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Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5562] Tue, 05 January 2016 21:57 Go to next message
Richard
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Registered: March 2007
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Maybe a question that shouldn't be asked?

I love the guy, and whenever I hear an obscure track I haven't heard before (I only heard Try To Help Your Brother for the first time last week) I nearly always wonder why it wasn't a big hit.

But I was just listening to "Holy Mackerel" and it's like some antiquated novelty track... and I say that as someone who loves Scuba Party.

Also in there for me would be some of the weaker Vee Jay tracks. The Vee Jay sessions produced some underrated stuff, but for every "I Don't Know What You Got", there's a "Memories Are Made Of This", and for every "Talkin' 'Bout Soul" there's a "Only You".

In all the songs of his I've heard (how many? 300+?) there's perhaps, at most, only a dozen I don't really dig.

But what say you guys?
Re: Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5563 is a reply to message #5562] Fri, 08 January 2016 16:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
olaf
Messages: 44
Registered: March 2009
Location: Germany
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Richard wrote on Tue, 05 January 2016 20:57
Maybe a question that shouldn't be asked?
...
...
In all the songs of his I've heard (how many? 300+?) there's perhaps, at most, only a dozen I don't really dig.

But what say you guys?


Hi,
please tell us that ones you don't like. That makes it easier maybe?


Kind regards, Olaf
Re: Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5564 is a reply to message #5563] Sat, 09 January 2016 13:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Richard
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Registered: March 2007
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olaf wrote on Fri, 08 January 2016 14:30
Richard wrote on Tue, 05 January 2016 20:57
Maybe a question that shouldn't be asked?
...
...
In all the songs of his I've heard (how many? 300+?) there's perhaps, at most, only a dozen I don't really dig.

But what say you guys?


Hi,
please tell us that ones you don't like. That makes it easier maybe?


I guess a lot of tracks on Lifetime Friend haven't aged well... the instrumentation is very dated, in that 80s way, and some of it is, I hate to say, saccharine. (The title track, mainly... Great Gosh A Mighty is still cool).

But really, other than that and a few I mentioned up top, there's very few that come to mind. Specialty, Okeh, Reprise, Mercury, etc... they were all good records. Even the lesser-known stuff like the "Right Now!" album... it' a very good body of work.
Re: Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5565 is a reply to message #5564] Sun, 10 January 2016 13:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
olaf
Messages: 44
Registered: March 2009
Location: Germany
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Richard wrote on Sat, 09 January 2016 12:44

...
I guess a lot of tracks on Lifetime Friend haven't aged well... the instrumentation is very dated, in that 80s way, and some of it is, I hate to say, saccharine. (The title track, mainly... Great Gosh A Mighty is still cool).
...


Oh yes, Lifetime Friend is a good hint. Disregarding the text the music only was too much "tralala" feeling when I heard it first. The same with Somebody's Comin'. But - I think with almost every song - if you listen to it more and more you will arrange with it. You must not love it but it is ok. The Lifetime Friend album itself has many more better loved songs to me compared to the first listening (I did not need listen very often to it to recognize that!).
Yes, it was a new sound after so many years - if you have lived with the sound of "A Wop Bop A Loo Bop..." for so many years Wink
Great Gosh A Mighty, I Found My Way, Destruction, Big House Reunion... - yeah - his power + melody was still alive Smile

The Vee Jay songs:
His hit re-recordings. Oh my my my my - his power is not forgotten. But the background / instruments ...
Some of them sound better to me nowadays (compared to the mid-80s when I heard them first). But the former hits lost the "magic" on Vee Jay (Jenny, Jenny / Long tall Sally / Tutti Frutti ...)
Compare them with the new ones like Cherry Red / Short Fat Fanny / Money Honey - really great from the beginning!

You Better Stop is something without like a melody. Powerful voice but nothing behind...
The same to Modern Label songs like Do You Feel It / I'm Back.
These songs don't give too much to me.

From my point of view not really good for the ears are some of the overdubbed Specialty recordings (Wonderin' - lovely song - but the chorus...) beside his really "peep-like"-voice sometimes --> Lonesome And Blue (both taken from "The Fabulous" album. Remind the statement by Bumps Blackwell in "Charles White, The life and times of Little Richard, the Quasar of Rock.": "If you look like Tarzan and sound like Mickey Mouse, it just doesn't work out." concerning the first Specialty session Wink

But not to be forgotten: I love his music - if rock'n'roll or gospel, blues or the "modern" 70s and even the long instrumental The Rill Thing.

Dear Little Richard you are still the greatest musician to me!
Screamin' 'n' hollerin'
Woooh Woooh Woooh - Uh
Wink








Kind regards, Olaf
Re: Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5567 is a reply to message #5565] Mon, 11 January 2016 05:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Richard
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Absolutely, if this was "Little Richard songs you love", I'd be naming 99% of them. Smile

With the "sound" of the Lifetime Friend album, what I was specifically referring to is something that's very common on a LOT of 80s music - the thin sound, the dated drum machines, the somewhat twee instrumentation. I've listened to the album many times, and like a lot of tracks on it, but feel it could have been done better in other eras. Take, for example, one of my favourite tracks - Big House Reunion. Imagine that redone as a proper rock song, not that very tinny, "pop" style, all thin brass and drum machine sound.

You Better Stop is actually a real favourite of mine... of the Vee Jay rerecordings of Specialty hits, then they vary for me. (In fact, many of the "rerecordings are a bad idea, particularly the ones he did around 1976).

The version of Lucille, while the production is kind of horrible, is kind of interesting in that it's so different. I think I actually prefer the VeeJay versions of She's Got It and Rip It Up, as sacrilegious as that is to say, as they have more pace and power.
Re: Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5568 is a reply to message #5567] Fri, 15 January 2016 21:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
olaf
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Registered: March 2009
Location: Germany
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Richard wrote on Mon, 11 January 2016 04:21

...
With the "sound" of the Lifetime Friend album, what I was specifically referring to is something that's very common on a LOT of 80s music - the thin sound, the dated drum machines, the somewhat twee instrumentation. I've listened to the album many times, and like a lot of tracks on it, but feel it could have been done better in other eras. Take, for example, one of my favourite tracks - Big House Reunion. Imagine that redone as a proper rock song, not that very tinny, "pop" style, all thin brass and drum machine sound.
...


Oh, good described. I did not not thought about such things. I am neither a musician nor a sound engineer or technican or something else. But yes - too thin in parts, I agree with you.

Richard wrote on Mon, 11 January 2016 04:21

...In fact, many of the "rerecordings are a bad idea, particularly the ones he did around 1976...


Oh I love them!

After listen to the original Tutti Frutti (by chance) on a various artist sampler for the first time I found a cassette in a super market with the for me unknown Little Richard. I bought it for a cheap price and got 12 great of these 70s re-recordings I could not resist.
Wow! Bombastic and not to compare with the other music around me.
And I can't resist today Smile



Kind regards, Olaf
Re: Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5570 is a reply to message #5568] Tue, 09 February 2016 14:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Richard
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Registered: March 2007
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I just discovered the remakes of his hits he did in 1992.

RE: Holy Mackeral. I just listened to it again. It's kind of a fun track (if far, far too old-fashioned for a 1967 release) but I think what bothers me is that, at the risk of taking it far too seriously, he was around 34 when he recorded it. It seems too old to be calling on a girl and getting her angry father answering the door. That's taking it too seriously, I know...
Re: Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5575 is a reply to message #5570] Mon, 15 February 2016 01:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Richard
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Groovy Little Suzie... I'd forgotten how bad that one was. (The only bit that I rate is the wonderfully eccentric "I got a date tonight - ha ha ha."

I think his Vee Jay stuff is far more extreme than any other label he worked with... there's some first rate stuff in there, and some of the worst things he ever did.
Re: Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5576 is a reply to message #5575] Tue, 16 February 2016 19:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
almeyrow is currently offline  almeyrow
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Actually, I like Groovy Little Suzie. The upward breaks in voice at ending syllables is well done, as is the falsetto, and I like the pounding high piano keys. For me the "ha ha ha ha" was the unnecessary distraction, but not enough to torpedo the song. Long live the King!
Re: Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5582 is a reply to message #5576] Sun, 28 February 2016 17:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
olaf
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Location: Germany
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almeyrow wrote on Tue, 16 February 2016 18:56
Actually, I like Groovy Little Suzie. ...


Like it, tooooo! For me it is one of the good ones on VeeJay!


Kind regards, Olaf
Re: Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5601 is a reply to message #5582] Sat, 13 August 2016 21:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Lonely Summer is currently offline  Lonely Summer
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Lifetime Friend is one of my favorite songs. No, it's not a pounding rocker like we expect from Richard, but it is a nice melody, nice lyric, means a lot to me. Lifetime friend, that's what you are to me, lifetime friend, you gave your life to set me free. Hallelujah!
Re: Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5611 is a reply to message #5601] Mon, 14 November 2016 01:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Richard
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Lonely Summer wrote on Sat, 13 August 2016 19:35
Lifetime Friend is one of my favorite songs. No, it's not a pounding rocker like we expect from Richard, but it is a nice melody, nice lyric, means a lot to me. Lifetime friend, that's what you are to me, lifetime friend, you gave your life to set me free. Hallelujah!


Thanks for your input, LS, but this is ones you DON'T like.
Re: Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5651 is a reply to message #5562] Thu, 28 September 2017 23:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Richard
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I heard the duet with the Beach Boys (can it be a duet when there's about five of them?) for the very first time today - Happy Endings.

Easily his worst-ever track IMO.
Re: Little Richard's worst songs? [message #5652 is a reply to message #5651] Fri, 29 September 2017 08:59 Go to previous message
Lonely Summer is currently offline  Lonely Summer
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Richard wrote on Thu, 28 September 2017 13:41
I heard the duet with the Beach Boys (can it be a duet when there's about five of them?) for the very first time today - Happy Endings.

Easily his worst-ever track IMO.
Yeah, it's a weak song with cringe-worthy sentiments "give me Santa and the Easter Bunny", and Richard's vocal is overwrought. Sounds like he spent all of 5 minutes on the vocal. The only saving grace of this track is some wonderful Beach Boy harmonies.
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