Canned Heat rose to fame because their knowledge and love of blues music was both wide and deep. Emerging in 1966, Canned Heat was founded by blues historians and record collectors Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson and Bob “The Bear” Hite. Hite took the name “Canned Heat” from a 1928 recording by Tommy Johnson. They were joined by Henry “The Sunflower” Vestine, another ardent record collector who was a former member of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. Rounding out the band in 1967 were Larry “The Mole” Taylor on bass, an experienced session musician who had played with Jerry Lee Lewis and The Monkees and Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra on drums who had played in two of the biggest Latin American bands, Los Sinners and Los Hooligans.
Seeking a U.S. breakthrough, A&M Records held Black's second album, Comedy, back from release until a re-recorded 1989 version of his U.K. hit "Wonderful Life" could be added as the leadoff track. There is also a remixed version of the U.K. hit "Sweetest Smile," which, like "Wonderful Life," previously appeared on Black's debut album, Wonderful Life. Also included were the more recent U.K. chart singles "The Big One" and "Now You're Gone." All of which means that, in its U.S. version at least, Comedy was almost more of a hits compilation than a formal second album. That, however, lent it a certain consistency, and in its newer songs, the album showed Black moving away from the cocktail jazz and doomy lyrics of his debut and toward a more eclectic sound, as well as lighter, more romantic sentiments.