Universally hailed as the reigning king of the blues, the legendary B.B. King is without a doubt the single most important electric guitarist of the last half century. A contemporary blues guitar solo without at least a couple of recognizable King-inspired bent notes is all but unimaginable, and he remains a supremely confident singer capable of wringing every nuance from any lyric (and he's tried his hand at many an unlikely song, anybody recall his version of "Love Me Tender?"). This live recording album features 9 tracks.
As the story goes, Brigid Polk was a longtime friend of the band and one night decided to bring a cassette recorder with her to record their set. This is the result. It's lo-fi, it's mono, but it still sounds like a decent bootleg (even though it is an official release). By the time this was released, Lou Reed had left the band and Velvet Underground was nothing like they were in the days of the peeling banana and locking yourself in a box as a gift. A Deluxe Edition was released by Rhino a few years ago, but this is the original album on Cotillion/Atlantic, as is.
Live album recorded January 10th 1972 for broadcast on KMET Los Angeles. In the early 1970s, B.B. King was basking in the glow of crossover success, his brand of soulful blues reaching all audiences, not just African-American ones. On this 75-minute radio broadcast from 1972, his stinging guitar paces a mix of old and new classics, from his mid-‘50s R&B hit “Everyday I Have the Blues” to Leon Russell’s “Hummingbird”. Other highlights include the standard “Rock Me Baby” and his biggest hit, “The Thrill Is Gone”. (Note: There are different releases of these recordings, mentioning different dates for when this radio show was broadcasted. Some say October 1st, 1972, whilst this one says January 10th.)
The combination of King and the well-oiled Philly rhythm section that powered hits by the O'Jays, Spinners, and Stylistics proved a surprisingly adroit one. Two huge hits came from this album, the Stevie Wonder/Syreeta Wright-penend title track and "I Like to Live the Love," both of them intriguing updates of King's tried-and-true style.
Released the week of B.B. King's 80th birthday, 80 is a star-studded duets album, the first B.B. released since 1997's Deuces Wild. It was recorded in a variety of locations in the spring of 2005 and features a variety of guest artists, ranging from the familiar (Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Bobby Bland) to the unsurprising (Billy Gibbons, Mark Knopfler, Elton John, Sheryl Crow) to the frankly bewildering (John Mayer, Daryl Hall, Gloria Estefan)…