Do we really need a second His Best collection from Howlin' Wolf? Absolutely. An artist about whom everything was larger than life surely deserves a second volume of his finest Chess Records work. Although this is volume 2, one should not consider the content secondary to the first His Best, even though that one contained classics like "Moanin' at Midnight," "Smokestack Lightning," "Howlin' for My Darling," "Spoonful," "Red Rooster," and more. Vol. 2 contains its own delights, including the almost-rock & roll "Howlin' Wolf Boogie," the rollicking "All Night Boogie," the energetic shuffle of "Rockin' Daddy" (complete with some stellar piano work from Otis Spann), and the slow, intense drawl of "The Natchez Burnin'." And "Tail Dragger" alone is worth the price of the CD, while the false start at the beginning of "The Red Rooster" provides an amusing coda.
A very different set than Teldec's Bach 2000. The Hanssler Bachakademie, supervised by Helmut Rilling, is not HIP (historic instruments performance). The orchestras are warm and lush (but not huge). The soloists are, in general, extraordinary. The tempos are sane. Hanssler has included fragments of some incomplete BWV's that are not included in the Teldec set; a minor plus but appealing. I found I preferred these traditional instruments and the daring using of forte-piano in place of harpsichord on a few of the recordings (flute sonatas). Highlights for me are The Well-Tempered Clavier Books 1 and 2, Musical Offering, Flute Sonatas, The Motets. I also found I prefer these Cantatas recordings to any other, including the new Koopman, Suzuki and the well-known Leonhart-Harnoncourt. While not the newest recordings, the sound is warmer which I prefer to the new state-of-the-art HIP recordings. Although most of the Cantatas are older recordings, much of the Hanssler Bachakademie edition is newly recorded for this project and the sound is consistent and excellent.
For his 1995 release Lost Within the Halls of Fame, celebrated singer Eric Burdon delivers more of what listeners expect from him with songs like "I Will Be With You Again," "Is There Another World," "Memories of Anna," "American Dreams," and "Going Back to Memphis." Though a good effort, many longtime fans will probably enjoy his earlier works with the Animals, the New Animals, War, or even the Eric Burdon Band a little more. Still, this album is worth adding to your Eric Burdon collection.