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Wilson Pickett's Greatest Hits

3 Ratings: 3.7
1990 audio CD release

Wilson Pickett was one of the most consistently strong performers of the great soul era of the 1960's, but like most R&B artists of the period he was strongest in his singles, not his albums, and while he cut some fine long-players in his day, a … see full wiki

1 review about Wilson Pickett's Greatest Hits

Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you got till it's gone.

  • Dec 17, 2008
Rating:
+4
I am a bit embarrassed to have to admit this but I guess I never did fully appreciate the abundant talent of one Wilson Pickett while he was still among us. Like so many other kids who grew up in the 1960's I was completely captivated by the Motown sound while the real afficianados of soul music were groovin' to the sounds of James Brown and Wilson Pickett. I have owned "Wilson Pickett's Greatest Hits" for more than two decades and I doubt I ever listened to the entire 24 tracks at one time. My mistake.
After learning of the "Wicked Pickett"'s untimely death a number of years ago I finally decided to  sit down and listen to all 24 tracks of "Greatest Hits".  I quickly began to realize what I had been missing all these years.  Wilson Pickett was a consummate pro who put his heart and soul into every song he ever recorded. 

Wilson Pickett began his career in Detroit while a vocal group known as the Falcons.  He made his very first recordings as a solo performer on the Double-L label back in 1963. Happily, two of his three charted records from those early days are included on "Greatest Hits". Great stuff!!   In 1963 Pickett met guitarist/producer Steve Cropper.  Most observers would agree that it was Cropper who was largely responsible for launching Wilson's highly successful solo career at Atlantic.  Over the next couple of years they would collaborate on memorable tunes like "634-5789" and "Ninety Nine and One Half".  Aside from Steve Cropper there were a number of other talented producers at Atlantic in those days and they all wanted a shot at working with Wilson Pickett. Jerry Wexler produced several great sides including "Funky Broadway", the remarkable "Soul Dance Number 3", "Mustang Sally" and Wilson's biggest hit of all "Land of 1000 Dances" from 1966.  As the 60's became the 70's Wilson Pickett continued to release great singles. Among my favorites from that period are 1968's "I'm A Midnight Mover" and "Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You" from 1971.  Wilson Pickett's contract with Atlantic expired at the end of 1972.  He moved on to RCA for a brief period but was never able to recapture the magic from those early days at Atlantic.  After a couple of very minor hits in 1973 he would never again hit the Hot 100.

It is hard to believe but "Wilson Pickett's Greatest Hits" was first released as a double LP way back in 1973!!  In my view it remains the finest available compilation of this remarkable artist. There is nary a bad tune on this disc.  As I have finally discovered after all these many years Wilson Pickett is an American original.  He will be missed.  This is essential stuff for any collection. Highly recommended!!!

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