18 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The title track of LaVern Baker’s 1961 LP Saved is arguably the R&B belter’s last genuine rock ‘n’ roll song. Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, “Saved” epitomizes the surging blend of gospel and blues that Baker and her contemporaries pioneered at Atlantic Records in the mid-'50s. By the time Saved was released in 1961, a new era of rock music was being ushered in, and the teenagers who had cut their teeth on Baker’s early tunes were in their 20s. Saved was an attempt to mature and expand Baker’s sound. She benefitted from this evolution, especially when it leaned toward the lush majesty of “My Time Will Come,” “Must I Cry Again,” and “Wheel of Fortune.” “Bumble Bee,” “Don Juan,” and “Manana” attest to the fact that she could still sing uproarious pop songs with gusto, but she was morphing from an upstart into a grand dame. The bonus tracks on this edition of Saved find Baker working with Fred Norman’s Orchestra and Bobby Scott’s Orchestra, a setting that produced the sophisticated jazz of “You Don’t Love Me” and “Loads of Love,” plus one last hot blast of rock ‘n’ roll in the form of “Hey Memphis.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

The title track of LaVern Baker’s 1961 LP Saved is arguably the R&B belter’s last genuine rock ‘n’ roll song. Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, “Saved” epitomizes the surging blend of gospel and blues that Baker and her contemporaries pioneered at Atlantic Records in the mid-'50s. By the time Saved was released in 1961, a new era of rock music was being ushered in, and the teenagers who had cut their teeth on Baker’s early tunes were in their 20s. Saved was an attempt to mature and expand Baker’s sound. She benefitted from this evolution, especially when it leaned toward the lush majesty of “My Time Will Come,” “Must I Cry Again,” and “Wheel of Fortune.” “Bumble Bee,” “Don Juan,” and “Manana” attest to the fact that she could still sing uproarious pop songs with gusto, but she was morphing from an upstart into a grand dame. The bonus tracks on this edition of Saved find Baker working with Fred Norman’s Orchestra and Bobby Scott’s Orchestra, a setting that produced the sophisticated jazz of “You Don’t Love Me” and “Loads of Love,” plus one last hot blast of rock ‘n’ roll in the form of “Hey Memphis.”

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