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Album Review: The Essential Modern Records Collection by Etta James
Excellent, Based on 2 Critics
PopMatters - 80 Based on rating 8/10
Boy, Ms. Etta James sure was pissed off at Beyonce. Yes, she did praise the former Destiny’s Child star for her portrayal of James in Cadillac Records, a movie far more entertaining than most give it credit for. But it didn’t take long for those kind words to dissipate into nothingness when the legend spoke in Seattle after word got out that Beyonce covered her classic, “At Last”, in 2009.
This 15-track compilation focuses on the earliest sessions recorded by Etta James for Modern Records between 1955 and 1957. James was only a teenager when she first recorded for the L.A.-based label. Her youthful exuberance and powerhouse delivery still generate that initial excitement captured on these remastered versions of "The Wallflower (Roll with Me Henry)," "The Pick-Up," "W-O-M-A-N," and "Good Rockin' Daddy." This set is a great introduction to James' early raw recordings; however, it excludes a few tracks from the superior The Best of the Modern Years on Metro Blue.