The Rill Thing

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The Rill Thing
Studio album by Little Richard
Released August 1970
Recorded 11 March 1970 - 2 June 1970
Genre Rock, soul
Length 39:22
Label Reprise
Producer Little Richard
Little Richard chronology
Little Richard's Greatest Hits: Recorded Live!
The Rill Thing
Mr. Big

The Rill Thing was Little Richard's comeback album after three years away. Utilising yet another new sound, the largely swamp rock album contained Little Richard's biggest post-Specialty single in "Freedom Blues", which broke the Billboard top 50, and a lesser success with the follow-up single, "Greenwood, Mississippi", which made the top 90; although the tune made number 56 on Cashbox Black Singles. The title track itself was a ten-minute plus instrumental penned by Richard. Despite the success of the two tracks as singles and the inclusion of two cover versions, the album itself failed to chart. (although actual sales are reported well over 200,000).


Between the release of The Rill Thing and Little Richard's last album Little Richard's Greatest Hits: Recorded Live! (1967) there had been several album releases, but all were repackaged collections of songs that had already been released previously, including some of his Specialty work.

The release of the album came less than a year after Richard's performance at Atlantic City Pop Festival, and with "Freedom Blues" he had his biggest American pop hit in thirteen years. This period was shortly before reported usage of cocaine [1] and concerts to promote the album on the back of the single were increasingly erratic; though he made a memorable visit to Madison Square Garden in October 1970. After the album failed to chart, Richard returned to the studios in May 1971 to produce a follow-up for Reprise with a more "teen" sound.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Freedom Blues" (Richard Penniman, Esquerita) - 3:01
  2. "Greenwood, Mississippi" (Travis Wammack, Albert Lowe Jr.) – 3:32
  3. "Two-Time Loser" (Larry Lee) – 3:20
  4. "Dew Drop Inn" (Richard Penniman, Esquerita, Keith Winslow) – 2:41
  5. "Somebody Saw You" (Richard Penniman) – 3:39
  6. "Spreadin' Natta, What's The Matter?" (Richard Penniman, Robert "Bumps" Blackwell, Maybelle Jackson) – 4:37
  7. "Rill Thing" (Richard Penniman) – 10:27
  8. "Lovesick Blues" (Hank Williams) – 4:34
  9. "I Saw Her Standing There" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) – 3:31


Tracks 1,4,7[edit]

Rest of personnel unknown, records not kept by Reprise.

Tracks 3,5,7,8,9[edit]




Year Chart Position
1970 Billboard Pop Albums Did not chart


Year Single Chart Position
1970 Freedom Blues/Dew Drop Inn Billboard Hot 100/ Cashbox Top 100/ 'Billboard R & B Chart 47/ 62/ 28
1970 Greenwood, Mississippi/I Saw Her Standing There Billboard Hot 100/ Cashbox Top 100 85/ 96


  1. ^ White, Charles. (2003). The Life and Times of Little Richard: The Authorised Biography. Omnibus Press.