Of the major '60s soul stars, today's star was one of the roughest and sweatiest, working up some of the decade's hottest dancefloor grooves. A major figure in the development of American soul music, who recorded over 50 songs which hit the US R&B charts, and frequently crossed over to the US Billboard Hot 100. His forceful, passionate style of singing was developed in the church and on the streets of Detroit, under the influence of recording stars such as Little Richard, whom he referred to as "the architect of rock and roll. Among his best known hits are "In the Midnight Hour" (which he co-wrote), "Land of 1,000 Dances", "Mustang Sally", and "Funky Broadway". The impact of his songwriting and recording led to his 1991 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His sixties work is here now ......N'joy
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In 1955, Pickett joined gospel music group the Violinaires. The group accompanied The Soul Stirrers, The Swan Silvertones, and The Davis Sisters on church tours across the country. After singing for four years in the popular gospel-harmony group, Pickett, lured by the success of gospel singers who moved to the lucrative secular music market, joined the Falcons in 1959. Before establishing himself as a solo artist, Pickett sang with the Falcons, who had a Top Ten R&B hit in 1962 with "I Found a Love." "If You Need Me" (covered by the Rolling Stones) and "It's Too Late" were R&B hits for the singer before he hooked up with Atlantic Records, who sent him to record at Stax in Memphis in 1965. One early result was "In the Midnight Hour," whose chugging horn line, loping funky beats, and impassioned vocals combined into a key transitional performance that brought R&B into the soul age. It was an R&B chart-topper and a substantial pop hit (number 21), though its influence was stronger than that respectable position might indicate: thousands of bands, black and white, covered "In the Midnight Hour" on-stage and record in the 1960s.
Pickett had a flurry of other galvanizing soul hits over the next few years, including "634-5789," "Mustang Sally," and "Funky Broadway," all of which, like "In the Midnight Hour," were frequently adapted by other bands as dance-ready numbers. The king of that hill, though, had to be "Land of 1000 Dances," Pickett's biggest pop hit (number six), a soul anthem of sorts with its roll call of popular dances, and covered by almost as many acts as "Midnight Hour" was.
Near the end of 1967, Pickett began recording at American Studios in Memphis with producers Tom Dowd and Tommy Cogbill, and began recording songs by Bobby Womack. The songs "I'm In Love," "Jealous Love," "I've Come A Long Way," "I'm A Midnight Mover," (a Pickett/Womack co-write), and "I Found A True Love" were Womack-penned hits for Pickett in 1967 and 1968. Pickett recorded works by other songwriters in this era; Rodger Collins' "She's Looking Good" and a cover of the traditional blues standard "Stagger Lee" were Top 40 Pickett hits recorded at American. Womack was the guitarist on all recordings.
Pickett returned to Fame Studios in late 1968 and early 1969, where he worked with a band that featured guitarist Duane Allman, Hawkins, and bassist Jerry Jemmott. A #16 pop hit cover of The Beatles' "Hey Jude" came out of the Fame sessions, as well as the minor hits "Mini-Skirt Minnie" and "Hey Joe".
Late 1969 found Pickett at Criteria Studios in Miami. Hit covers of The Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On" (#16 R&B, #92 Pop) and The Archies' "Sugar Sugar" (#4 R&B, #25 Pop), and the Pickett original "She Said Yes" (#20 R&B, #68 Pop) came from these sessions. Pickett then teamed up with established Philadelphia-based hitmakers Gamble and Huff for the 1970 album Wilson Pickett In Philadelphia, which featured his next two hit singles, "Engine No.9" and "Don't Let The Green Grass Fool You", the latter selling one million copies.
Following these two hits, Pickett returned to Muscle Shoals and the band featuring David Hood, Hawkins and Tippy Armstrong. This line-up recorded Pickett's fifth and last R&B #1 hit, "Don't Knock My Love, Pt. 1". It was another Pickett recording that clocked up sales in excess of a million copies. Two further hits followed in '71: "Call My Name, I'll Be There" (#10 R&B, #52 Pop) and "Fire and Water" (#2 R&B, #24 Pop), a cover of a song by Free. Pickett recorded several tracks in 1972 for a planned new album on Atlantic, but after the single "Funk Factory" reached #11 R&B and #58 pop in June 1972, he left Atlantic for RCA Records. His final Atlantic single, a cover of Randy Newman's "Mama Told Me Not To Come," was culled from Pickett's 1971 album Don't Knock My Love.
Pickett continued to record with success on the R&B charts for RCA in 1973 and 1974, scoring four top 30 R&B hits with "Mr. Magic Man", "Take a Closer Look at the Woman You're With", "International Playboy" (a re-recording of a song he had previously recorded for Atlantic), and "Soft Soul Boogie Woogie". However, he was not crossing over to the pop charts with regularity, as none of these songs reached higher than #90 on the Hot 100. In 1975, with Pickett's once-prominent chart career on the wane, RCA dropped Pickett from the label. Pickett continued to record sporadically with several labels over the following decades, occasionally making the lower to mid-range of the R&B charts, however he never had a pop hit after 1974. His last record was issued in 1999, although he remained fairly active on the touring front until he fell ill in 2004.
Throughout the 1990s, despite his personal troubles, Pickett was continually honored for his contributions to music. In addition to being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, his music was prominently featured in the film The Commitments, with Pickett as an off-screen character. In 1993, he was honored with a Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. Pickett was a popular composer writing songs that were recorded by many artists including Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, the Grateful Dead, Booker T. & the MGs, Genesis, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Hootie & the Blowfish, Echo & the Bunnymen, Roxy Music, Bruce Springsteen, Los Lobos, The Jam and Ani DiFranco, among others.
Several years after his release from jail, Pickett returned to the studio and received a Grammy Award nomination for the 1999 album It's Harder Now. The comeback resulted in his being honored as 'Soul/Blues Male Artist of the Year' by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. It's Harder Now was voted 'Comeback Blues Album of the Year' and 'Soul/Blues Album of the Year.' Pickett spent the twilight of his career playing dozens of concert dates every year until 2004, when he began suffering from health problems. While in the hospital, he returned to his spiritual roots and told his sister that he wanted to record a gospel album. However, he never recovered, Pickett died from a heart attack on January 19, 2006 in Reston, Virginia. He was 64 and was survived by his six children.
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Wilson Pickett's first album, from 1965, was a bit of a hodgepodge, including singles from as far back as 1962. Three of these tracks were actually issued as singles by The Falcons (for whom Pickett sang lead) before he started his solo career; others were issued as singles before Pickett broke through as a national star with the title track. This 12-track album doesn't really suffer as a result, however. Besides the all-time classic "In the Midnight Hour," it includes the Mann/Weil-penned single "Come Home Baby," covered by several rock and soul artists; "Don't Fight It," which reached the R&B Top Ten in late 1965; "I'm Gonna Cry," a 1964 single Pickett wrote with fellow soul legend Don Covay; and "I Found a Love," The Falcons single that made the R&B Top Ten in 1962. Working with several collaborators (including Steve Cropper), Pickett himself wrote most of the tunes on this album. The record also featured the first recordings he made with the Stax rhythm section in Memphis -- a combination that would yield much fine soul music throughout the rest of the '60s.
Less of a hodgepodge than his debut In The Midnight Hour album, Pickett's second album established -- if there had been any doubt -- his stature as a major '60s soul man. The 12 tracks include his monster hits "634-5789," "Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do)," "In The Midnight Hour," and "Land Of 1000 Dances" (the last of which was his first Top Ten pop hit). Collectors will be more interested in the non-hit cuts, which are of nearly an equal level. These include covers of the R&B standards "Something You Got," "Mercy Mercy," and "Barefootin'"; several original tunes written in collaboration with Memphis soul greats Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd, and David Porter; and Bobby Womack's "She's So Good To Me." It all adds up to one of the most consistent 1960s soul albums.
Wilson Pickett - In The Midnight Hour / The Exciting (flac 242mb)
In The Midnight Hour
01 In The Midnight Hour 2:30
02 Teardrops Will Fall 2:27
03 Take A Little Love 2:18
04 For Better Or Worse 2:45
05 I Found A Love 2:25
06 That's A Man's Way 2:19
07 I'm Gonna Cry 2:19
08 Don't Fight It 2:30
09 Take This Love I've Got 2:12
10 Come Home Baby 2:34
11 I'm Not Tired 2:45
12 Let's Kiss And Make Up 2:30
The Exciting Wilson Pickett
01 Land Of 1000 Dances 2:23
02 Something You Got 2:50
03 4634-5789 2:52
04 Barefootin' 2:16
05 Mercy, Mercy 2:25
06 You're So Fine 2:30
07 In The Midnight Hour 2:29
08 Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do) 2:35
09 Danger Zone 2:06
10 I'm Drifting 2:49
11 It's All Over 2:17
12 She's So Good To Me 2:15
Wilson Pickett - In The Midnight Hour / The Exciting (ogg 104mb)
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Wicked Pickett is a fabulous album, done when Pickett was in the midst of his best period at Atlantic. It had everything -- great songs, wonderful production and arrangements, and a hungry, galvanizing Wilson Pickett hollering, screaming, shouting, and soaring on anything he covered, from ballads to uptempo dance and midtempo wailers. The Sound of Wilson Pickett was one of the three albums Atlantic issued by the Wicked One in 1967. Produced by Jerry Wexler (who got co-writes on a couple of tracks), it featured great session players like Chips Moman and Spooner Oldham, to name just two. Looking at the track list, it looks like a slew of hits. But it wasn't. In fact, it was two sides packed with singles. While it contains his absolutely classic, wailing read of "Funky Broadway," it also features both parts of "I Found a Love" (renamed "I Found a True Love" for the 1968 album The Midnight Mover), the Oldham and Dan Penn suggestive classic "I Need a Lot of Loving Everyday." Pickett's reading of the song with a killer female backing chorus smolders with nocturnal nether-hipped fire. Pickett's version of Rudy Clark's swaggering "You Can't Stand Alone" is a burning throw-down with awesome guitar and horn charts and a killer little Farfisa break in the middle. He also sings the deep Memphis blues on "Something Within Me." The set closes with one of his finest performances, his signature reading of "Love Is a Beautiful Thing." Arguably, The Sound of Wilson Pickett may be his finest album performance of the entire decade.
Wilson Pickett - The Wicked Pickett/The Sound Of Wilson Pickett (flac 332mb)
Wilson Pickett – The Wicked Pickett
01 Mustang Sally 3:04
02 New Orleans 2:32
03 Sunny 3:16
04 Everybody Needs Somebody To Love 2:16
05 Ohh Paa Pah Doo 2:37
06 She Ain't Gonna Do Right 2:14
07 Knock On Wood 2:40
08 Time Is On My Side 2:31
09 Up Tight Good Woman 2:29
10 You Left The Water Running 2:31
11 Three Time Loser 2:19
12 Nothing You Can Do 2:14
The Sound Of Wilson Pickett
01 Soul Dance Number Three 2:38
02 Funky Broadway 3:33
03 I Need A Lot Of Loving Every Day 2:20
04 I Found A Love (Part 1) 2:30
05 I Found A Love (Part 2) 2:59
06 You Can't Stand Alone 2:47
07 Mojo Mamma 1:59
08 I Found The One 2:30
09 Something Within Me 3:40
10 I'm Sorry About That 3:03
11 Love Is A Beautiful Thing 2:12
Wilson Pickett - The Wicked Pickett/The Sound Of Wilson Pickett (ogg 142mb)
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Surely no one was expecting a "quiet storm" album from Wilson Pickett in 1968, and that sure isn't what they got with I'm in Love, but the Wicked Pickett sounds a lot more convincing on this album's romantic numbers than anyone would have had a right to expect from one of the baddest cats of Southern soul. Of course, there aren't all that many romantic ballads here, but Pickett's rough-and-ready soul shouting manages to sound just as convincing on "Bring It On Home to Me" and "That Kind of Love" as he does on the pained "Jealous Love" and a properly intense rip through "Stagger Lee." Pickett makes the most of the songwriting contributions from frequent collaborators Bobby Womack and Don Covay, while Tommy Cogbill and his crew of Muscle Shoals session heavyweights offer music which keeps up with Pickett for guts, soul, and drive -- no small statement, considering Pickett's richly deserved reputation as one of the strongest and most consistent artists of the period. Like most R&B albums of the period, I'm in Love sounds more like a set of tunes than a unified album, but it's a good set of tunes, performed with Pickett's usual high level of passion and skill, and if you're any kind of fan you'll revel in it.
Wilson Pickett and the Muscle Shoals session crew with whom he cut most of his best work thankfully had the good sense to not try to go psychedelic when the pop charts went all day-glo in the late 1960's, but that's not to say they didn't make an effort to change with the times. On Hey Jude, Pickett and producer Rick Hall decided to throw a couple of recent rock covers into the mix, and while Pickett's version of "Hey Jude" suggests that he isn't entirely sure what it is he's singing about, he still belts it out with his typical level of commitment and builds up to a proper fury at the end; he sounds more comfortable with the neo-biker bombast of "Born To Be Wild", a combination of artist and material that works far better than anyone would have a right to expect. But the most notable change in Pickett's approach for this album was the addition of Duane Allman on guitar; his wirey, blues-accented leads don't overpower the album, but they add a noticeably harder texture to the sound, and that seems to suit Pickett, one of the toughest soul shouters of his time, just fine. Most of the Hey Jude is dominated by hard Southern soul numbers like "A Man and a Half" and "Toe Hold", and Pickett, one of the most dependable performers on the 1960's soul scene, gives a typically con brio performance on all ten tracks, and the sharp report of the horn section and Allman's blistering guitar makes for music just as potent as the wail of the lead singer, which is not an accomplishment to be sneered at.
Wilson Pickett - I'm In Love / Hey Jude (flac 362mb)
I'm In Love
01 Jealous Love 2:47
02 Stagger Lee 2:19
03 That Kind Of Love 2:09
04 I'm In Love 2:30
05 Hello Sunshine 2:31
06 Don't Cry No More 2:14
07 We've Got To Have Love 2:05
08 Bring It On Home To Me 3:05
09 She's Looking Good 2:21
10 I've Come A Long Way 3:10
01 Save Me 2:35
02 Hey Jude 4:00
03 Back In Your Arms 2:53
04 Toe Hold 2:46
05 Night Owl 2:20
06 My Own Style Of Loving 2:38
07 A Man And A Half 2:48
08 Sit Down And Talk This Over 2:19
09 Search Your Heart 2:40
10 Born To Be Wild 2:44
11 People Make The World 2:45
Wilson Pickett - I'm In Love / Hey Jude (ogg 146mb)
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