Saturday, June 2, 2018

Review: Vinyl Reissue of Little Willie John's 'Fever'


Little Willie John had a voice that betrayed his years. He was only 19 when he cut the first version of the deathless “Fever”, but his delivery already seemed as richly aged as a snifter of 40-year old cognac. It was just as smooth too without a sprinkle of the grit less naturally skilled singers force to put miles on the odometer. It didn’t matter if he was  smoldering his way through “Fever”, aching out the smoky “Suffering with the Blues”, belting blues on the hit “All Around the World”, and bouncing joyful noise off his sister Mable on the goofy B-side “Dinner Date”. I’d be shocked if Sam Cooke didn’t spend the morning before he recorded Night Beat spinning his Little Willie John records over and over.

Originally released in 1956, John’s first LP Fever collected most of his early A sides for King Records into a consistently strong package. Modern Harmonic Records has now reissued Fever on white vinyl. The analog process results in sound that is clear, powerful, and organic complementing the clarity, power, and naturalness of the man’s voice luxuriously.
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