"A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-wop-bam-boom!" Craft Recordings is reissuing Little Richard's landmark debut album next month in honor of its 60th anniversary.
Here's Little Richard will now feature a bonus disc with 22 session outtakes and demos. While most are ostensibly taken from the exhaustive treasury The Specialty Sessions (released in 1989 as a 6CD set by Ace Records and a 3CD cut-down by Specialty shortly thereafter), eight tracks--including alternate versions of "Rip It Up," "Ready Teddy" and "Oh Why?"--are heard here for the first time ever.
Approaching the forbidden "devil's music" of rhythm and blues with the fervor of a gospel preacher, and sporting an onstage personality that was arguably larger than any of his contemporaries, the man born Richard Penniman was seen by producer Robert "Bumps" Blackwell as Specialty Records' answer to Ray Charles--though Richard saw himself as more of a Fats Domino type. His first single, released in 1955, was a staple of Richard's high-energy, often lascivious club shows: "Tutti Frutti." It immediately skyrocketed to No. 2 on Billboard's soul chart, crossing over into the Top 20 of what was then known as the Top 100. Follow-up single "Long Tall Sally" soared even higher, topping the R&B chart and becoming a Top 10 pop single on both sides of the Atlantic. Both those tunes, and four other single sides, featured on debut long-player Here's Little Richard, a Top 20 hit on the album chart.
Journalist Chris Morris' liner notes put the album, and its wild influence on what we now know and adore as rock and roll, into greater context. The package is available November 3 from Craft Recordings; pre-order links and the full track list are below.
Here's Little Richard: 60th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Craft Recordings, 2017) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. (TBD) / Amazon Canada)
Disc 1: Original album (released as Specialty SP-100, 1957)
- Tutti Frutti
- True Fine Mama
- Can't Believe You Wanna Leave
- Ready Teddy
- Slippin' and Slidin'
- Long Tall Sally
- Miss Ann
- Oh Why?
- Rip It Up
- Jenny Jenny
- She's Got It
Disc 2: Outtakes
- Tutti Frutti (take 2)
- True Fine Mama (incomplete take)
- Can't Believe You Wanna Leave (take 6) *
- Can't Believe You Wanna Leave (take 8)
- Ready Teddy (take 1) *
- Ready Teddy (takes 2 & 3) *
- Baby (demo)
- Baby (take 1)
- Slippin' and Slidin' (demo) *
- Slippin' and Slidin' (piano & drums demo)
- Long Tall Sally (take 1)
- Long Tall Sally (take 6)
- Miss Ann (demo)
- Miss Ann (take 1)
- Miss Ann (take 6)
- Oh Why? (takes 3 & 4) *
- Oh Why? (take 9)
- Rip It Up (take 1) *
- Rip It Up (take 3)
- Rip It Up (take 4) *
- Rip It Up (take 6) *
- She's Got It (alternate version)
Disc 2, Tracks 1-2, 4, 7-8, 10-15, 17, 19 and 22 released on The Specialty Sessions box set - Ace Records ABOXLP/CD 1 (U.K.), 1989
I'm so excited for this one. Love this album! Thanks for the heads up. All the best! --Sam