Shorty Long

The Essential Collection

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A valiant import compiled by Spectrum Records but not without flaws. Casual fans won't notice anything awry, but Shorty Long janissaries will readily spot two glaring omissions among the 18-tracks: "Chantilly Lace" and Marvin Gaye's exquisite "When You Are Available." The former is a bluesy update of Big Bopper's hit complete with a slick rap intro; the latter is Long's best ballad ever. Still, potent tracks like "Don't Mess With My Weekend," a funky groove with thunder effects and clever lyrics; the slow, grinding "Devil With the Blue Dress On"; cookout favorite "Function at the Junction"; and the painful "Another Hurt Like This" will leave lasting impressions. Includes his chart-blazing "Here Comes the Judge," the amusing "Here Comes Fat Albert," "Lillie of the Valley," and instrumental and vocal renditions of "Night Fo Last," a vinyl flop that comes to life on CD.

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