145 of 148 people found the following review helpful
Great introduction to Etta's music,
This review is from: The Best Of Etta James (Audio CD)
Etta was one of the finest R+B singers of the sixties and early seventies, with an incredible voice and an amazing ability to interpret a song. This compilation contains a selection of the music that she recorded forr the Chess label during that period. There are so many great songs here but I'll tell you about some of my favorites.
Almost persuaded, originally a number one country hit for David Houston, is given a bluesy R+B treatment here. Maybe Etta was inspired to try this by Ray Charles' re-interpretation of country songs, but whatever the reason she did it, the result is impressive. Loving arms, recorded by many singers but generally associated with Elvis Presley, is another inspired cover, as is At last, originally recorded by Glenn Miller.
Etta was first to record I'd rather go blind. In Britain, this became a top twenty UK hit via a cover by the British blues group Chicken Shack. Christine McVie (later of Fleetwood Mac fame) was the lead singer on that single but much as I love Christine's voice, the original version by Etta is superior. Etta's only UK hit of her own came following its use in a TV commercial in 1996 - it made the UK top five and is, of course, the raunchy opening track here, I just wanna make love to you.
Etta had plenty of R+B hits in America, though she only made a limited impact on the main pop charts. Among Etta's R+B hits to be found here are Pushover, Tell Mama and Stop the wedding, all of them excellent.
As an introduction to Etta's music, this is brilliant, especially considering that it is a budget release.