Impassioned Music from Rock Pioneer Little Richard: ‘Right Now!’

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The Omnivore label has in recent years been rereleasing a steady stream of long-unavailable Little Richard albums, including 1970’s The Rill Thing, 1971’s King of Rock and Roll,1972’s The Second Coming and Southern Child, and 1986’s Lifetime Friend. All of them have strengths, but none come close to matching the often-astonishing 1950s performances on the rock pioneer’s indispensable Specialty Sessions boxed set. The new Right Now!, released in late April 2024, which Richard recorded in 1973, comes close, however. His piano work on this eight-song set is right up there with Jerry Lee Lewis’, and his impassioned wails, whoops and hollers sound like the cries of a man possessed.

Related: Our review of another set of early ’70s Little Richard

The material is excellent, too. It includes five self-penned tracks, among them the frenetic, nearly seven-minute “Gerald Jones” (actually “Geraldine Jones”; the song was mislabeled on the original release).

There are also three well-executed covers: “Chain, Chain, Chain (Chain of Fools),” the Aretha Franklin hit; “Chains of Love,” the old Big Joe Turner song written by Ahmet Ertegun (aka Nugetre); and a funky remake of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” the Otis Redding chart-topper.

The album is available in the U.S. here and in the U.K. here, along with many of his other recordings.

Jeff Burger

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  1. safari bob
    #1 safari bob 28 May, 2024, 10:09

    Any Little Richard is good to hear – at least once!
    My first record was a 78rpm release of “Lucille”
    This material is ruined by a sub-par drummer.
    Too bad!

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  2. 122intheshade
    #2 122intheshade 28 May, 2024, 19:41

    If you want to take a wild ride, get the Richard bio “Little Richard – The Quasar of Rock & Roll” by Charles White. Came out in 1984. Very reasonable on eBay.

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