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Little Richard

The Best Of Little Richard !! (vinyl EP)

Review by Gary Hill

I know the conventional wisdom is that Elvis Presley was "The King of Rock and Roll." Personally, I've never felt he deserved that title. For me the triumvirate of most important contributors to early Rock and Roll is Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Of the three, I think Richard (I know his real last name is "Penniman," but I'm using Richard as his last name for the sake of this review - and the general alphabetization over the whole publication) was the most consistent (in terms of quality) and important of those three.

It could be argued that Richard has been the biggest influence on rock music for decades. Certainly a lot of his style became tied the genre. His little screams might well be the roots of metal screamers like Rob Halford. Lemmy Kilmister said that he thought Richard was the best rock singer of all time. His flamboyance and style really are rock and roll.

This cool EP captures a dozen Richard classics. It's a disc that manages to stand tall even today. That is just one of the charms of it. This is a 10" record on orange vinyl, and it's well worth having. The music is great, and the packaging really works for this release.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
1

       

Lucille

This has a cool groove, that's sort of an R&B meets rock and roll kind of thing. I love the rocking vocal performance on this, but every bit of it is classy. The honking saxophone is on fire. 

Good Golly, Miss Molly
This is a classic tune, delivered in style. This is a smoking hot rocker. It still holds up exceptionally well today. I guess that's the magic of a great song.
Send me Some Lovin'
Now, this is more of a doo-wop styled piece, minus the doo-wop vocals. It's a slower moving piece that has a much more dated element to it. The saxophone lends some serious style to this and a lot of character, too.
Miss Ann
More of a bouncing old-school rock and roll sound drives this number. It's a lot of fun.
She Knows How To Rock
Richard's vocals open this in a fast paced performance. The music comes in delivering a decidedly 50s oriented sound. This might not be my favorite cut here, but it sure is fun.
Kansas City
The saxophone lends a lot of cool to this screaming hot number. It's another killer old-school rock and roller. It has plenty of jazz and blues built into it.
2
                 
Jenny, Jenny

Richard delivers a smoking hot, trademark vocal performance on this number. It's a high energy, rock and roller that works so well. The saxophone wails with style.

True, Fine Mama
I dig the rock and roll groove on this killer cut. The backing vocals bring something special without resorting to the doo-wop thing. Richard provides another trademark performance.
Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey
This jam grooves and rocks with style. I love the bass line, and the whole thing has a great energy.
Ooh! My Soul
Containing healthy helpings of both jazz and blues, this rocker is another that's quite entertaining.
I'll Never Let You Go
A mid-paced cut, Richard's performance on this one is particularly flamboyant. This has some killer piano and saxophone, too.
Baby Face
The melody on this is not only familiar, but also infectious. The tune has a solid 50s rock and roll sound.
 
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