1001 Albums: Here’s Little Richard




Artist: Little Richard

Album: Here’s Little Richard

Year: 1957

Length: 28:30

Genre: Rock n’ Roll


“I’m gonna rock it up, I’m gonna rip it up,
I’m gonna shake it up, gonna ball it up,
I’m gonna rock it up, and ball tonight.”

I’m glad I finally get a little break from jazz, was starting to feel it was getting a little clingy. Jazz i love you but sometimes I just need to listen to other music genres, you know to spice things up. Jazz all the time can start to get a little tiring.

I’m happy it was this that shook things up a bit because I love some good old rock n roll. When Tutti Frutti started playing right off the top I knew I was in for a fun time. Plus it was the first song on any of the albums I could actually sing along to as I knew the words. Not out loud of course, I was on the metro, wouldn’t want to be getting funny looks from people. Who knows maybe they would have sang along as well… it’s Quebec, probably not.

There’s not really much I can say about this album surprisingly and it’s left me actually scrambling to find things to say. It’s not because it’s a bad album, I would probably have a lot to say about that, but it’s more just a straight-forward old school rock n roll album. It’s nothing challenging or really that awe-inspiring, but it is a ton of fun. And really, I think that’s all this album really ever was, just one fun ride from start to finish. It’s hard not to start dancing, especially on the more energetic songs (and I realize I dance a lot to these albums, so what? I like dancing, I love to dance, sue me).

Little Richard definitely brings a lot of energy to the album and it helps a lot. You can practically hear him dancing in the studio as he sings and it’s pretty infectious. He clearly had a ton of fun recording this album and he wants to share that experience with the listening audience. I especially like when he goes oooooooo. You know what I mean, don’t act like you have no idea what I’m saying (unless you actually don’t… then whoops).

There does seem to be a bit of a formula to his songs, sing for a bit then sax (at least I’m pretty sure it’s a sax, sounds a hell of a lot like one) solo and then final words. Sure most of the songs follow this formula but it works and why change something that’s working right? Formulas aren’t always the best things but in this case it kind of carries nicely throughout the album and although you catch onto it pretty quickly, you’re able to accept it and sort of go with the flow, almost as if you’re just supposed to have fun with it (my guess is, yes, yes you are, I know I did).

I want to take this moment to make an observation, so far as I make my way through the fifties, the artists seem to be dominantly black artists (so far). I am in no way saying this as a complaint at all, actually I think it’s pretty cool. The black man did basically invent jazz, the blues and rock n roll. So I’m happy I get to experience some of the true talent behind the 50s, even if Chuck Berry is missing from it all (was he the sixties? Either way he’s not there which is a big shame). Then again, from what I saw, Black artists, especially in the fifties, knew how to perform their hearts and souls out. They were quite the showmen and were for the most part great frontmen for their music groups. From old footage, it’s really hard not to enjoy it, and I don’t know if it’s because their black (I don’t think so) but the majority were. Heck, look at gospel which was pre-dominantly black. If white church was anything close to what they were doing, singing and dancing, I’d have gone every sunday, I’d still be going today despite not being religious at all, just for the dancing. The fifties were an odd time, segregation was high but they sure knew how to have a good time. When you hear albums like this or look at all the famous black artists of the fifties who made names for themselves as amazing singers, talented musicians and great performers, it’s hard to believe and remember that they were living in a time where it was hard to be a black person, especially when Miles Davis is tooting away on his horn or Little Richard is singing about some sexy girls he wants to fuck. I truly admire them, that they were able to smile and laugh and have a good time despite everything that was going on around them, which reminds me of a great quote:

“Sometimes at the worst of times all we need to do is smile and dance our asses off”

said no actual sane person ever. Ok, so I made that quote up, but I do stand by it. When things get low and life has you down all you gotta do is pick yourself up, keep moving forward and don’t let anything wipe that smile off, no matter how difficult it may be.

And always remember to DANCE, DANCE, DANCE!!!!

Song of Choice: Ready Teddy


Photoshop Credit: Julian Branco






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