- Audio CD (25 Jun 1990)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Ace
- ASIN: B0000009L8
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 203,142 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|1. Hound Dog|
|2. Walking Blues|
|3. My Man Called Me|
|4. Cotton Picking Blues|
|5. Willie Mae's Trouble|
|6. The Big Change|
|7. I Smell a Rat|
|8. I Just Can't Help Myself|
|9. They Call Me Big Mama|
|10. Hard Times|
|11. I AIn't No Fool Either|
|12. You Don't Move Me No More|
|13. Let Your Tears Fall Baby|
|14. I've Searched The World Over|
|15. Rock a Bye Baby|
|16. How Come|
|18. Stop A-Hoppin On Me|
|19. Laugh, Laugh, Laugh|
|20. Just Like A Dog (Barking Up The Wrong Tree)|
See all 22 tracks on this disc
What you can say, I'm afraid, is that Big Mama Thornton's place in pop history is assured only courtesy of such a piece of codswallop.
Big Mama's version of "Hound Dog", so the legend goes, puts the subsequent version by Elvis Presley into the shade (oddly, though, the legend doesn't say how, exactly). Had only Big Mama been white, and a man, and it would have been her on the Ed Sullivan show and not E. Big Mama, you see, is a victim of her own poor circumstance. Elvis was simply a lucky chancer.
Thus are our political and mythical needs sated. No matter that it's utter nonsense.
There's a simple experiment you can perform, in the comfort of your own home, which will demonstrate how patent this nonsense is. All you have to do is play the two artists' versions of "Hound Dog", one after another, on your stereo. Play Big Mama first, then Elvis. Then Big Mama again, to give her the benefit of any doubt.
Big Mama's version is nice enough, in a comfy R+B sort of a way - no denying that.
On the other hand, Elvis' version, from the very first snarled syllable, peels paint off your walls. To this very day, there has been barely a record released which captures the same sort of energy and potent exuberance of youth. In fact I can think of only one which compares: the Sex Pistols' Anarchy in the UK.
So forget the notion that Big Mama outdid the king. The myth is more pernicious even than that, though, for not only did Elvis not unjustly deny Big Mama her rightful fame and fortune, but to the contrary, she's done quite OK out of Elvis. Can you imagine anyone buying her records now (um, care to mention any of her other top ten hits?) had Elvis not sung Hound Dog?
She, er, ain't never caught a rabbit... Oh, never mind.
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