Little Richard -- one of the original early rockers, with his wild onstage
antics, most parents would send their kids to bed before watching his
appearances on television in his heydays of the late 1950s, early '60s.
His wild humor has always brought attention, with his energetic "Whoo's!"
and his energy in pumping the piano, Little Richard is still performing today
and occasionally making television commercials.
Rhino Records' 18 Greatest Hits is a collection of songs from his
successful years with Specialty Records. The Specialty Box Set has
the complete set, of 36 sides he recorded with the label.
18 Greatest Hits has many of his well-known hits: "Tutti Frutti,"
"Long Tall Sally," "Slippin' And Slidin'," "Rip It Up," "Ready Teddy,"
"Lucille," "Jenny Jenny," "Keep A-Knockin'," "Good Golly Miss Molly."
The "not so well-known hits" (from my perspective) are just as entertaining
as the popular hits. "Heebie-Jeebies" has the style of "Ready Teddy."
We can also say the same for "She's Got It." A more R&B soul approach
is heard on "The Girl Can't Help It", and "All Around The World,"
than the standard wild Little Richard tunes we're most familar with.
"Send Me Some Lovin'" is a bit slower, as in the styles of future soul
singers Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. "Miss Ann" is another good R&B
number, as it was the flip side of one of few Specialty 45 rpm vinyl records I
used to have, when i was a kid. "Ooh! My Soul" returns the wild side
of Little Richard, as heard on "Tutti Frutti." "Kansas City/Hey Hey
Hey" was brought to my attention by The Beatles' version. More familar
with the fab four's version in my memory, Little Richard's version is more on
the R&B side, rather than the Beatles' more harsher rock 'n' roll style.
The first 17 songs were from the years 1955 to 1959. At the end of rock's
first decade, Little Richard would leave rock n roll for religious gospel music.
Yet he did return when the Beatles arrived in America, as in 1964, he went back
to Specialty, and recorded "Bama Lama Bama Loo." Having the typical
Little Richard wildside sound, the world was paying more attention to what had
come from England, as rock's founding fathers were forced to sit on the sidelines
and watch a new breed of music invade the U.S. put their careers on hold.
18 Greatest Hits is a great introduction to those not familar with
Little Richard. Those who do remember his songs will enjoy this greatest hits
compilation, as it has many songs Little Richard was most famous for. Most
recently, he has been seen in television commercials, where some feature his
signature song, "Tutti Frutti." There are other great rockers as this
one, and as wild as he is, his songs will give everyone a jolt of energy, as
it shows how exciting rock 'n' roll was, and how it burst onto the music scene
and would prove it's future would never be the same.
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