May 17, 2017 Wicked Awesome

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Wilson Pickett, The Wicked Pickett, Atlantic SD-8138, 1967

It’s always a bit of a thrill when I run across an album I’ve never seen before.  Naturally, it’s a bigger thrill when I realize it’s fairly priced and I can afford it.  Price guides list a mint stereo copy of this record at $60, so I didn’t think to hard about shelling out $10 for this copy.  Any mid 60s soul record, especially one on Atlantic, Stax or Volt is a rare find and I never hesitate to add one to my collection when I find it.  Wilson Pickett was in the middle of his amazing tear of blistering soul hits when this record came out, and this is one wicked album to listen to.

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There’s only one true hit single, Mustang Sally, but even the covers are done in the same Memphis Soul style.  Technically, even Sally is a cover of a cover too.  It was done by a former band mate of Pickett’s, “Sir” Mack Rice in 1965.  That version hit #15 on the R&B charts, and a few months later, The Young Rascals re-recorded it as the B-Side to their #1 hit Good Lovin.  With The Rascals being on Atlantic, and Pickett needing a new song to record, producer Jerry Wexler took the song to Memphis and the result was a stone cold smash.

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Both stereo and mono versions of this album originally came out when it was released for New Year’s 1967.  By New Years 1968, most record companies phased out commercial mono pressings, but this is one case where the mono out sold the stereo.  The price guides value a stereo copy as being worth $10 more, so I have to assume that it didn’t sell as well.  Either way, this is a a real find, and sometimes you just get lucky.

Today’s Summary:
Cost: $10, $107 Remaining

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November 29, 2016 Don’t Let The Ring Wear Fool You

3z0a7972_4152Wilson Pickett, In Philadelphia, Atlantic SD-8270, 1970

I’m pleased to report that one of the best movies ever made about soul music is now on Netflix!  The Commitments may be an Irish movie, but it drips soul out of every scene.  While he doesn’t actually appear in the film, the band forms around the idea of getting to perform in front of The Wicked Wilson Pickett.  So I had to dig out this record an see how wicked it really is.

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At first I thought it was going to be a live album, owing to the cover photo and the cryptic title.  But apparently, it was such a big move for Mr. Pickett to not record an album at Atlantic Studio’s Muscle Shoals operation, that they named the whole record after the studio.  It’s actually just the second full album produced by the team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.  They would go on to form their own label, Philadelphia International, that would dominate the 70s soul scene and surpass Motown in sales and influence.

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So, while I was a tad disappointed to not hear the wicked one live, I did get to hear a really wonderful soul record from one of the all time greats.  While his 60s records are the ones that made the legend, his 70s sounds are somehow even more intense.  His gravelly voice is now rocky, but he still manages to hold it together and his screams are world class.  The material is a bit meh, but it’s still a great record.  Don’t let the ring wear fool you either, it’s in pretty decent shape!

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $615 Remaining