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Etta James Rocks the House (Live)

Etta James

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Etta James rocketed to the forefront of the Rhythm and Blues universe in 1961 with the release of the delicate “All I Could Do Was Cry” and the string laden “At Last,” an ornate but soulful re-imagining of an old chestnut made famous by Glenn Miller. Though James thrived as an interpreter of sensitive ballads, her roots in low down, roadhouse R&B were largely glossed over on her early Chess sides, making Etta Rocks the House a vital supplement to any fan’s understanding of Etta’s early career. Recorded at Nashville’s fabled New Era club in 1963, Etta Rocks the House finds James tackling Rhythm and Blues standards like “What’d I Say,” “Ooh Poo Pah Doo,” and Berry Gordy’s “Money (That’s What I Want)” with hair-raising abandon. Etta’s performance is positively incendiary. Her bluesy tobacco stained rasp completely overwhelms numbers like “Seven Day Fool” and all but overshadows the work of her stellar backing band. Etta Rocks the House provides a unique glimpse into the exhilarating, rough and tumble world of the Southern Juke Joint circuit in the early ‘60s. It is one of the most electrifying live performances ever put to tape and essential for soul fans.

Customer Reviews

She does indeed...

rock the house on this 1963 recording. She shows here that, while she could take ballads like "At Last" to soulful new heights and depths, she could also handle gritty blues & funky R&B like a pro. In fact, there's nothing in her delivery here that would make you think that she was just 25 at the time of the recording; she sounds as if she'd already lived 50+ years of hard life at that point... (In actuality, she HAD lived hard. See that Ace Bandage on her right arm on the cover? That was to cover up needle tracks...) From "Something's Got A Hold On Me" to the searing romp of "I Just Want to Make Love to You," everything is in-the-pocket and amazing. There is great chemistry and interplay between Etta and the band, and the result is one of the best live recordings (not just Blues recordings) you'll ever hear. Download the whole thing. You'll need to wring the sweat out of your shirt by the end, though...

This Woman ROCKS

Don't miss out on Etta James, one of the greatest blues, R&B, Pop and Rock singers of all time. You won't be able to sit still when you hear this one.

Oh yeah!!

This album has most of her stuff from the early 60's, and man is it HOT! I strongly recommend it to all of you Etta fans out there.


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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