It appears that Eric Clapton had more Robert Johnson in his blood than he thought – or perhaps it was planned this way…
But I have for a very long time liked what Eric Clapton liked, the Delta Blues, and in particular Robert Johnson, the Delta bluesman who would be more myth than fact if it were not for the incomparable legacy of recordings we were lucky enough to be left to posterity. So it was therefore with some trepidation (and the faint hope that I might actually like it) that I came to hear 2004's Me and Mr. Johnson (Reprise, 2004). Call me prejudiced, but I was right. Immaculately recorded, perfectly played, I hated it.
The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions is an album by blues musician Howlin' Wolf, released in the summer of 1971 on Chess Records. It was one of the first of the super session blues albums, setting a blues master among famous musicians from the second generation of rock and roll, in this case Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman. It peaked at #79 on the Billboard 200.
This compilation of 22 Cream BBC tracks from 1966-1968 marked a major addition to the group's discography, particularly as they released relatively little product during their actual lifetime. All of but two of these cuts ("Lawdy Mama" and the 1968 version of "Steppin' Out," which had appeared on Eric Clapton's Crossroads box) were previously unreleased, and although many of these had made the round on bootlegs, the sound and presentation here is unsurprisingly preferable. As for actual surprises, there aren't many. It's a good cross section of songs from their studio records, though a couple, "Steppin' Out" and "Traintime," only appeared on live releases, and some of these BBC takes actually predate the release and recording of the album versions, which makes them of historical interest for intense Cream fans.