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Ruth Brown - Rock & Roll - MFSL LP

Ruth Brown - Rock & Roll - MFSL LP

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Numbered, Limited Edition 180g Mono Vinyl LP!
Strictly Limited to 2,000 Numbered Copies!
Pressed at RTI!

The Dynamite Sound of "Miss Rhythm" and the Singer That Helped Build an Iconic Label: Ruth Brown's Rock & Roll Bristles with Electrifying Emotion, Vocal Power, and R&B-Fueled Energy

Reissued in Audiophile Quality in Partnership with Atlantic Records' 75th Anniversary

1/4" / 15 IPS to DSD 256 to Analog Console to Lathe

Rock & Roll, indeed. Ruth Brown's sizzling full-length debut — also known by its eponymous title — symbolizes what was exciting, fresh, invigorating, and raw about the burgeoning style in its halcyon days. Originally released in 1957, and reissued here in audiophile quality for the first time in partnership with Atlantic Records' 75th anniversary, the set remains a testament to one of the most pioneering and talented vocalists to ever command a stage.

Mastered on Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab's renowned mastering system in California, pressed at RTI, housed in a Stoughton jacket, and strictly limited to 2,000 numbered copies, Mobile Fidelity's 180g mono LP of Rock & Roll plays with an immediacy, vibrancy, and fullness that showcase the reach, power, and emotionalism of Brown's voice. The sound of her support musicians — brassy horns, swinging rhythm combos, echoing backing vocalists, rollicking pianists, jaunty guitarists — is made clear and vivid, helping the upbeat fare to jump, juke, and jive with newfound energy and exuberance. In a related manner, Brown's slower, more understated material crackles with an intimacy and passion that let you know you're in the presence of a woman who has lived what she sings. The longtime Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member deserves nothing less.

In an era dominated by big-throated vocalists, few — if any — came grander than Brown. The singer, whose repeat million-selling '50s success with Atlantic Records led many to call the then-indie label "The House That Ruth Built," charted two dozen R&B hits in the span of a decade for the fledgling imprint. Rightly coined "Miss Rhythm," the extroverted Brown put Atlantic on the national map, became the best-selling female musician of the '50s, and established a precedent that would ultimately lead to Grammy and Tony Awards. Her early works have lost none of their fire or flair.

Akin to many full-length LPs of its era, Rock & Roll doubles as a collection. Its 14 tracks comprise some of the more famous sides Brown recorded for Atlantic, beginning in 1949 with the all-time-great rendition of the ballad "So Long," and continuing through 1956. After the song caught the public's ear, the Virginia native briefly became known for her smoldering style with lovelorn material and torch songs, approaching them (see "Oh What a Dream," "Old Man River") with a combination of pained sadness and hardened resilience that had no contemporary equal. Encouraged to pursue the style by Atlantic Records co-founder Ahmt Ertegun, her R&B-driven material soon made her a constant chart presence.

Demonstrating what fellow legend Bonnie Raitt deemed "sex with class and dignity," Brown merges blues and jazz, swing and gospel in electrifying fashion. She dares you not to move, dance, and get on your feet. A majority of Rock & Roll explodes with uptempo runs and jaunty readings of hot-blooded R&B numbers. Sweaty and sultry, bawdy and bold, Brown eclipses the anthemic blare of the saxophones and joyful clatter of the 88s, singing with a slight catch in her voice and hurricane-gale force that threatens to blow the roof off whatever room her voice occupies.

Evidence abounds. Listen to her prod the band and encourage the band members to blow a fuse on a sizzling "Hello Little Boy," complete with cries and wails; stretch her phrasing to the heavens on the swaying "Wild Wild Young Men," laden with romp-and-stomp beats; plead and persuade on the snaking "5-10-15 Hours," which flips the script on the age's notions of dominance; use her raspy tones, high notes, and breath control to mesmerizing effect on the smash "Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean," recorded with a group led by Ray Charles; survey the scene and take charge on the steaming "As Long as I'm Moving"; and tap a classy albeit flirtatious vein on "Lucky Lips," which dented the pop charts as her first crossover hit.

Throughout Rock & Roll, Brown knows the lyrical connotations and spirited architecture of the songs inside-out. Her assertive voice — never harsh, strident, or false — is the epitome of the passionate desires and sonic strains that turned into nascent rock 'n' roll. Brown played a pivotal role in helping the style develop, the record a timeless reminder of a lasting legacy that will never be forgotten.


  • Numbered, Limited Edition - 2,000 Copies
  • 180g Vinyl
  • Mono
  • Mastered by Krieg Wunderlich at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab from 1/4" / 15 IPS to DSD 256 to Analog Console to Lathe
  • Pressed at RTI
  • Stoughton Jacket


Side One:

  1. Lucky Lips
  2. As Long as I'm Moving
  3. Wild Wild Young Men
  4. Daddy Daddy
  5. Mambo Baby
  6. Teardrops from My Eyes
  7. Hello Little Boy

Side Two:

  1. Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean
  2. 5-10-15 Hours
  3. It's Love Baby
  4. Sentimental Journey
  5. Old Man River
  6. So Long
  7. Oh What a Dream
UPC: 821797154826 View full details