eMusic Review 0
"Tutti Frutti" was the first rock & roll song I ever heard, knee-high to the big console radio in my living room, and it induced the kind of hysterical laughter reserved for true manifestations of the Holy Spirit. But then Little Richard has always spoken in tongues as he moved between the worlds of the sacred and profane. His gospel shout gives a preacher's fervor to these slabs of R&B, and yet, in the very simplicity of his scream, he took the New Orleans sway that producer Bumps Blackwell built into the music and raised the stakes, ramping up the gutbucket with his keening wail; the drive of his records was relentless. This wasn't just the next step in the development of rock & roll; it was the very miracle behind it.
As it turns out, "Tutti Frutti" almost didn't happen — a demo tacked onto the end of his first Specialty session, it became his debut hit in 1955. The perennials that follow, from "Long Tall Sally" to "Good Golly Miss Molly," are the building blocks of rock, seminal recordings which can truly be called "essential." Without them, rock & roll would have had less of both sides of the… read more »