Thursday, December 22, 2016

Albert King - 1989 "King Of The Blues Guitar"

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?

These 17 tunes come from King's most fertile period, his 1966-68 tenure at Memphis's Stax Records. Stax chief Jim Stewart had been reluctant to sign blues artists because he felt straight blues wouldn't mesh with Stax's patented Memphis soul. Ironically, the fusion of King's sharp guitar wails with the dynamic rhythms of Booker T. & the MGs--the Stax house band--was what set King apart from other bluesmen. The unique blend produced classic after classic: Booker T. Jones' rolling piano propels "Laundromat Blues." Al Jackson's drum shuffle supports "Crosscut Saw." The driving horns of Andrew Love, Wayne Jackson, and Joe Arnold accent "Born Under a Bad Sign." King's ripe and mellow vocals are a perfect match for the soul-drenched music while his dramatic string bends leap out.

ALBERT KING-KING OF THE BLUES GUITAR: Memphis soul label STAX/VOLT's biggest blues star, ALBERT KING honed a stylish trick book of passionate licks that has schooled guitar heroes for decades...CREAM, GARY MOORE and FREE dusted off BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN, OH PRETTY WOMAN and THE HUNTER respectively, while protégé STEVE RAVE ON guested on the instant classic IN SESSION album. The Mississippi born string bender, noted for earthy, low-key vocals (which STAX often buried in the mix) and reflective monologues, is represented here by funky standards such as CROSSCUT SAW and PERSONAL fact, his best known album BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN is included in its entirety. Ably supported by BOOKER T & THE MG'S and the MEMPHIS HORNS, the big man also flooded covers of WILBERT HARRISON's KANSAS CITY and IVORY JOE HUNTER's I ALMOST LOST MY MIND with his down home brand of heat sinking soul. Although many of his smoky chestnuts (CALL MY JOB, CADILLAC ASSEMBLY LINE and THE SKY IS CRYING) are available elsewhere, KING OF THE BLUES GUITAR stands as a powerful statement for rabid fans of roots rockin' royalty.

King of the Blues Guitar (Atlantic 8213) is a compilation album by blues guitarist and singer Albert King. It was released by Atlantic Records in 1969 and re-released on CD format in 1989.
King of the Blues Guitar essentially combines the entire Stax Records album Born Under a Bad Sign, and six of King's Stax singles.
In addition to King on guitar and vocals, the album also features the following musicians:

    Steve Cropper: Guitar
    Donald "Duck" Dunn: Bass
    Wayne Jackson: Trumpet
    Booker T. Jones: Keyboards
    Andrew Love: Tenor Saxophone
    Al Jackson, Jr.: Drums

Track listing

  01  Laundromat Blues
  02  Overall Junction*
  03  Oh, Pretty Woman
  04  Funk-Shun*
  05  Crosscut Saw
  06  Down Don't Bother Me
  07  Born Under a Bad Sign
  08  Personal Manager
  09  Kansas City
  10  The Very Thought of You
  11  The Hunter
  12  I Almost Lost My Mind
  13  As The Years Go Passing By
  14  Cold Feet*
  15  You Sure Drive A Hard Bargain*
  16  (I Love) Lucy*
  17  You're Gonna Need Me*

    previously released singles.

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