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Nineteen Sixty Six CD

4 customer reviews

Price: £10.93 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (27 Oct. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Kent Soul
  • ASIN: B001FE1WDE
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,675 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

4. NEVER LET ME GO (Take 4)
5. IF I LOVED YOU (Take 2)
6. (I NEED) SOMEONE (Take 12)
9. IN THE DARK (Take 1)
10. CRYING OVER YOU (Take 2)
14. I HAD A DREAM aka JUST A DREAM (Alt Take)
16. NEVER LET ME GO (Alt Take)
19. IN THE DARK (Alt Take)
20. CRYING OVER YOU (Alt Take)

Product Description

Product Description

* One of the great lost albums of the 60s finally gets a worldwide CD premiere! Some of the classiest and best mid 60s soul-blues ever committed to tape has remained unheard - until now.

* Recorded for Capitol in early 1966 while Little Willie John was awaiting final sentencing for manslaughter, the album was mired in a raft of contractual arguments and was put `on ice' once it became clear that Willie was going to have to serve a prison term and wouldn't be able to promote it.

* This CD contains everything that Willie cut for Capitol and is enhanced by a selection of stereo mixes and alternate versions from the sessions.

* Arranged and produced by two music legends, HB Barnum and David Axelrod, it features the cream of the mid-60s L.A. session musician scene and is topped off by one of the greatest soul voices. This is a listening experience that no true soul fan will want to miss. And if you don't believe us, ask Richard Hawley - who was enthusing about it during its mastering process... as he mastered his own new album in the studio next door!

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dangerous Dave TOP 500 REVIEWER on 1 Nov. 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is an intriguing album and one which might have provided a late fillip to Willie John's career if it had been released at the time. It was recorded in 1966 while the courts were considering an appeal to John's conviction for manslaughter after a knifing incident. At the time his career had effectively finished. The series of hits in both the US R&B and National charts, which started in 1955 were virtually over by 1962 though his label, Federal, did keep trying up to `63. I should add that the appeal was turned down. John returned to prison where he died from pneumonia or a heart attack, depending on who you believe, in 1968.

When the tracks for the album were laid down, John evidently still commanded considerable respect in the recording world since he was assigned David Axelrod as producer plus the absolute cream of the LA session world as instrumental support. Much of the album is in the heavily orchestrated style with some jazzy touches that we also hear in the later Duke recordings of Bobby Bland or in some of the later Ray Charles (when he stuck more to a blues agenda that is). John is so well on form vocally that many of these tracks could be seen as the epitome of his style of soul - impassioned blues with loads of orchestral colouration.

Because there were relatively few tracks recorded Ace have added a goodly number of alternate takes plus at least one number, "Endless Sleep" which one understands was not intended for release. In some respects that number is one of the most interesting present. Originally a slow, doom filled track from white rocker, Jody Reynolds with almost a David Lynch sound on guitar, and with Reynolds fated to be virtually the epitome of the one hit wonder.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By NKM on 18 Dec. 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is amazing. Sounds fresh and crisp despite 40 years on the shelf. Earl Palmer on drums and Carole Kaye on bass give it a slight Phil Spectoresque flavor, without the muddy production. This is worth all five stars!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By freewheeling frankie TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 Feb. 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's not often that whole albums that have sat in the vault for nearly 45 years turn out to be as good as this. It's to the great credit of Capitol that they thought it worth spending money on recording a singer who hadn't had a hit for 5 years, was still subject to possible (eventually actual) contractual interference from another label and was only out of jail while his case was under appeal. While the actual amount of studio time used was small - 3 half-day sessions across 2 days - someone had clearly worked hard on the arrangements and both the musicians and LWJ himself sound well-rehearsed and motivated.

From a musical point of view, everything goes right here - LWJ is in as good voice as at any point in his career, the arranger/producers (David Axelrod & H.B. Barnum) and musicians (members of L.A.'s most elite sessioneers, a.k.a. the Wrecking Crew) are stellar and on form, the material is good and the recordings themselves are superb. It's a great pity that nothing else went right - a moment of drunken ill-temper in 1964, a previous label that didn't want to record him, but didn't want anyone else to either and finally his death in jail a couple of years later made sure this superb material didn't get issued in the 60s.

To aficionados, Little Willie John is known as one of the singers who first defined soul music, before the term existed. Unfortunately his recording career ground to a halt in the early 60s and was prevented from revival by the above factors. On the evidence of this CD, he had the talent to have been one of the greatest soul stars of the late 60s and 70s, given the right material and backing, which he certainly has here. The value of this CD, apart from its sheer quality, is in revealing what LWJ sounded like as a sophisticated but bluesy mid-60s soul singer, as opposed to a 50s/early 60s rhythm & blues/proto-soul singer. It's a huge shame that this really is his last recording, and a monumental might've-been.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This compilation starts with a wonderful Northern Track, and throughout it, it’s got a moody, mysterious, far away, type of sound about it, created by Little Willie John, and wonderfully arranged by David Axelrod and H.B. Barnum.
Little Willie John had a wonderful voice, illustrated by the different styles of music featured here; so sad that he went the way he did. In this CD we can, at least, enjoy his artistry.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. Nightshift - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Had this release seen the light of day in 1966 Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Bland, Lou Rawls (Who claims that he didn't like it, probley because Willie was going to give Lou a SERIOUS run for his money!) would have had something to worry about! There's not a bad track to be found! In the span of a 2 (Two) day recording session producer David Axelrod & arranger H.B. Barnum put Little Willie John in 4 (Four) different settings: SOUL with "Country Girl", "I Had A Dream", "Early In The Morning" & "Endless Sleep", BLUES with "Suffering With The Blues", "In The Dark" & "Crying Over You", POP with "Never Let Me Go", & "If I Loved You", JAZZ with "Welcome To The Club" & "You Are My Sunshine", And 1 (One) R&B-Pop gem entitled "Someone".

I'm pretty sure the 'Original' intended album would have had 11 (Eleven) or 12 (Twelve) Tracks. ALL 12 (Tweleve) tracks that was recorded on those memorable days are featured on this collection, but for some reason (or another) we get 8 (Eight) that are listed as ALTERNATES, but upon listening to them VERY CAREFULLY they are just STEREO mixes! NOT ALTERNATE VOCALS and/or MUSIC MIXES. Wouldn't it been easier to give us ALL 12 (Tweleve) tracks (about 33:00 worth of music), replace the MONO mixes in favor of the found STEREO mixes, and make the List Price of the compact Disc at/or around $12.00 or $14.00? Instead we get the 'Original' 12 (Tweleve) PLUS 8 (Eight) REPEATED tracks in Stereo with a list price of (or around)
$18.00 or $19.00 Hard-Earned-Dollars....WHY????

Nevertheless, THIS IS A MUST HAVE for your collection, And ONE OF THE GREATEST FINDS OF 2009!!! On another note, the good folks at Ace Records will be delivering a third (and finale) release of Little Willie John's King Records recordings entitled "Heaven All Around Me-The Latter Sessions". MAYBE this time around they (Ace Records) will include STEREO Versions of his recordings for King Records (As well as ALTERNATE And/or SINGLE Mixes). Here's some food for thought....Maybe Ace Records will release a Compact Disc featuring the STEREO Mixes, ALTERNATES, SINGLE Mixes, ALBUM Mixes that were omitted from the first 2 (Two) Compact Discs they released...Who knows maybe they (Ace Records) could dig deep and unearth some UNRELEASED recordings from his years with King Records, thus giving us a FORTH Release. I have heard several STEREO Mixes, ALBUM Mixes & SINGLE Mixes, so THEY DO EXIST! I guess we'll have to wait and see, and hopefully we won't have to wait too long
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
One of 2008's best R&B releases 22 Dec. 2008
By Todd Baptista - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
While appealing his murder conviction, Willie John recorded 12 different titles in three February 1966 sessions for Capitol Records. Blocked from release by King's Syd Nathan on a contract technicality, these tracks have sat in the vaults for over 40 years. The material is strong, the band, which included saxist Clifford Scott (of 'Honky Tonk' fame, Carol Kaye, Gerald Wiggins, and Earl Palmer, is crisp and fluid throughout, and the charts written by H. B. Barnum are stellar. At age 29, John is a powerful master of his craft- raw, emotive, soulful, moving. A spot-on rendition of Lil Green's "In The Dark", a blazing remake of his own "Suffering With the Blues" and a pleading take of Johnny Ace's "Never Let Me Go" are as strong as the singer's vintage King material. A couple of tracks include a superfluous vocal chorus, but the extra voices don't detract from the impact Willie John makes on these, his final recordings. Tony Rounce's detailed notes and eight alternate takes round out a splendid Ace UK package. Produced by L. A. stalwart David Axelrod, this is, quite simply, one of the best R&B-soul releases of 2008. If you're an R&B and/or soul fan, you won't be disappointed!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Awesome reissue 9 July 2009
By Greg Kinne - Published on
Format: Audio CD
"It was one of the best things that I ever did. The only person who didn't like it was Lou Rawls - I told him don't worry, I can [produce] both of you..."

David Axelrod - July 2008

When 27-year-old Willie Edgar John was imprisoned in October 1964 for the fatal stabbing of a man who was coming on to his date, it was widely acknowledged that he might never record again. Despite his work for King Records and a compilation of singles, John did not have enough material to sustain a chart profile and therefore was considered somewhat forgettable.

The sessions that were captured here for Capitol Records present an attempt at recapturing the glory days of Little Willie John's career. With hits like "Fever," "Talk To Me, Talk To Me," and "I Need Your Love So Bad" it was imperative that Little Willie John could be an equal with the artists arriving from Motown. Time was of the essence due to his incarceration and the hope was there that the conviction would be overturned from the life sentence murder charge. Capitol producer, David Axelrod and his collaborator H.B. Barnum supervised these sessions.

Beginning on February 19, 1966, three sessions were held to record the forthcoming album. Session musicians were used to record those times including bassist Carol Kaye, Les Buie, saxophonist Clifford Scott and drummer Earl Palmer. Recording sessions proved to go smoothly with Little Willie John performing definitive versions of his classics such as "Suffering With The Blues" "I Had A Dream." Little Willie John performed "Endless Sleep" previously recorded by Jody Reynolds in 1958 and gave it the full Little WIllie John treatment as well. "Endless Sleep" was initially deleted from the album because it did not flow with the rest of the tracks but is included here. On the track, "Endless Sleep" John performs the song as a scat and in the process made up his version after several takes.

The sessions went extremely well and produced several other key tracks including "If I Loved You" "Never Let Me Go" and a northern soul styled track, "(I Need) Someone." These definitely were the some of the best tracks that Willie John had ever recorded and the deadline for his court appeal was arriving quickly. John's appeal was denied and he was sent back to the Santa Rita Rehabilitation Facility in Pleasanton, California before he was transferred to Walla Walla Penitentiary in Washington State where he would remain until he died of pneumonia on May 26, 1968.

After Willie John's death, King Records and Capitol Records got into a dispute regarding John's recordings; both claiming they had the rights to these particular sessions. Not wanting a protracted legal battle, Capitol Records consigned these recordings to their vaults where they have sat for 40 years until the urging of recording artist and R&B collector Billy Vera began urging Ace Records for their release. Hopefully this is not the end of the reissue campaign for Little Willie John as his voice deserves better recognition that will elevate his status to the greats.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Powerful 19 Dec. 2008
By NKM - Published on
Format: Audio CD
This is amazing. Sounds fresh and crisp despite 40 years on the shelf. Earl Palmer on drums and Carole Kaye on bass give it a slight Phil Spectoresque flavor, without the muddy production. This is worth all five stars!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Willie is truly great... 27 Dec. 2014
By off the map - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Over produced at times. Are the "Ray Conniff" singers in the studio? Willie is truly great and his earlier records for the King label are essential.
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