Etta James - The Montreux Years (2xLP Vinyl)

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The ‘The Montreux Years’ collections will uncover legendary performances by the world’s most iconic artists alongside rare and never-before-released recordings from the festival’s rich 55-year history, with mastering performed by Tony Cousins at London’s iconic Metropolis Studios, incorporating MQA to capture the original sound of these special live performances. Each collection will be accompanied by exclusive liner notes and previously unseen photography.

‘Etta James: The Montreux Years’ is a treasure trove of timeless classics, powerful and electrifying performances and raw, soaring vocals by one of the greatest ever female vocalists. The collection, featuring recordings from James’ Montreux Jazz Festival concerts in 1977, 1978, 1989 1990 and 1993, encapsulates and reflects Etta’s dynamic artistry and long-lasting impact. Spanning performances from across three decades, ‘Etta James: The Montreux Years’ offers deeply personal and intimate snapshots into James’ acclaimed musical journey, highlights and her phenomenal career.

From one of Etta James’ earliest successes, the infectious and endlessly elegant Something’s Got A Hold On Me, a medley that consist of At Last, Trust In Me and Sunday Kind of Love, which is a fusion of highlights from the early 60s, to the raw and emotional I’d Rather Go Blind and soulful horn-driven Tell Mama. The collection closes with Baby What You Want Me To Do, James’ homage to Jimmy Reed and the encore of her 1978 concert.



The Montreux Festival has been going strong since 1966, even though they haven’t strictly stuck with the “jazz” label. “I’d like to do a medley of some songs I recorded in the early ’60s,” singer Etta James said while introducing her medley of “At Last/Trust Me/Sunday Kind of Love” onstage at the famous festival in the summer of 1989. “I think, at that point, they thought I was going to be a jazz singer.” She stretches out the word “jazz” just a millisecond longer than most of us would speak it, probably out of amusement towards her own words. “I’d like to do a tune for you now; it’s an old blues tune. As you know, I am a blues singer,” James says as she introduces “Drown in My Own Tears” from the same stage 14 years earlier during her first-ever Montreux set.

Both of these moments come to you courtesy of the new Etta James package The Montreux Years, released through BMG and Montreux Sound. This stage banter is just a small indication of how in-control Etta James was of her stage presence and her music, even if she was, culturally speaking, a bit of a fish out of water.

Montreux Jazz Festival founder and organizer Claude Nobs was an unapologetic fanboy of James, so much so that he joined her on stage a few times with his harmonica. If it was an act of faith on his part to invite Etta James and her road-weary ten-ton voice to do her first set at a world-famous jazz festival in 1975, it went over exceptionally well. The second CD of The Montreux Years is devoted to that first show 46 years ago. Even if it’s just “highlights of this special landmark concert”, these nine songs go a long way in capturing a potent blend of uncertainty and excitement. “I can’t speak French, I can’t speak nothin’…but American English. Slang!” she admits before starting the first song, “Respect Yourself.” “The only thing I can say you might be able to understand is ‘Get down!’ Can you say that?” They could, and the performer-audience exchange from that point forward flowed like a river.
By: NinaInchNails

A1 Breakin' Up Somebody's Home
A2 I Got The Will
A3 I'd Rather Go Blind
A4 A Lover Is Forever
B1 Damn Your Eyes
B2 Tell Mama
B3 Running And Hiding Blues
B4 Something's Got A Hold On Me
C1 Beware
C2 Come To Mama
C3 Medley: At Last/ Trust In Me/ Sunday Kind Of Love
D1 I Sing The Blues For You
D2 Baby What You Want Me To Do (Encore)


Barcode (Scanned): 4050538631173
Matrix / Runout (Side One - Stamped (except MH, Etched)): MH 218586E1 878010
Matrix / Runout (Side Two - Stamped): 218586E2 878008
Matrix / Runout (Side Three - Stamped (except MH, Etched)): MH 218586E3 878006
Matrix / Runout (Side Four - Stamped): 218586E4 878004
Matrix / Runout (On Disc Label - Disc 1): 4050538631180
Matrix / Runout (On Disc Label - Disc 2): 4050538631197
Other (On Record Sleeve and Disc Label - Disc 1): BMGCAT460DLP-1
Other (On Record Sleeve and Disc Label - Disc 2): BMGCAT460DLP-2
Label Code: LC19813
Rights Society: GEMA BIEM