Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions

Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions

by Etta JamesEtta James


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As the title suggests, this is the definitive edition of Etta James' Tell Mama long-player. For this single-disc release the original album is augmented with five previously unissued tracks -- documented during James' four Muscle Shoals sessions circa '67-'68. The question of why a rural Alabama town became a conduit for some of the most memorable and instantly identifiable grooves may still be up for debate. The evidence exists in droves and Tell Mama could certainly be considered exhibit A. These sessions feature the same impact that would redirect several first ladies of soul. Notable among them are Dusty Springfield's Dusty in Memphis, Aretha Franklin's I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) and to somewhat lesser acclaim, Jackie DeShannon's Jackie. Tell Mama showcases some of the unique and admittedly darker qualities of what might best be described as R&B noir. "I'd Rather Go Blind," "Steal Away," "I'm Gonna Take What He's Got" all exemplify the essence of the blues -- making the best of a bad situation. The flipside of the sombre subject matter is the satisfying conviction in the music -- which is where the remastering becomes particularly noticeable. No longer does the brass section sound alternately muffled or harsh as it has on previous releases. Likewise, the churning Hammond B-3 organ swells with rich textures. Perhaps the most sonically evident improvements are the subtle ones, such as the supple fretwork on "Sweet Dreams," "I'd Rather Go Blind," and the jazzy percussive shuffle of "The Same Rope."

Product Details

Release Date: 04/24/2001
Label: Mca
UPC: 0008811251826
catalogNumber: 112518
Rank: 46698


  1. Tell Mama
  2. I'd Rather Go Blind
  3. Watch Dog
  4. The Love of My Man
  5. I'm Gonna Take What He's Got
  6. The Same Rope
  7. Security
  8. Steal Away
  9. My Mother in Law
  10. Don't Lose Your Good Thing
  11. It Hurts Me So Much
  12. Just a Little Bit
  13. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man
  14. You Took It
  15. I Worship the Ground You Walk On
  16. I Got You Babe
  17. You Got It
  18. I've Gone Too Far
  19. Misty
  20. Almost Persuaded
  21. Fire
  22. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Etta James   Primary Artist,Vocals
Carl Banks   Organ
Barry Beckett   Organ
Charles Chalmers   Saxophone
David Hood   Bass,Electric Bass
Gene Miller   Trumpet
Floyd Newman   Saxophone
Spooner Oldham   Organ,Piano
Marvell Thomas   Piano
Aaron Varnell   Saxophone
Roger Dawkins   Drums

Technical Credits

Clarence Carter   Composer
Erroll Garner   Composer
Dan Penn   Composer
Johnny Burke   Composer
Marcus Daniel   Composer
Bill Foster   Composer
Rick Hall   Arranger,Engineer
Andy McKaie   Reissue Producer
Spooner Oldham   Composer
Wilbur Terrell   Composer
Ellington Jordan   Composer
Don Covay   Composer

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