365 Days of Album Recommendations – June 16

Etta James – At Last!


Another staggering debut.

With all the stories that have accumulated around James over the years, it’s sometimes all too easy to forget just how incredibly impressive she was as a vocalist; it’s particularly instructive to go back and listen to this young, raw, preternaturally talented new singer on her debut, already tearing songs to pieces with the power of her pipes; here she digs into everything from “I Just Want To Make Love to You” to “A Sunday Kind Of Love” to “Stormy Weather.” Just a monster, monster singer.

Technically, she was already a veteran of a kind, and a handful of these songs had already been released as singles. But still, an extraordinary early album that announced a major, major vocal power to the larger world.

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