Little Milton

Greatest Hits (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection)

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Milton Campbell was a blues chameleon in his early recording career for Sun and Bobbin, changing styles seemingly with every record he made. But he found his groove -- a Bobby Bland-style R&B with a bluesy edge to it -- when he came to Chess Records in 1963. These 16 tracks collect the highlights of his six-year tenure at the label, featuring the hits "We're Gonna Make It," "Who's Cheating Who?" and "If Walls Could Talk." The majority of the sides feature strong horn charts courtesy of Oliver Sain and Gene Barge, the core of Milton's sound during this period. The stylistic connection of Milton to Bland is no more stronger evidenced than on his cover of "Blind Man," but equal mention in the soulful department must go to the heart-wrenching ballad "Let Me Down Easy" and "Poor Man's Song," one of two songs collected here that Campbell had a hand in writing. Interesting updates of Little Willie John's "All Around the World" ("Grits Ain't Groceries"), Chuck Willis' "I Feel So Bad" and Rosco Gordon's "Just a Little Bit" complete the package. As part of MCA's Chess 50th Anniversary Series, this sweats the two-disc Welcome to the Club: The Essential Chess Recordings down to a perfect introductory package to this sometimes misunderstood (is he blues? soul? R&B?) artist.

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