Jean Knight – 1971 – Mr.Big Stuff
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[[Jean Knight]] was a one hit wonder, but what a hit she had. Originally from New Orleans, Knight made her musical mark in Mississippi where Mr. Big Stuff was recorded at the Malaco Studios. Everyone should know the song with its catchy rhythm, horn line and sing along chorus. It’s one of my female Soul tunes. Ms. Knight wasn’t finished though. She also comes through with some slow numbers like “A Little Bit of Something (Is Better Than All of Nothing)” that has a little Blues tint to it, as well as more upbeat numbers like “Don’t Talk About Jody” and “Call Me Your Fool (If You Want To)”, and mid-tempo ones like “Take Him (You Can Have My Man)” with its nice groove.
This is a nice @320 vinyl rip of the original Stax Records LP including covers. You can buy the CD with bonus tracks here.
A1 Mr. Big Stuff 2.44
A2 A Little Bit Of Something (Is Better Than All Of Nothing) 3.19
A3 Don’t Talk About Jody 2.43
A4 Think It Over 4.47
A5 Take Him (You Can Have My Man) 2.30
B1 You City Slicker 2.52
B2 Why I Keep Living These Memories 2.52
B3 Call Me Your Fool (If You Want To) 3.04
B4 One-Way Ticket To Nowhere (It’s The End Of The Ride) 4.19
B5 Your Six-Bit Change 2.36
The Album Review
[[Jean Knight]] could do no wrong in 1971, when the strutting “Mr. Big Stuff” was climbing the pop and R&B charts, well on its way to becoming one of the most familiar chart hits of all time. Her debut album, with its no-brainer title, featured a lot of good material on it, not all of it in the same vein as her hit. Producer/arranger Wardell Quezergue (he also appeared on keyboards) handled the record well, with a band consisting of Malaco hands like guitarist Jerry Puckett and drummer James Stroud. Knight shows an admirable range on these songs, stretching out on the heartbroken ballads “A Little Bit of Something (Is Better Than All of Nothing)” and “Why I Keep Living These Memories” (each with a heavy church feel). “You City Slicker” was much too much of a “Mr. Big Stuff” sound-alike, but “Take Him (You Can Have My Man)” would’ve been a worthy follow-up to her only Top Ten hit. The CD reissue by Fantasy added a few of her later singles, including the charting “You Think You’re Hot Stuff” and the fine “Carry On.”
Here’s a list of hip-hop songs that have sampled Mr. Big Stuff :
Beastie Boys: Johnny Ryall
CEO: Hit Me with the Beat
Del the Funky Homosapien: Pissin’ on Your Steps
Grandmaster Melle Mel ft Scorpio: Mr. Big Stuff
Heavy D: Mr. Big Stuff
Schoolly D: Mr. Big Dick
Deep Freeze Productions: Sleeper
Soul singer Jean Knight’s only big hit was a monster — the sassy funk classic “Mr. Big Stuff,” one of the largest-selling singles ever released by the legendary Stax label. A native of New Orleans, Knight was born in 1943 and made her first recordings for producer Huey P. Meaux’s Jet Stream and Tribe labels during the mid- to late ’60s (many of her sides were later collected on West Side’s Blue Soul Belles, Vol. 2). Her success largely confined to the immediate area, Knight was working as a baker when she went to Malaco Studios in Jackson, MS, for a session with veteran producer Wardell Quezerque in 1970. The key track, a spirited putdown of male arrogance called “Mr. Big Stuff,” was shopped to [[Stax Records]], who passed on it at first. However, after [[King Floyd]]’s “Groove Me” (another Malaco recording) went gold, Stax reconsidered and released “Mr. Big Stuff” in 1971. It was an enormous hit, spending five weeks at number one on the R&B charts and falling one slot short of the same position on the pop side. Despite a strong accompanying album of the same name and some similarly gritty follow-up singles (which included “You Think You’re Hot Stuff” and “Carry On”), Knight couldn’t manage to duplicate the success of “Mr. Big Stuff,” and quickly faded from the soul scene.
In 1981, Knight scored a minor hit with a version of “You Got the Papers (But I Got the Man),” and charted with one of the more successful covers of the Rockin’ Sidney zydeco smash “My Toot Toot” in 1985; “My Toot Toot” also served as the title track for a full-length LP on Mirage. Knight returned once again in the late ’90s, cutting an album for Ichiban in 1997 called Shaki De Boo-Tee. She followed it two years later with the Formaldehyde release Queen.
Listen Up “Mr.Big Stuff”