Jackie Wilson

Reet Petite [Performance]

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Jackie Wilson's electrifying stage presence puts him on a par with Ray Charles, James Brown, and Sam Cooke, whose careers overlapped his own, but if he isn’t held in as high critical regard, it’s because all that stage excitement only occasionally showed up in his studio recordings. At his best, however, Wilson brought what would later be called soul to R&B-inflected pop singles like "To Be Loved," "Lonely Teardrops," and "I'll Be Satisfied," not to mention the rock & roll-like stutter of “Reet Petite,” his first big hit in 1956 -- all too often, though, Wilson smoothed a good deal of the fire out of things in his studio recordings. This two-disc, 60-track set has all of the above classics and a generous helping of Wilson’s less striking but still interesting and compelling forays into pop.

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