At Last!

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At Last!
At Last - Etta James.jpg
Studio album by Etta James
Released November 15, 1960
July 27, 1999 (re-release)
Recorded January – October 1960
Genre Blues, R&B, traditional pop, soul blues
Length 29:11
Label Argo (original)
MCA/Chess (re-release)
Producer Phil Chess
Leonard Chess
Etta James chronology
At Last!
The Second Time Around
Singles from At Last!
  1. "All I Could Do Was Cry"
    Released: 1960
  2. "My Dearest Darling"
    Released: 1960
  3. "At Last"
    Released: 1960
  4. "Trust in Me"
    Released: 1961
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars Link
Pitchfork (9.0/10)[1]
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars[2]

At Last! is the debut studio album by American blues and soul artist Etta James, which includes the title song "At Last". The album was released on Argo Records in November 1960 and was produced by Phil and Leonard Chess. The original release contained four of James' hits on the Rhythm and Blues Records Chart between 1960 and 1961. It was her first of five studio albums James would release on the Argo label. The album's title song was used as an intro song for the EA game FIFA 16.

At Last! was ranked at #119 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2012.[3] It was also ranked the 62nd best album of the 1960s by Pitchfork.[4]


The original release of At Last! was issued as a 12-inch LP consisting of ten tracks, five songs on each side of the LP.[5] Phil and Leonard Chess believed that James's voice had crossover pop potential, so with this debut album, they backed her with orchestral arrangements on many of the tracks, including "At Last" and "Trust in Me".[6] At Last! spawned four singles to the R&B and pop charts between 1960 and 1961: "All I Could Do Was Cry", "Trust in Me"; "At Last", and "My Dearest Darling". The album included covers of pop and jazz standards, such as "Stormy Weather", "A Sunday Kind of Love", and "I Just Want to Make Love to You".[7] On July 27, 1999, MCA/Chess digitally remastered and reissued on the album on compact disc, with four bonus duet tracks performed with Harvey Fuqua: "My Heart Cries," "Spoonful," "It's a Crying Shame," and "If I Can't Have You."[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Since its release, At Last! has been praised by many music critics. Stephen Cook of AllMusic gave the album five out of five stars, and, about James, wrote, "one hears the singer at her peak in a swinging and varied program of blues, R&B, and jazz standards." Cook also praised the material that was recorded for the album, saying that At Last! had "strong material throughout." He also went on to say that James's voice, "expertly handles jazz standards like "Stormy Weather" and "A Sunday Kind of Love," as well as Willie Dixon's blues classic "I Just Want to Make Love to You." James demonstrates her keen facility on the title track in particular, as she easily moves from powerful blues shouting to more subtle, airy phrasing; her Ruth Brown-inspired, bad-girl growl only adds to the intensity."[7]

The album was also reviewed by CD, which gave it four and a half out of five stars. Like AllMusic's response, CD Universe also praised At Last!, stating that the album's songs "highlight the singer's facility with different approaches including torchy balladry, jazz crooning, growling blues, and R&B shouting." The website continued on to say that "All I Could Do Is Cry" sounded "wrenching", while calling "Trust in Me" "romantic."[3]

Track listing[edit]

Side one

  1. "Anything to Say You're Mine" (Sonny Thompson) – 2:37
  2. "My Dearest Darling" (Eddie Bocage, Paul Gayten) – 3:05
  3. "Trust in Me" (Milton Ager, Jean Schwartz, Ned Weaver) – 3:01
  4. "A Sunday Kind of Love" (Louis Prima, Barbara Belle, Anita Leonard, Stan Rhodes) – 3:18
  5. "Tough Mary" (Lorenzo Manley) – 2:27

Side two

  1. "I Just Want to Make Love to You" (Willie Dixon) – 3:08
  2. "At Last" (Mack Gordon, Harry Warren) – 3:02
  3. "All I Could Do Was Cry" (Billy Davis, Gwen Fuqua, Berry Gordy) – 2:58
  4. "Stormy Weather" (Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler) – 3:10
  5. "Girl of My Dreams" (Charles "Sunny" Clapp) – 2:25

Bonus tracks on 1999 CD reissue All songs recorded as duets with Harvey Fuqua

  1. "My Heart Cries" (Fuqua, Etta James) – 2:36
  2. "Spoonful" (Dixon) – 2:50
  3. "It's a Crying Shame" (Fuqua, James) – 2:54
  4. "If I Can't Have You" (Fuqua, James) – 2:50



  1. ^ Petrusich, Amanda (April 24, 2016). "Etta James: At Last! Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 25, 2016. 
  2. ^ It isn't here but it in the magazine
  3. ^ a b c "Etta James: At Last! CD". cd universe. December 11, 2003. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  4. ^ "The 200 Best Albums of the 1960s | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2017-08-22. 
  5. ^ "At Last (LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  6. ^ Dahl, Bill. "Etta James > Biography". allmusic. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  7. ^ a b Cook, Stephen. "At Last! > Overview". allmusic. Retrieved 2009-07-24. 
  • Larkin, ed. by Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4. ed.). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.