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. The MG's gave King supple Southern support, providing an excellent contrast to his tightly wound lead guitar, allowing to him to unleash a torrent of blistering guitar runs that were profoundly influential, not just in blues, but in rock & roll (witness Eric Clapton's unabashed copping of King throughout Cream's Disraeli Gears)…
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…
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
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.
Solid vocal and instrumental performances from several legendary bluesmen, including the dynamic "King of the Blues" Muddy Waters, guitar hero Albert King, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, and Big Band bluesman Bobby "Blue" Bland. Impressive, authoritative, thoroughly entertaining, and a "must" for blues addicts, old and new.
This box is separated into 4 categories by CD: Guitar, Piano, Vocalists and Chicago. The assortment is staggering…contains tracks by all of these must-hear artists: John Lee Hooker, the Kings (BB, Freddie and Albert) on the Guitar ad Chicago CDs, as well as Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Koko Taylor…on the Piano CD you get "Champion" Jack Dupree, Big Joe Turner, Dr. John AND Professor Longhair AND Ray Charles.
9CD reconfiguration of original Atlantic box set, featuring every A-side the label released during those nine years, as well as several B-sides. The set is a definitive portrait of gritty, deep Southern soul. For any serious soul or rock collector, it's an essential set, since Stax-Volt was not only a musically revolutionary label, its roster was deep with talent, which means much of the music on this collection is first-rate. 11 of these singles charted on Billboard.
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.
It's not as if Albert King hadn't tasted success in his first decade and a half as a performer, but his late-'60s/early-'70s recordings for Stax did win him a substantially larger audience. During those years, the label began earning significant clout amongst rock fans through events like Otis Redding's appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival and a seemingly endless string of classic singles. When King signed to the label in 1966, he was immediately paired with the Stax session team Booker T. & the MG's. The results were impressive: "Crosscut Saw," "Laundromat Blues," and the singles collection Born Under a Bad Sign were all hits. Though 1972's I'll Play the Blues for You followed a slightly different formula, the combination of King, members of the legendary Bar-Kays, the Isaac Hayes Movement, and the sparkling Memphis Horns was hardly a risky endeavor. The result was a trim, funk-infused blues sound that provided ample space for King's oft-imitated guitar playing.