Little Richard - Right Now!

by Kevin Wierzbicki

For fans who only know the late influential rock 'n' roll star Little Richard by rave-ups like "Tutti-Frutti" and "Good Golly, Miss Molly," here with this Omnivore Recordings reissue of his 1973 album Right Now! is a chance to delve deeper into the soulful side of his vast catalog. The effort begins with a trio of self-penned cuts: The Memphis soul of "In the Name" that includes a burst of classic Little Richard piano pounding in the intro, the funky pop homage to Saturday night partying that is "Mississippi" and the slow, Ray Charles-recalling "Don't You Know." Richard tackles a couple of R&B standards that had pop success too, notably the Don Covay penned and Aretha Franklin associated "Chain, Chain, Chain (Chain of Fools)" that here gurgles along to a consistent rhythm, and a take on the Otis Redding hit "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay." Perhaps the best self-penned cut here is the boogie rave-up of "Geraldine Jones," a cut with great piano pounding, searing guitar riffs, rocksteady bass, a fun singalong chorus and occasional shout outs like "Don't touch me baby!" The song is listed as "Gerald Jones" on the CD although Richard sings about Geraldine throughout the song; whether that is a typo or a reference to Richard's "omnisexual" lifestyle is not clear. The slow and bluesy "Chains of Love" is also included; the song was written by the late music mogul Ahmet Ertegun. And Little Richard being Little Richard, the effort closes with "Hot Nuts," a lengthy horn-enhanced James Brown-like cut in which you can find as many double-entendres as you'd like.


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