Wild Thing: The Songs of Chip Taylor

Wild Thing: The Songs of Chip Taylor


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As an artist, Chip Taylor is mostly known as a country-oriented singer/songwriter. As a songwriter, however, he's mostly known for the most commercially successful of his compositions, all of them popularized by other artists between the mid-'60s and mid-'70s. This CD -- another exemplary entry in Ace's series of compilations of the most famous and/or interesting covers of work by outstanding '60s songwriters -- has 25 of them, ranging from a number one hit to a previously unissued demo. That number one hit, of course, is the Troggs' "Wild Thing," which kicks off this anthology and remains by far his most famous song. But the two dozen remaining tracks on this disc (written by Taylor alone or in collaboration with others) are also generally quite impressive, if not as hard-rocking as "Wild Thing," and recorded by a very impressive roster of performers. Taylor's work was usually more pop-soul-country-oriented than "Wild Thing," as heard in some of the more well-known songs here, like Merrilee Rush's 1968 hit "Angel of the Morning," Lorraine Ellison's "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)," Evie Sands' "I Can't Let Go" (in turn covered for a hit by the Hollies), the Pozo-Seco Singers' "I Can Make It with You," and Barbara Lewis' "Make Me Belong to You." As usual in this series, some quality recordings weren't included -- like Evie Sands' "Picture Me Gone," the Hollies' "I Can't Let Go," or the Troggs' hit recording of "Any Way That You Want Me" (here represented by a far more obscure version by Tina Mason) -- owing to licensing hurdles, or the wish to avoid presenting more than one version of any song. Also as usual, however, Ace throws in a heap of obscurities and lesser-known cuts by stars who are at or almost on the same level, also demonstrating Taylor's versatility as a tuneful composer and romantic lyricist able to adapt to numerous formats. Some such highlights on this collection include Walter Jackson's lush soul ballad "Welcome Home"; Madeline Bell's delightful uptempo pop-soul take on "Picture Me Gone," which deserved to be a hit and never was; "I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face," one of Aretha Franklin's finest pre-Atlantic recordings; "Don't Say It Baby," one of Dusty Springfield's better early LP cuts; and "Storybook Children," a groundbreaking interracial duet between Billy Vera and Judy Clay in its hit version, but here represented by a previously unissued demo on which Vera duets with Nona Hendryx. Even some of the songs that clearly aren't up to Taylor's highest standards are entertaining, like Reparata & the Delrons' Shangri-Las-like "Tommy." Elsewhere some notable names like Peggy Lee, Patti Austin, the Hollies, and Little Eva weigh in with fairly little-known tracks, while the mid-'70s recordings by Stoney Edwards and Taylor himself -- the ones of latest vintage on this CD -- point toward the country sound with which he was ultimately most comfortable.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/21/2009
Label: Ace Records Uk
UPC: 0029667037228
catalogNumber: 1229
Rank: 53440


  1. Wild Thing
  2. I Can't Let Go
  3. I Can Make It with You
  4. Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)
  5. Angel of the Morning
  6. Sneakin' Up on You
  7. Country Girl-City Man
  8. Welcome Home
  9. Is That You
  10. Picture Me Gone
  11. I Can't Wait Until I See My Baby's Face
  12. Any Way That You Want Me
  13. A Most Unusual Boy
  14. His True Love for You
  15. Make Me Belong to You
  16. My Johnny Doesn't Come Around Anymore
  17. Tommy
  18. Don't Say It Baby
  19. Wake Up John
  20. Storybook Children
  21. Run Home to Your Mama
  22. I'll Give My Heart to You
  23. Son of a Rotten Gambler
  24. Blackbird (Hold Your Head High)
  25. (I Want) The Real Thing

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lou Levy   Musical Direction
Charles Calello   Conductor
Riley Hampton   Conductor
Belford Hendricks   Conductor
Garry Sherman   Conductor
Gary Sherman   Conductor

Technical Credits

Ray Stevens   Arranger
Curtis Mayfield   Producer
David Axelrod   Producer
Chip Taylor   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Author,Photo Courtesy
Henry Jerome   Producer
John Abbott   Arranger
Mike Akopoff   Producer
Charles Calello   Arranger
David Cavanaugh   Producer
Tommy Cogbill   Producer
Ted Daryll   Composer,Producer
Wes Farrell   Composer
Leroy Glover   Arranger
Gorgoni   Composer
Arthur Greenslade   Director
Chris Gunning   Arranger
Riley Hampton   Arranger
Belford Hendricks   Arranger
Steve Jerome   Producer
Bob Johnston   Arranger,Producer
Jack Lewis   Producer
Chips Moman   Producer
Clyde Otis   Producer
Jerry Ragovoy   Composer,Producer
Ron Richards   Producer
Garry Sherman   Arranger
Shelby Singleton   Producer
Billy Vera   Composer,Producer,Photo Courtesy
Bert de Coteaux   Director
Miles Grayson   Arranger
Tony Rounce   Liner Notes
Mick Patrick   Liner Notes
Barry Richards   Composer
Albert Gorgoni Orchestra   Composer,Producer
Michael Randolph   Cover Photo
Dave Cavanaugh   Producer
Flo Arpin   Photo Courtesy
Carl Davis   Producer
Carl Davis   Producer
Gary Sherman   Arranger
Albert Gorgoni   Composer,Producer
Chris Gunning Orchestra   Arranger

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