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|Riding With The King
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When it comes to the greatest rockin' bluesmen in history, at the top of the electrified traditional list is B.B. King; at the top of the contemporary list is Eric Clapton. Riding with The King brings the two living legends together for an entire album for the first time. When it comes to rockin' blues, Riding With The King is as great as it will ever get.
Certified Multi-Platinum (2 times)by the RIAA. (2/01)
It sounds like the beginning of a story: "So, Slowhand and the King of the Blues were riding in a car ..." If this is a musical journey, it's the kind that rolls down long, empty stretches of country highway at 80 miles an hour, with the top down and the stereo blasting. Clapton and King may be more city than country, but this collection has the relaxed, laid-back feel that only comes from a pair of veterans doing what they do best. What they do here is cover 12 classic blues songs, many of them staples of King's repertoire, so the title of this album makes sense. Whether it's the rollicking rock & roll of the title track, or the acoustic shuffle of "Key to the Highway," or the sweet notes of "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer," a real sense of pleasure comes through on this album, the kind of pleasure one gets from jamming late at night with a good friend. --Genevieve Williams
- B.b. King & Eric Clapton - Riding With The King
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The King Of The Blues celebrates his 80th Birthday later this year, and Universal kicks off a year long celebration with the most complete single disc B.B. King collection ever. The Ultimate Collection collects B.B.'s legendary hits and signature songs between 1951 and 2000, from his first hit, 'Three O'Clock Blues' to his recordings with Eric Clapton and U2. MCA. 2005.
B.B. King's music has been anthologized and put in box sets many times, but this is the first single-disc collection that truly spans the American icon's career. It starts with his breakthrough 1951 No. 1 R&B hit "Three O'Clock Blues" and ends, chronologically, with 2000's "Ten Long Years" from his platinum-selling, pop-chart-topping smash collaboration with Eric Clapton, Riding with the King. In between there are 19 numbers that trace King's creative peaks (1969's "The Thrill is Gone," 1960's "Rock Me Baby") and valleys (1973's disco-inspired "I Like to Live the Love"). And they all tell the story of his growth as a performer. As the years and tunes tumble by, King's guitar solos become more expansive and adventurous, and his cross-genre experiments, like 1987's "When Love Come to Town" with U2, grow bolder. "I'll Survive," also featured here, has become King's late-career theme song, but as he heads toward his 80th birthday on September 16, 2005--still playing 150 concerts a year with his vastly influential guitar skills sharp and his voice just a bit weathered--King's version of survival contains genuine majesty. --Ted Drozdowski
|The Alligator Records Christmas Collection
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|Live At The Regal
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This legendary 1964 live performance is a compelling testimonial to the "Blues Boy's" power as a musician, entertainer and communicator. Long considered one of the greatest blues albums ever, Live at the Regal received a 5-star review from Downbeat upon release and has been on "Greatest Album" listings ever since. Now, for the 1st time, it is 20-bit digitally remastered and repackaged. Highlights: "Every Day I Have the Blues," "Woke Up This Mornin'," "You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now" and more.
Heralded as one of the greatest live blues albums ever recorded, this set catches the singer-guitarist as his star was in ascent: in 1964 playing Chicago's answer to Harlem's Apollo Theater--the Regal. King's performance is visceral. He sings so hard that gravel flies even in his clearest high notes. And his trademark single-note guitar lines are sharp and steely, matching his voice with trembling vigor. He offers early hits like "How Blue Can You Get," "Worry, Worry," and "You Upset Me Baby" to what's essentially his adopted hometown crowd (by his own account, King had already played the theater hundreds of times). They give him a hero's welcome. In fact, the audience's screaming enthusiasm is distracting. But rarely has a love-fest of this magnitude between a performer and fans been documented. --Ted Drozdowski
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Includes Santa Claus Baby Voices; Christmas Blues Canned Heat; Merry Christmas Lightnin' Hopkins; Merry Christmas Baby Charles Brown & Band, and more.
Blue Yule is without question one of the hippest collections of rhythm & blues Christmas music ever assembled. The disc boasts the likes of Louis Jordan, John Lee Hooker, the gospel-powered Pilgrim Travelers, and Johnny and Edgar Winter, as well as the likes of Detroit Junior ("Christmas Day") and Canned Heat ("Christmas Blues"). Lengthy even by contemporary CD standards, this 18-tracker also includes Charles Brown, Big Jack Johnson, Roy Milton, and the inscrutable Lightnin' Hopkins wishing you both "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year." But perhaps the set's greatest gift is also it's strangest--Sonny Boy Williamson's "Santa Claus," a rousing midtempo blues-rocker with a biting harp break and weird, funky lyrics about Sonny Boy going through his wife's drawers. --Martin Keller
|Paul Butterfield Blues Band
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Bloomfield, Bishop and Butterfield knocked down walls between black and white with their strong love of blues and their equally powerful chops. Here are Born in Chicago; Blues with a Feeling; Last Night; Mellow Down Easy , and the rest of their 1965 debut!
A slew of albums by young white men out of their minds in love with music made by older black men came from both sides of the Atlantic during the mid-1960s, but two records really laid the groundwork for the decade's blues revival--the self-titled releases by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers out of London and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band out of Chicago. Both bands were led by harmonica-blowing vocalists; both featured ascending guitar gods--Eric Clapton with Mayall and Mike Bloomfield with Butterfield. Butterfield's ensemble, however, came of age closer to the roots of the music. The rhythm section heard on the group's 1965 debut was hired away from Howlin' Wolf, and Butterfield, while still in his early 20s when the album shipped, was already a familiar face on the Windy City's club circuit. "Born in Chicago" opens the album on a gritty note that never flags through this 11-track landmark. The slashing duo guitars of Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop and Butterfield's flash harp helped make Muddy Waters fathomable for a new audience and, decades later, it's still easy to understand how. --Steven Stolder
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2001 collection of modern guitar-based Blues including cuts from legends such as Muddy Waters, Freddy King, Bobby Bland, and John Lee Hooker, along with recent Blues stars like Stevie Ray Vaughan and his followers Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang.
A good introduction to modern guitar-based blues, Pure Blues features classics by Muddy Waters, Freddy King, Bobby Bland, and John Lee Hooker, along with recent blues stars like Stevie Ray Vaughan and his followers Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Jonny Lang. While attributing classic status to Susan Tedeschi's "Just Won't Burn" may chafe some purists, this comp clearly wasn't intended for the die-hard blues fanatic. But as an introduction, it illustrates the blues tradition and its influence on rock (and rock's influence on the blues) quite nicely. For fans of the Allman Brothers (whose version of Blind Willie McTell's classic "Statesboro Blues" is included) or Eric Clapton's work with Derek & the Dominos or for dad at Christmas, this would make a good gift. Also, if this manages to inspire anyone to pick up Etta James's classic Tell Mama set, the folks at UTV will have done the world a service. --Mike Johnson
|Born Under A Bad Sign [Stax Remasters]
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Brand: King, Albert
The Rock-n-Roll Hall Of Fame guitarist's most celebrated album re-mastered and expanded with 5 previously unreleased bonus tracks!
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75 blues classics with up to 3 hours of music from Muddy Waters, the Father Of Modern Chicago Blues. 3CDs.
|Lie To Me
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Brand: Lang, Jonny
Jonny Lang cut his debut album in Memphis when he was just 15, and, upon its release in 1996, the guitar prodigy from Minneapolis instantly became one of the leading lights of modern blues. He's a fast and flashy player whose approach rests equally on technical assurance and musical intelligence. Sizing up a dozen songs, he gets a pleasing, razor-sharp sound out of his ax while building excitement in his lead lines--thankfully, he steers clear of cliché and bombast. As a fledging singer, he acts out the lyrics of Ike Turner's age-old shuffle "Matchbox" and his own romantic ballad "Missing Your Love" with surprising poise and believability. Kudos to producer David Z for surrounding Lang with alert, first-rate sidemen and for helping select good material from Turner, Sonny Boy Williamson, Tinsley Ellis, and others. --Frank-John Hadley
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