The Royal Sessions CD+DVD, Deluxe Edition, Double CD, DualDisc
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The DVD features a making of documentary.On his new studio album, The Royal Sessions, rock legend Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company) pays tribute to the iconic soul music of Memphis, Tennessee. The LP, recorded at Willie Mitchell's revered Royal Studios, finds Rodgers tackling classics from artists like Otis Redding, Albert King and Sam Cooke. Using a roster of veteran session players (including organist Reverend Charles Hodges, guitarist Michael Stoll and the Royal Horns), Rodgers aimed for an authentic live feel, even recording all the basic tracks live onto analog tape.
Top Customer Reviews
The man can still sing fantastically well. His voice doesn't sound that different to me from the way it did 40 years and more ago, and there are some moments of vocal brilliance here. In I've Been Loving You Too Long the held discord which slurs up to the money note is terrific, for example. But…the whole thing all feels so generic and (I hate to say it of a hero of mine) ordinary. Perhaps it's just me, but it all sounds as though they've chosen a few "classic" songs, hired in a session band, singers, a horn section and a safe arranger and producer and made an inoffensive, uninspiring album.
I don't want to be too critical because there's nothing actually *wrong* with any of it, but I really feel that Paul Rodgers is wasted in this sort of stuff. He can invest a song with real brooding passion and genuine excitement but, apart from the odd moment, this just feels like another of those Great American Songbook-type things, which I've had more than enough of now. For example, the first time I heard it I genuinely wondered whether Walk On By was ever going to end, and it hasn't improved at all on repeated listening. A song like this which everyone knows in a single, classic version needs something really special to make recording it again worthwhile and this simply doesn't have it – it's well sung but pretty bland, the arrangement sounds like a million others and it just meanders on and on at the end without actually going anywhere.Read more ›
The songs are southern soul and blues, not just from Mitchell's Hi label but also from nearby Stax, including songs by Otis Redding, Sam and Dave and Albert King. Unfortunately this material has been over-exposed in recent years mainly because of the Blues Brothers but hearing an excellent singer like Paul singing these songs makes you realise both how good the songs actually are and how good a singer Mr. Rodgers really is. It isn't just his trademark slow burners like Albert King's "Down don't bother me" and Otis Redding's "I've been loving you too long", he also brings a real swing to the uptempo "Any ole way" and "It's growing". I was a bit disappointed that Paul and the musicians didn't do anything radically different with the songs but you can't deny the authenticity and professionalism of the backing and the way that Paul's voice perfectly fits with this material. He even manages to bring something new to an over-played song like "Born under a bad sign" with an understated reading that is much closer to Albert King's original than some of the more modern rocked-up versions.
Be sure to get the `deluxe edition' with the three extra tracks including a Staxed-up version of the old Free song "Walk in my shadow" (although the sax solo is no substitute for Paul Kossof's guitar) and a DVD featuring footage of the recording sessions.
For me personally i thought Rodgers should have done this kind of thing a long time ago he always had the voice to carry this off and it has clearly been a labour of love, these are great songs sung by a great singer.
Anyone expecting this to sound at all like Free, Bad Company or heaven forbid Queen+Paul Rodgers might not like this but if you have an interest in 60's Stax or Soul you may find plenty to enjoy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have liked him ever since the 60s when I heard the song ALL RIGHT NOW by the group he was in called FREEPublished 3 months ago by David Joan
Great chance to hear him sing the stuff he loves with such a great authentic bandPublished 5 months ago by Kevin Rogers
As someone who enjoyed the music of Free and Bad Company in his teens and then later developed a love of Memphis Soul this collection interested me. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Soul Music Fan
Absolute rubbish, did not get any enjoyment listening to itPublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Sensational Musician, Sensational Paul, a truly great album and really not to be missed out onPublished 11 months ago by Brian E. Viercant