Wilson Pickett like Aretha Franklin, is a Hall-of-Fame member from Detroit who Berry Gordy had the opportunity to record in the early 60's before they achieved fame with other companies but didn't. Gordy's refusal to record Franklin may be confusing, but it's no mystery why he didn't want to deal with the explosive, quick- tempered, sucker-punching Pickett. "If You Need Me," written by Pickett and Robert Bateman & Sonny Sanders (Satintones), is not quite as dynamic as "I Found a Love" recorded as a member of the Falcons, but it's close. It entered the Pop 100 at #64 Pop, and would have done better if Atlantic hadn't released a cover by Solomon Burke. Burke's rendition made the Pop Top 40, and went to #2 R&B in 1962, despite its inferiority to Pickett's electric performance. His blood curdling on-key scream is alive and well on "It's Too Late" the second reason either to seek this out-of-print album, or to locate these songs on CD. Pickett's tent revival delivery touches every nerve on the histrionic ballad. The upbeat "I Can't Stop" sounds Motown ish, the backing vocals remind you of the Vandellas, former Falcon buddy Willie Schofield wrote the number. The third single release from this LP "I'm Down to My Last Heartbreak" died a swift certain death toward the end of 1963. "R. B. Special," a.k.a. "Robert's Monkey" is an instrumental inspired by Robert Bateman who produced the bulk of this LP. Three labels released this album: Double LL, Trip, and Wand as Great Wilson Pickett Hits. ~ Andrew Hamilton
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- The Midnight Mover: The Early Years 1957-1962 (Falcons (The))