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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Etta James

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Album Review

Like any record company worth their salt, MCA knows a good gimmick when they see it, and when the millennium came around — well, the 20th Century Masters — The Millennium Collection wasn't too far behind. Supposedly, the millennium is a momentous occasion, but it's hard to feel that way when it's used as another excuse to turn out a budget-line series. But apart from the presumptuous title, 20th Century Masters — The Millennium Collection turns out to be a very good budget-line series. True, it's impossible for any of these brief collections to be definitive, but they're nevertheless solid samplers that don't feature a bad song in the bunch. For example, take Etta James' 20th Century volume — it's an irresistible 11-song summary of her Chess years. There may be a couple of noteworthy songs missing, but many of her best-known songs for the label are here, including "At Last," "Something's Got a Hold on Me," "All I Could Do Was Cry," "Stop the Wedding," "Pushover," "Don't Cry Baby," "Trust in Me," "Tell Mama," "Almost Persuaded," and "I'd Rather Go Blind." Serious fans will want something more extensive, but this is an excellent introduction for neophytes and a great sampler for casual fans, considering its length and price. That doesn't erase the ridiculousness of the series title, but the silliness is excusable when the music and the collections are good.

Customer Reviews


I love Etta James, if you only buy one song, make sure to get "At Last". A wonderful song!

Etta James lives on. Thank you Etta.

This is Etta at her best, lover voice. She will be missed.


Born: January 25, 1938 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Few female R&B stars enjoyed the kind of consistent acclaim Etta James received throughout a career that spanned six decades; the celebrated producer Jerry Wexler once called her "the greatest of all modern blues singers," and she recorded a number of enduring hits, including "At Last," "Tell Mama," "I'd Rather Go Blind," and "All I Could Do Was Cry." At the same time, despite possessing one of the most powerful voices in music, James only belatedly gained the attention of the mainstream audience,...
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