing which doesn't just plum for the big hits like 'Tutti Frutti', 'Rip It Up' or 'The Girl Can't Help It', but instead includes a couple of slightly lesser-known items. The earliest things here are the sublime 'True Fine Mama' and 'Kansas City' from a November 1955 session at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. cut with Guitar Slim's band, and they feature more backing vocals than future recordings.
The rest come from sessions at either the J&M Studios in New Orleans with the likes of Alvin 'Red' Tyler, Lee Allen and Earl Palmer, or in Los Angeles at Master Recorders with Grady Gaines and Charles Conner. While Joe Public thinks of Little Richard's sound as the piano-driving rock n roll of 'Good Golly Miss Molly' or 'Lucille', we know, as this comp shows, there's more to him than that. For every manic rocker like 'She Knows How To Rock Me' or 'Ooh! My Soul' there's a beautiful ballad like 'Send Me Some Lovin" or an r'n'b pleader like 'Miss Ann'. It's preaching to the converted here, so all I need say is that the sound quality is fabulous, this series deserves your support and if gold vinyl is yer thang, this is an album you'll just have to own.
Press Archive - The Best Of Little Richard !! (LP, 10inch, Ltd.) - Music Street Journal, USA
The Best Of Little Richard !! (vinyl EP)
Review by Gary Hill
I know the conventional wisdom is that Elvis Presley was "The King of Rock and Roll." Personally, I've never felt he deserved that title. For me the triumvirate of most important contributors to early Rock and Roll is Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Of the three, I think Richard (I know his real last name is "Penniman," but I'm using Richard as his last name for the sake of this review - and the general alphabetization over the whole publication) was the most consistent (in terms of quality) and important of those three.
It could be argued that Richard has been the biggest influence on rock music for decades. Certainly a lot of his style became tied the genre. His little screams might well be the roots of metal screamers like Rob Halford. Lemmy Kilmister said that he thought Richard was the best rock singer of all time. His flamboyance and style really are rock and roll.
This cool EP captures a dozen Richard classics. It's a disc that manages to stand tall even today. That is just one of the charms of it. This is a 10" record on orange vinyl, and it's well worth having. The music is great, and the packaging really works for this release.