This Friday, September 18, Omnivore will release two expanded editions from the one and only Little Richard. But those reissues of The Rill Thing and The King of Rock and Roll aren't all the label has coming from the piano-pounding pioneer. On October 23, Omnivore will continue mining Richard's Reprise discography with 1972's The Second Coming and jump ahead to 1986 for the Warner Bros. release Lifetime Friend, both in newly expanded and remastered form.
The Second Coming, Little Richard's third and final Reprise long-player, reunited him with Robert "Bumps" Blackwell from the Specialty Records days. Bumps had been Richard's collaborator as co-writer and/or producer on such classics as "Long Tall Sally," "Ready Teddy," "Rip It Up," and "Good Golly, Miss Molly," and for The Second Coming, he brought along an A-team of 1950s session vets. Recording at Los Angeles' Record Plant, they were joined by the cream of the '70s crop, too, including Mike Deasy, Jim Horn, Earl Palmer, "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow, Chuck Rainey, and Lee Allen. Little Richard wrote or co-wrote most of the album. But despite its lofty title, The Second Coming didn't restore him to the charts or yield a successful single. Omnivore's reissue provides a chance to rediscover it with the addition of the single edit of "Mockingbird Sally" and three cuts from the soundtrack of director Richard Brooks' heist comedy $ (a.k.a. Dollars). The Warren Beatty/Goldie Hawn starrer featured music by Quincy Jones, including two songs performed by Little Richard: "Money Is" and "Do It - To It." Both songs are here, as well as the single edit of "Money Is."
Following The Second Coming, Little Richard departed Reprise. (A fourth album for the label, Southern Child, was recorded prior to The Second Coming and surfaced in 2005 as part of Rhino Handmade's The King of Rock and Roll: The Complete Reprise Recordings box set.) He continued to sporadically record for labels including United, K-Tel, and Word Records in the 1970s. In 1986, he returned to Reprise sister label Warner Bros. for Lifetime Friend. The LP followed the publication of Richard's autobiography The Quasar of Rock and Roll. Helmed by Stuart Colman, it was recorded in London with a top-tier band featuring Billy Preston, Travis Wammack of Muscle Shoals, Jesse Boyce, and James Stroud. Richard wrote or co-wrote four of the tracks, opting to blend his signature rock-and-roll style with spiritual lyrics. He even incorporated rap into the overall sound.
Billy Preston co-wrote the opening track, "Great Gosh A' Mighty," which Richard would also record for the soundtrack to Down and Out in Beverly Hills. Wammack and Boyce also contributed to the songwriting on the ten-song LP. After being featured in the film, "Great Gosh A' Mighty" would peak just outside of the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album's "Operator" and "Somebody's Comin'" charted overseas on the U.K. Singles Chart. This new reissue of Lifetime Friend has two bonus tracks: the single version and extended mix of "Operator."
Both remastered reissues boast booklets with new liner notes by Bill Dahl plus photos and memorabilia. After Lifetime Friend, Little Richard went on to record a children's album for Walt Disney Records as well as a collaborative album with Japanese guitarist Masayoshi Takanaka. These upcoming titles from Omnivore, due October 23, promise to shed light on two distinctive periods of Little Richard's long, extraordinary career. You'll find the track listings and pre-order links below.
- Mockingbird Sally
- Second Line
- It Ain't What You Do, It's The Way How You Do It
- The Saints
- Nuki Suki
- Rockin' Rockin' Boogie
- Prophet Of Peace
- Sanctified, Satisfied Toe-Tapper
- Money Is
- Do It - To It
- Mockingbird Sally (Single Edit)
- Money Is (Single Edit)
Tracks 1-9 released as Reprise MS 2107, 1972
Tracks 10-11 released on $: Music From The Original Motion Picture Sound Track - Reprise MS 2051, 1972
Track 12 released on Reprise single REP 1130, 1972
Track 13 released on Reprise European single REP 14147, 1972
- Great Gosh A'Mighty
- Somebody's Comin'
- Lifetime Friend
- I Found My Way
- The World Can't Do Me
- One Ray Of Sunshine
- Someone Cares
- Big House Reunion
- Operator (Single Edit)
- Operator (Extended Mix)
Tracks 1-10 released as Warner Bros. Records 25529, 1986
Track 11 from WEA U.K. single YZ89, 1986
Track 12 from WEA U.K. 12" YZ89T, 1986