Wilson Pickett's 1965 debut album, "In The Midnight Hour" covered in 12 tracks the various styles and settings the soul giant explored on numerous singles (for several small labels) during the first half of the decade, finally finding his mien, climaxing at Stax with the title triumph. "The Exciting" is the followup, and without question more consistant in overall sound and approach, covering sessions recorded at Stax and Fame Studios during 1965 - 66. Despite a needless re-run of "Midnight Hour," (same track in the same mix) the set is classic Pickett: funky, blues- and gospel-influenced, aggressive and intense. It is often forgotten that Pickett wrote much of his own material, and more than half of this set features Pickett's name credited as songwriter.
The main problem with this 2002 reissue is Collectables' indifferent treatment of a true 1960s gem: the front cover is reproduced, but that's it - no annotation or liner notes,let alone remastering credit, and the cover isn't even part of a booklet: what would normally be page 3 is a coupon for the label's catalog. This cheesiness extends to the remastering, utterly different from the Rhino remasters of a decade ago. The album sounds overly bright, harsh, metallic, lacking in the warmth inherent in the music. Too bad--I hope someone (Sundazed?for a revealing contrast investigate their Lee Dorsey remasters!) revisits the Pickett catalog soon and gives it the respect it deserves!