TITLE: Pick It Wilson
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Top 10: It’s Too Late (#49 US, #6 R&B), In the Midnight Hour (#21 US, #1 R&B, #12 UK), Don’t Fight It (#53 US, #4 R&B, #29 UK), 634-5789 (Soulsville USA) (#13 US, #1 R&B, #36 UK), Land of 1,000 Dances (#6 US, #1 R&B, #22 UK), Mustang Sally (#23 US, #6 R&B, #28 UK), I Found a Love (Pt 1) (#32 US, #6 R&B), Soul Dance Number Three (#55 US, #10 R&B), Funky Broadway (#8 US, #1 R&B, #43 UK), I’m in Love (#45 US, #4 UK), She’s Looking Good (#15 US, #7 R&B), I’m a Midnight Mover (#24 US, #6 R&B, #38 UK), Sugar Sugar (#25 US, #4 R&B), Engine No. 9 (#14 US, #3 R&B), Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool You (#17 US, #2 R&B), Don’t Knock My Love (Pt. 1) )(#13 US, #1 R&B), Call My Name, I’ll Be There (#52 US, #10 UK), Fire and Water (#24 US, #2 R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Ninety Nine and a Half (Won’t Do), Everybody Needs Someone to Love, Stagger Lee, Hey Jude
LINEUP: Wilson Pickett. Most were recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Sixty (count ‘em) gritty soul man whose influence outweighs his chart performance (which was surprising to examine).
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Wilson Pickett’s voice was always a little raw for middle America, so it seems. Two songs that everyone knows (“Ninety Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)” and “Everybody Needs Someone to Love”) didn’t chart in the Top 10 in pop nor R&B, and those are two standard non-Motown soul classics. But his influence and power are undeniable.
This collection, part of Atlantic Records’ 60th Anniversary releases, is full to the brim of almost all of the singles he released in the 60s, a couple of ones that stretched before his time at the label, and some other great cuts.
Often compared to label mate Otis Redding, Pickett was a bit more untamed, a bit more emotional, and at times unrestrained. His work at Atlantic lasted until 1972, when he moved to RCA and his fortunes diminished.
This is just a must have collection for music fans, especially those who want to know about one of the biggest influences in rock and R&B from the mid 60’s forward.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: He first took the track “If You Need Me” as a demo to Atlantic Records, who released it…by Solomon Burke. Despite that, he was signed after a couple of hits on another label.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Sixty isn’t enough?
GRADE A+: Raw and gritty!