Albert King recorded a lot in the early '60s, including some classic sides, but they never quite hit the mark. They never gained a large audience, nor did they really capture the ferocity of his single-string leads. Then he signed with Stax in 1966 and recorded a number of sessions with the house band, Booker T. & the MG's, and everything just clicked…
Curious, isn't it, how some of the greatest guitarists in post-war Blues history all shared the same regal surname? And entirely fitting. Freddie, Albert, and Earl King royally ruled the Blues kingdom with their brilliant innovations and seminal licks. All of them greatly impacted the Rock field as well. Eric Clapton cites Freddie as a major influence, while Stevie Ray Vaughan was an Albert acolyte. Jimi Hendrix did a dynamite version of Earl's 'Let The Good Times Roll.' These three kings of the electric Blues guitar played a mammoth role in defining the sound of post-war Blues guitar. Their influence remains monumental to this day.
The 2013 Stax Records reissue of Born Under A Bad Sign offers five bonus tracks in the form of previously-unreleased alternate takes and an untitled instrumental. The first (unused) take of the title track reveals a few differences but otherwise hits every mark as the take that ended up on the album; by contrast, the alternate take of "Crosscut Saw" includes an extra chorus tacked on the end, features a stronger King vocal performance, and all the houserockin' guitar
Albert King enjoyed an erratic but memorable reign at Tomato in the 1970s. The label aimed to continue the success King had enjoyed at Stax mixing blues backing and vocals with pop/soul arrangements and lyrics……
Digitally remastered and expanded edition of this 1972 album from the Blues legend including four bonus tracks.
Albert King (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992) was an American blues guitarist and singer.One of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar” (along with B.B. King and Freddie King), Albert King stood 6’ 4”, weighed 250 lbs and was known as “The Velvet Bulldozer”. He was born Albert Nelson on a cotton plantation in Indianola, mississippi. During his childhood he would sing at a family gospel group at a church. One of 13 children, King grew up picking cotton on plantations near Forrest City, Arkansas where the family moved when he was eight years old. He began his professional work as a musician with a group called In The Groove Boys in Osceola, Arkansas.
Atlantic's original vinyl edition of this was comprised of Albert's Stax singles – a few from Born Under a Bad Sign, along with "Cold Feet," "I Love Lucy" (two of King's patented monologues), and the beautiful "You're Gonna Need Me." Great stuff. Even greater, though, is the CD reissue, which includes those singles (which didn't appear on any other LPs) and all of Born Under a Bad Sign. Need I say more?
Recorded in 1968, along with LIVE WIRE/BLUES POWER and Thursday NIGHT IN SAN FRANCISCO, this Albert King concert album shines the spotlight on a blues legend playing at the height of his powers. On this seven-song set at San Francisco's Fillmore Auditorium, the St. Louis-based guitarist truly gets his mojo working and schools the predominantly hippie crowd in the ways of the blues, offering up sinister, simmering takes on classics such as "I Get Evil" and "Born Under a Bad Sign." Although King is backed by a band on this date, the group is wise enough to stick to minimal accompaniment, allowing King's bold, expressive vocals and electrifying lead work to carry each song. As on LIVE WIRE/BLUES POWER, King opens with an upbeat cover of Herbie Hancock's soul-jazz hit "Watermelon Man," proving that the staunch bluesman could certainly mix it up if he felt so inclined. While many other fine King live recordings are available, this is one of his best–essential for devoted fans.