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The Dreamer [CD]

Etta James Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: 11.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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The great Etta James has been a musical force and a major hit-maker since the '50s earning numerous accolades including six Grammy Awards®, among them the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award, a Best Jazz Vocal Performance and two Hall of Fame Awards. In 1993, James was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2001 she was inducted by both the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame ... Read more in Amazon's Etta James Store

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Frequently Bought Together

The Dreamer + Blues To The Bone + At Last - The Best Of Etta James
Price For All Three: 23.51

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Nov 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B005ND87MC
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,112 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Groove Me 4:380.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Champagne & Wine 3:570.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Dreamer 4:570.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Welcome To The Jungle 3:000.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Misty Blue 4:580.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Boondocks 4:100.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Cigarettes & Coffee 6:210.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. In The Evening 4:460.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Too Tired 2:310.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. That's The Chance You Take 3:470.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Let Me Down Easy 7:040.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

BBC Review

There aren’t many artists who get to officially make a retirement statement. Most stars just gradually fade away, or sometimes go supernova in a suitably spectacular fashion. Perhaps David Bowie has retired. Or is he merely taking a Miles Davis-styled sabbatical? For health reasons, the veteran Cape Verdean singer Cesária Évora has recently announced her final bow, and now the same situation has arrived with Etta James. This is a highly unusual circumstance in music, offering the opportunity to make a pre-meditated closing statement.

Of course, if this is the case, there’s a considerably increased pressure to produce the goods, to make a fitting summation, following well over half a century in the business. James has straddled R&B, soul, gospel, rock’n’roll and plain old pop, so much so that her style ultimately resides in a special zone where all of these elements are co-opted into a universal sound. It’s a sound that revolves around a rolling, old-school groove, and James has unsurprisingly opted for a classic band with a grand production.

For this powerful last stand, James concentrates on soul and blues, with a strong streak of country rock. Her passion is bolstered by bold horns, stinging guitar solos and a veritable gushing from the Hammond organ corner. The spotlight is completely on James, thankfully sidestepping the now kneejerk guest vocalist scenario. That wouldn’t have been fitting for this farewell session.

The James voice is lower nowadays, possessing a gutsy, lusty quality for someone who’s just about to leave the stage for good. We can't demand the pyrotechnics of her youth, but when James adds "uunhhn" punctuations between lines, there's still a sense of threat, a caution that we shouldn't mess with this sassy madam.

The songbook is excitingly varied, including gems from Ray Charles, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland and even Guns N' Roses, though James ages their Welcome to the Jungle into a retro reinterpretation that's more directly Rolling Stones-style. There's also an Otis Redding substance-abuse sequence, starting with his Champagne & Wine, then moving on to Cigarettes & Coffee.

The production might be slick, but James relaxes into this framework, providing the necessary lived-in looseness. The songs get slower and slower, as James heads off into the golden distance. The closing Let Me Down Easy is a particular highlight. It's the longest song, with an extended climax that showers potent guitar-work around her lines, as the horns push steadily higher.

Product Description


Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Older and Wiser and No-Less Wonderful 20 Nov 2011
Format:Audio CD
First things first. It has to be said : for a seventy three year old
woman Etta James' voice is in remarkable shape. That it has darkened
and deepened over time is of course inevitable but her singular gift has
not diminished with longevity. Her diction and phrasing remain impeccable
and the gritty, smoky edge which has always defined her vocal delivery
still stirs the blood. What she now lacks in decibels she more than makes
up for in style. Listening to her still makes our hearts beat faster!

Just listen to her marvellous rendition of Bobby Bland's 'Dreamer'
for a masterclass in the blues; without ever resorting to histrionics
or overstatement she makes the expression of every note and word count.
Her take on Guns and Roses "Welcome To The Jungle" redefines the song
as a delicious grunt-and-grooving piece of R&B; the swirling Hammond
organ and crisp snare drum urging her ever-on to nail it to the floor!

I'm a sucker for a slow blues song and Mme James' interpretation of 'Misty
Blue' truly is as good as it gets. An elegant and perfectly poised performance.
So too her heartfelt and soulful singing on the final track 'Let Me Down Easy'
but with 'Cigarettes and Coffee' a lifetime's experience is condensed into
an account of the composition which digs deep and comes back with something
so special that we can only hold our breath in wonder at her immutable artistry!

'The Dreamer' truly is one of the year's greatest joys.


(An Afterword : Etta James sadly passed away on 20th January 2012.
The listening world has lost a consummate artist and a great voice).
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Apparently, Etta James' musical career ends with "The Dreamer".
The legendary vocalist announced a few months back that this would be her final album. She's retiring from music in order to deal with serious medical issues.
Co-produced by James, Josh Sklair, and her sons Danto and Sametto, The Dreamer's 11 tracks offer an imperfect but utterly worthy portrait of the places she's been musically with a couple of selections that reveal her dictum that "every song is a blues".
Her signature meld of soul, blues, rhythm & blues, rock, and country are all on display here. The production underscores her lifelong commitment to these styles and suits the material at large.
Her musical accompanists include not only her co-producers, but guitarists Leo Nocentelli and Big Terry de Rouen, saxophonist Jimmy Z., trombonist Kraig Kilby, and trumpeter Lee Thornburg.
Etta James' choice of material is rigorous even if two of its selections are questionable: the cover of Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" doesn't lend itself well to the choogling boogie arrangement here; and the funkified reading of contemporary country stars Little Big Town's "Boondocks" sounds like she tried too hard to make it fit.
These cuts aside, the rest of the material is vintage; it reflects the work of Ms. James' influences and contemporaries.
Her readings of Otis Redding's "Cigarettes & Coffee" and "Champagne & Wine", Bobby "Blue" Bland's "Dreamer", Bob Montgomery's country-pop standard "Misty Blue", Ray Charles' "In the Evening", Johnny "Guitar" Watson's "That's the Chance You Take", "Too Tired" and Little Milton's "Let Me Down Easy" all contain within them not only their original traces, but the musical experience necessary to bring their subtler, deeper meanings to the fore.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Talent 3 Dec 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I do hope this is not Etta's last - but if it is, here we have another stunning addition to an amazing catalogue. EJ has never got the respect she deserves - for me not one duff recording in a long long career. It's only been Etta, Aretha and Joe Cocker who have consistetly been able to grab hold of someone els's song and give it a whole new life. Etta has always kept her ears open to the pop genre, as well as the more traditional. Guns and Roses cover - no problem, in the past other artists such as Prince, The Eagles, Alice Cooper have also attracted this amazing woman. As always superb production and musicianship. If you know Etta this won't disappoint - if you don't - jump on board.
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5.0 out of 5 stars etta for ever 12 Feb 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
fantastic woman with a voice above all others . if only there was another like her around now...she will go on forever..god bless her.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Etta James. 13 Feb 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love Etta James a massive personality with a fantastic voice,i first heard this Album when it was Album of the week on Radio 2 and decided that as soon as it came out i would have it to add to my collection,Etta James is one of those artists that has a huge voice with a richness that is going to be sorely missed,some wonderful music and tracks well worth a listen to.
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