Tuesday, October 13, 2015

King Curtis: The Complete Atco Singles. (3-CD Set)

King Curtis was the greatest R&B instrumentalist of all time, period. And it’s not much of a contest. Born Curtis Ousley in Fort Worth, Texas in 1934, the saxophonist played on hundreds of the most hallowed recording sessions of all time, everything from the Coasters’ “Yakety Yak” to John Lennon’s Imagine album. But Curtis wasn’t just a superstar sideman; he also was responsible for some of the greatest Pop/R&B instrumental albums of all time, including such Atco label classics as Live at Small’s Paradise, King Curtis Plays the Great Memphis Hits, Instant Groove, and, of course, Live at Fillmore West. 

Often overshadowed by the brilliance of his session work and his long players, however, is the fact that Curtis was actually quite a successful singles artist, notching 25 Pop and 10 R&B hits during his storied career. And, though it was during his tenure(s) at Atco that he recorded the most popular albums of his career, he also cut a mind-boggling 33 singles (including one that was never released until now) for the label. It is this hitherto-untapped treasure trove that Real Gone Music’s KING CURTIS: The Complete Atco Singles presents on three CDs in this unprecedented collection. 

Not only is this the first time on CD for virtually all of these original mono single mixes, but among these 66 tracks are over two dozen sides that never appeared on LP! That’s right…even if you own every Atco album King Curtis put out, you have never heard over a third of this set unless you bought all of the original 45s back in the day. And the caliber of the musicianship? 

Well, as the most in-demand session man in America, Curtis got to know a lot of folks, so appearing on these sessions are the great Muscle Shoals and Memphis studio cats like Cornell Dupree, Jimmy Johnson, Spooner Oldham, Roger Hawkins, Tommy Cogbill, and Reggie Young, plus a few other folks you might have heard of, like Duane Allman, Eric Clapton, and Delaney Bramlett! Not to mention the alternately tender, searing, and soaring sax lines of Mr. Curtis himself, heard on such classic tracks as “Memphis Soul Stew,” “Ode to Billie Joe,” and “Whole Lotta Love” (yes, the Led Zeppelin song) cheek-by-jowl with a host of smokin’ rare B-sides. Leiber & Stoller Music Publishing head honcho Randy Poe supplies the liner notes (Leiber and Stoller, of course, had a long relationship with Curtis), which we’ve put inside a gleaming 8-panel digipak sporting some great photos and Atco single labels. 

All but one of the 66 tracks have been transferred from tape in the Warner/Atlantic archives, and Mike Milchner of SonicVision provides the meticulous remastering. The R&B retrospective of the year! Release is set for December 4, 2015 via Real Gone Music.

Disc One
1. The Birth of the Blues
2. Jest Smoochin’
3. Ific
4. You Made Me Love You
5. Castle Rock
6. Chili
7. Honeydripper (Part 1)
8. Honeydripper (Part 2)
9. Heavenly Blues
10. Restless Guitar
11. Spanish Harlem
12. Boss
13. Quicksand
14. On Broadway
15. You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
16. Make the World Go Away
17. Dancing in the Streets
18. He’ll Have to Go
19. Pots and Pans (Part 1)
20. Pots and Pans (Part 2)
21. Something on Your Mind
22. Soul Theme

Disc Two
1. Jump Back
2. When Something Is Wrong with My Baby
3. You Don’t Miss Your Water
4. Green Onions
5. Memphis Soul Stew
6. Blue Nocturne
7. Ode to Billie Joe
8. In the Pocket
9. For What It’s Worth
10. Cook-Out
11. I Was Made to Love Her
12. I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)
13. (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay
14. This Is Soul
15. Valley of the Dolls
16. 8th Wonder
17. I Heard It thru the Grapevine
18. A Whiter Shade of Pale
19. Harper Valley P.T.A.
20. Makin’ Hey
21. The Christmas Song
22. What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve

Disc Three
1. Games People Play
2. Foot Pattin’,  Part II
3. Instant Groove
4. Sweet Inspiration
5. La Jeanne
6. Little Green Apples
7. Rocky Roll
8. C. C. Rider
9. Patty Cake
10. Pop Corn Willy
11. Teasin’
12. Soulin’
13. Get Ready
14. Bridge over Troubled Water
15. Whole Lotta Love
16. Floatin’
17. Changes – Part II
18. Changes – Part I
19. Changes – Part I (Live)
20. Changes – Part II (Live)
21. Ridin’ Thumb – Part 1 (Unreleased)
22. Ridin’ Thumb – Part 2 (Unreleased)

1 comment:

LEO G said...



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