He cut two singles for Peacock in 19, and they didn't chart either. (1957) By the time of this release, he's been recording hits for Specialty for over a year, and the label put together a flat-out classic.Aside from the historical impact, this contains several of the finest rock 'n' roll vocal performances ever recorded: "Long Tall Sally," "She's Got It" and especially "Tutti Frutti," Richard's first Specialty single and the tune which, more than anything except maybe "Rock Around The Clock," put rock music on the map."Taxi Blues" and most of the other tracks are in the smooth jazz/R&B style of Bobby Short, or maybe Cab Calloway meets Nat King Cole; "Get Rich Quick" is a bit livelier but with the same basic approach.
Mostly electrifying fast rockers ("Rip It Up," "Ready Teddy") though he includes a few slower numbers for balance ("Baby," "Miss Ann"), but all are belted out at a force of ten tons per square inch.
With the brief track times and Richard emoting like crazy, you may not notice the Upsetters, but they're tighter than a pair of Gloria Vanderbilts, and the tenor sax players get in some admirable honking though neither gets a proper solo.
After getting kicked out of the seminary, he started a comeback effort that's lasted nearly forty years, scratching his way onto the charts a few times in the 60s before scoring one hit in the early 70s ("Freedom Blues") and one in the mid-80s ("Great Gosh A'mighty"), but never again coming close to his former glory either commercially or artistically.
The original Little Richard discs can be hard to find: pick up the excellent compilation 18 Greatest Hits if you can find it.
(DBW) Little Richard (1958) More consistent and more varied than the first Specialty LP, from the ballad "Send Me Some Lovin'" to the incredibly fast "Keep A-Knockin'." It's also the source of his two best songs ever, "Good Golly Miss Molly" and "Lucille," plus the hilarious, amazingly singleminded "Ooh!
My Soul." Half these tracks are from late 19 ("I'll Never Let You Go"); the rest were already in the can when Here's Little Richard was released, but are far from also-rans ("Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey"), with the arguable exception of "Heebie Jeebies." So despite the impact of Richard's debut and the brilliance of Chuck Berry's Berry Is On Top, this stands out as the best early rock and roll LP.I only know of one book about Little Richard, and I've reviewed it on our book reviews page.(DBW) Little Richard released four singles on RCA in 19; they didn't chart.(DBW) The Incredible Little Richard Sings His Greatest Hits - Live!(1966) At least this release doesn't seem quite as likely to fool the unsuspecting.He invented uptempo rock and roll in 1955 with "Tutti Frutti" and almost immediately every would-be hip singer was covering his every single (the Beatles recorded "Long Tall Sally" and "Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey," and played "Ooh! But the cover versions always fell flat because the songs were designed especially for Richard's 12-cylinder vocal delivery, wild-eyed outrageous persona, the joyful abandon of his piano playing, and his top-flight backing band, the Upsetters.