GDigitally remastered and expanded edition of this legendary 1967 collaboration from Rock 'N' Roll and R&B pioneer Larry Williams and Johnny Guitar Watson, who took his R&B roots into pimp-friendly Funk in the '70s. The album is a Northern Soul classic with three bonafide stompers in the title track, the legendary 'Too Late' and 'A Quitter Never Wins'. Also features the even rarer 45 'Nobody', which the duo recorded with US Psychedelic outfit Kaleidoscope. The package is expanded even more with six tracks from Watson's OKeh album the Fantastic Piano And Guitar of Johnny Watson - BAD! And two tracks from the OKeh album in a Fats Bag - the Johnny Guitar Watson Trio Plays Fats Waller.
The third and last album that Lonnie Mack recorded for Elektra in his brief stint with the label in the late '60s and early '70s, The Hills of Indiana must have surprised quite a few listeners familiar with his earlier work. There were little of the blues-rock-R&B-oriented guitar fireworks that many of his earlier recordings had boasted. In contrast, it was a pretty laid-back affair with plenty of roots rock, country-rock, and early-'70s singer/songwriter influences. Steel guitar and fiddle augmented the usual rock lineup, string and horn arrangements were devised by Norbert Putnam (who played bass on much of the record), and there were liberal touches of gospel in the songwriting, singing, and occasional background vocals.
Fame was a film directed by Alan Parker, a serious auteur (some would say overly serious, especially in light of the work that came later) who designed the film for posterity, and the same attitude carried over the music. Yes, the production techniques often do sound dated – the over-reliance on state-of-the-art synthesizer ironically now sounds helplessly tied to the year of its creation – but the music by Michael Gore is dynamic, varied, and alive, sung with real passion and vigor, and it still retains its essential spark 23 years after it was a pop culture phenomenon. Sure, it's glitzy and glossy, sounding like show tunes, but that's the tradition of this music, and it was done better than most Broadway tunes and movie soundtracks of the '80s. Years later, this still has the spark and vitality of kids trying to make their big break, no matter the kind of music they're singing, and that's one of the main reasons (along with Gore's fine compositions) Fame retains its power and entertainment value years later.