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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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A brilliant 5CD Mini Box set in the ongoing "Original Album Series" - but this WILSON PICKETT entry is not without its problems. Here are the uptight and outta sight details... Released August 2010 - "Original Album Series" on Atlantic/Rhino 8122 79837 7 (Barcode 081227983772) breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (30:31 minutes):
1. In The Midnight Hour
2. Teardrops Will Fall
3. Take A Little Love
4. For Better Or Worse
5. I Found A Love
6. That's A Man's Way
7. I'm Gonna Cry [Side 2]
8. Don't Fight It
9. Take This Love I've Got
10. Come Home Baby
11. I'm Not Tired
12. Let's Kiss And Make Up
Tracks 1 to 12 are his debut album "In The Midnight Hour" - released October 1965 in the USA on Atlantic 8144 (Mono) and Atlantic SD 8144 (Stereo). It was issued December 1965 in the UK on Atlantic ATL 5037 in Mono only. The Stereo mix is used on the CD.

Disc 2 (30:41 minutes):
1. Land Of 1000 Dances
2. Something You Got
3. 634-5789
4. Barefootin'
5. Mercy, Mercy
6. You're So Fine
7. In The Midnight Hour [Side 2]
8. Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do)
9. Danger Zone
10. I'm Drifting
11. It's All Over
12. She's So Good To Me
Tracks 1 to 12 are his 2nd album "The Exciting Wilson Pickett" - released August 1966 in the USA on Atlantic 8129 (Mono) and Atlantic SD 9129 (Stereo). It was released September 1966 in the UK on Atlantic 587 029 (Mono) and 588 029 (Stereo). The Stereo mix is used.

Disc 3 (30:43 minutes):
1. Mustang Sally
2. New Orleans
3. Sunny
4. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
5. Ooh Poo Pah Doo
6. She Ain't Gonna Do Right
7. Knock On Wood [Side 2]
8. Time Is On My Side
9. Up Tight Good Woman
10. You Left The Water Running
11. Three Time Loser
12. Nothing You Can Do
Tracks 1 to 12 are his 3rd album "The Wicked Pickett" - released January 1967 in the USA on Atlantic 8138 (Mono) and Atlantic SD 8138 (Stereo). It was released February 1967 in the UK on Atlantic 587 057 (Mono) and 588 057 (Stereo). The MONO mix is used.

Disc 4 (29:48 minutes):
1. Soul Dance Number Three
2. Funky Broadway
3. I Need A Lot Of Loving Every Day
4. I Found A Love, Part I
5. I Found A Love, Part II
6. You Can't Stand Alone
7. Mojo Mamma [Side 2]
8. I Found The One
9. Something Within Me
10. I'm Sorry About That
11. Love Is A Beautiful Thing
Tracks 1 to 11 are his 4th album "The Sound Of Wilson Pickett" - released August 1967 in the USA on Atlantic 8145 (Mono) and Atlantic SD 8145 (Stereo) and in the UK on Atlantic 587 080 (Mono) and 588 080 (Stereo). The Stereo mix is used.

Disc 5 (25:44 minutes):
1. Jealous Love
2. Stagger Lee
3. That Kind Of Love
4. I'm In Love
5. Hello Sunshine
6. Don't Cry No More [Side 2]
7. We've Got To Have Love
8. Bring It On Home To Me
9. She's Lookin' Good
10. I've Come A Long Way
Tracks 1 to 10 are his 5th album "I'm In Love" - released February 1968 in the USA on Atlantic SD 8175 (Stereo Only) and April 1968 in the UK on Atlantic 587 107 (Mono) and 588 107 (Stereo). The Stereo mix is used.

There's no booklet with these card slipcases - but the front and rear artwork for each card sleeve uses the gorgeous American LPs - and what a treat they are to look at too. These are straightforward transfers of the original albums minus any bonus tracks (the "In The Midnight Hour" song gets repeated across two of the discs). Sonically each CD is the 1995 Rhino remasters - but for some reason they've used the Mono Mix (and cover art) for "The Wicked Pickett" album - and man do you notice the downgrade in sound when you play it. Pickett albums were always recorded rough (all feel and no finesse) - but when you go to "The Sound Of" album (Disc 4) and the Stereo returns - it's like audio chalk and cheese. But don't let this put you off - these albums are so crammed with storming Sixties Soul and Funk - it's just not true and you want them in your life. To the music...

Apart from his own great originals (9 of the 12 on his debut had his hand in them) - Pickett smartly uses the similar voice and genius songwriting talent of Bobby Womack, Don Covay and Booker T's guitar wizard Steve Cropper. Throw in an Eddie Floyd song here and a King Curtis tune there - and you get album after album of winners. But of course the best part of listening to these discs is getting away from the overplayed (but still classic) "Mustang Sally", "Land Of 1000 Dances" and "In The Midnight Hour" and digging those album treasures.

Songs like Bobby Womack's truly gorgeous torch song "I'm In Love", the storming funk of "Mojo Mama" by Jerry Wexler and Bert Barns and the blaster "She's Lookin' Good" which feels like Ike & Tina Turner in your living room with The Ikettes shimmying over by the curtains in a salacious way.

Something seemed to happen to our hero after "The Wicked" album because his next two LPs (and the final two in this set) are absolute barnstormers in every sense. When you come off the rough MONO of "Wicked Pickett" and play "Soul Dance Number Three" from the STEREO LP "The Sound Of Wilson Pickett" - the audio is shockingly better - full of power and clarity. "Soul Dance Number Three (a stunning funky Pickett original) is followed by the equally kicking "Funky Broadway". The two parts of "I Found A Love" (the A&B-side of a single) are mid-tempo but just so damn good - a great groove they let run. The Bobby Womack ballad "I've Come A Long Way" is another tearjerker masterpiece.

At just over a ten-spot (two quid per album) - "Original Album Series" by Wilson Pickett is a whole lotta Soul that will make your church-going granny's knees knobble and generally mess with her other bodily extremities. Indeed Wilson Pickett was (and still is) 'wicked'...
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on 26 August 2011
These Original Album Series have just become available here in Oz and what a fabulous concept from Rhino UK, five albums in original sleeves (with notes) in one box set for very reasonable cost. What a disappointment that the sound quality on the Wicked Pickett album was overlooked. The fake [?] stereo version has been used, even though the sleeve states 'mono' (conversely The Exciting Wilson Pickett states 'stereo' but is in glorious, warm, punchy mono).

So on the Wicked Pickett album you have Pickett's voice out of the one speaker and the response chorus coming from the other speaker, which effectively dissipates power and cohesion in production which Fame studios and Jerry Wexler would have found. I compared the sound with tracks from the Atlantic/ Rhino USA 2 CD compilation Wilson Pickett 'A Man and A Half' from 1992 and the difference for my ears is marked - I much prefer the mono sound. That said, the album itself is so good, and some people may prefer the chorus separated.

The quality of material, i.e. the songs themselves, many of which Pickett wrote, is great and take you from the early 60s exciting gospel tinged doo wop of The Falcons 'I Found a Love' to 1968's 'I'm In Love', a great Bobby Womack song which heralds the slicker soul style of the 70s. The Exciting Wilson Pickett and The Wicked Pickett, for me are indispensable. The first album The Midnight Hour was issued to support the hit single and is really a collection of earlier singles where Pickett is finding is voice, some raw and the better for that - most are fabulous.

Both The Exciting Wilson Pickett and The Wicked Pickett have his major 60s hits except If You Need Me (covered by Solomon Burke and The Rolling Stones) released by for Double-L and available on A Man And A Half. But they aso contain covers of contemporary hits such as Knock On Wood from Falcon band mate Eddie Floyd, Don Covay's Mercy, Mercy, Irma Thomas/Rolling Stones Time is On My side, Bobby Herb's Sunny, Gary Bond's New Orleans and Solomon Burke's Everybody Needs Somebody To Love. Pickett's covers in many cases eclipse the originals.

I was unfamiliar with The Sound of Wilson Pickett apart from Soul Dance No 3 and Funky Broadway, two top funky dance numbers and the remake of I Found A Love Pts 1&2 where gospel moves into soul. After a few listenings the album revealed itself to be almost on a par with the previous albums, which is saying... all good.

I'm In Love for my taste is a notch below the Sound of Wilson Pickett but it does have R&B hit Jealous Love, a tough Stagger Lee, and the hit title track with the lyrics "I feel just like a baby boy/ on a Christmas morning with a brand new toy/I'm in love''. Oh yes he does. She's Looking Good has the warning ''Mama get your mojo/papa get your gun/ I'm gonna get your daughter/gonna be your son''. Watch out, the Wicked Pickett's coming into your home - it sits nicely with his reputation - 'look but don't touch, he might bite your hand'! The album ends with another Bobby Womac song, one of those a torching soul slow burners, I've Come A Long Way. Both The Sound Of Wilson Pickett and I'm In Love are in (true not fake) stereo, except perhaps for the track I Need a Lot of Lovin Every Day, which might be an earlier recording.

If you like powerful, exciting, gritty 60s soul, with superb musicianship and Pickett's almighty voice, this collection from the Original Album can't be denied and is also great value. I almost docked a star for the fake stereo Wicked Pickett, but that album even in it's lesser state is wonderful.
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The extraordinary voice of Wilson Pickett is showcased here in five of his Atlantic albums from the mid-1960s. His raucous gospel shout never better than on "I Found a Love" (you get three versions over the five albums but what the heck!), prototype funk on the likes of Ninety Nine and a Half (Won't Do), and suprisingly tender on I'm Sorry About That and others. Of course the hits and the Northern Soul classics are also included (but no Hey Jude with the Memphis Horns and Duane Allman's amazing guitar :( ), epitomising the excitement - for me, Wilson's very much the "Soul Brother" of Little Richard - which mark him as one of the all-time greats. No brainer at the price.
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on 18 May 2012
Five Brilliant Albums, the only downside being that a couple of tracks are repeated, but who cares. The exciting Wilson Pickett is the stand out album for me, but I may be biased as that is the one I bought the collection for, as I havn't heard it since the 70's. What a bargain. If you are a soul fan you will love every track from 'I found love' to the energy of '1000 Dances'. Pickett's version of 'Barefootin' is brilliant. Well worth the money.
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on 11 April 2011
Five essential albums in the history of soul by the Wicket Picket, the number one soul screamer, at a bargain price. Fantastic songs and what a voice. I think I better dance now.
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on 25 March 2011
A great boxed set in the original album series of Wilson Pickett's first 5 Atlantic albums. The only drawback being that "The Wicked Pickett" is in Mono.
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on 25 April 2014
5 original albums each in repro. original sleeves, a set to take you right back to that special time and place.
Leaves room for the 70's albums to be made available in another boxed set, I'm thinking particularly of the Philadelphia recordings.
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on 15 February 2011
A large collection of discs and tracks that have shaped the history of music and R & B. Inevitable and a must for those who love R & B and music in general. All at a very low price.
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on 11 April 2014
DUSTY LOVED MR PICKETT AND PLAYED HIM A LOT.THIS SET IS REMARKABLE VALUE AND REMASTERED TO A HIGH STANDARD.GREAT 60S ATLANTIC SOUL.RECOMMENDED
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on 15 December 2014
What a voice - What a singer.
Why don't more people know about, rave about this man.
5 album box set of absolute class.
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