1001 Albums #14

Growing up in the 80s Prince was one of the magical three or four pop superstars. They ruled the airwaves and MTV. Prince was a musical genius and as androgynous as many other 80s singers. But there is one who is the precursor to Prince. Little Richard is as flamboyant as Prince, but not quite as talented as a lyricist as Prince. Prince definitely got some of his style from Little Richard, but he took it to another level. And that is what I felt was lacking in Here’s Little Richard.

“A-wop-bop-a-loo-mop-a-lop-bom-bom!” is a strong way to start an album. I can imagine at the time it was something unique, but for me it is a bunch of jibberish. There is a lot of controversy about who wrote the song and what it really means. Little Richard claims it had some homosexual connotation, but the other songwriter Dorothy LaBostrie says she wrote it about a new flavour of ice cream. She also claimed “Little Richard didn’t write none of ‘Tutti Frutti’. I am leaning toward her because it is known that many people who we think are songwriters are not songwriters at all. Either way it must have been some of the best ice cream ever for her to make a song out of it. I really want some of that ice cream.

I mentioned the ice cream and the whole thing with the song lyrics because I want to point out that all the songs are lacking real lyrical content. It is all very repetitive. There are twenty-five “Tutti fruttis” in the song. And three different girls? Does Sue know about Daisy and does Daisy know about Sue? Is Rudy a girl and if so does she know about Sue and Daisy? And what is the deal with so many songs named after different girls? Who would want to date him? He sounds like the Bill Cosby of the 50s.

I would not buy this album, but if you like old rock and roll, then I suggest you listen to it on Spotify before wasting your money. I am grateful the jazz is over finally.

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