Larry Williams

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Larry Williams is one of the great figures of early rock & roll. He didn't have the world's greatest voice, more of a raucous shout, but he put it to electrifying use behind his original compositions, some of which became standards. The Beatles covered "Dizzy, Miss Lizzy," "Bad Boy" and "Slow Down," the Stones ripped up "She Said Yeah," hundreds of garage bands in the early '60s had "Bony Maronie" or "Short Fat Fannie" in their set list. The originals are the best, though, and this disc captures the essential tracks recorded by Williams for Specialty in the late '50s. There are other collections you might be able to track down that have more tracks, including At His Finest: The Specialty Rock 'N' Roll Years on Ace which collects all his singles for Specialty plus a disc's worth of rare outtakes and Specialty's Bad Boy, which sports an epic 23 tracks. However, for someone who just wants the essential wig-burning rockers Williams became known for, this collection will work just fine. As an extra the set comes with an bonus disc featuring ten songs chosen from Specialty's archives by the likes of Guitar Slim, Sam Cooke, and the immortal Don & Dewey.

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