The seventh volume in Ace's ongoing series based on B.B. King's original Crown LPs with 8 bonus tracks.
Originally released as "Blues For Me" in 1961, re-titled "More B.B. King", this disc is augmented by hard to find Kent 45s from the early to mid sixties.
The combination of King and the well-oiled Philly rhythm section that powered hits by the O'Jays, Spinners, and Stylistics proved a surprisingly adroit one. Two huge hits came from this album, the Stevie Wonder/Syreeta Wright-penend title track and "I Like to Live the Love," both of them intriguing updates of King's tried-and-true style.
Onetime rivals for R&B supremacy, the two blues greats hit the road together in the Seventies, where they soon discovered how well their styles complemented one another while bantering with expert comic timing. "Nothing is planned tonight," King announces early in this hour-long set, and whether or not that was true there's a spontaneous but never sloppy spark. It's instructive and exciting to hear King's guitar supporting another vocalist, particularly a master such as Bland.
Recorded in the fall of 2006, shortly after B.B. King's 81st birthday, Live is really an abridged audio complement to a video release, containing 12 of the 19 tracks available on the DVD of the same title. King has made a lot of live albums in his time, but his approach hasn't changed much over the years. In addition to his obvious talents as a guitarist and showman, he has also been fortunate in that his chosen style of music, a version of the blues growing out of the swing-influenced jump blues of the 1940s, has not only remained perennially popular but grown in acceptance. As performed here by the B.B. King Blues Band, it is still essentially the same, a jazzy roadhouse music that leaves plenty of room for solos. At one time, most of those solos were played by King on his guitar, but now he is content to give the showcase to his horn players, as he does on "Blues Man," or organist James Toney, who claims the lion's share of "Rock Me Baby." There is still plenty of guitar work, however, and King remains seemingly as agile as ever. He is also a relaxed, comfortable frontman, engaging in easy banter with both band and audience.
B.B. King - Complete Recordings 1949-1962; 6 CDs, 168 tracks, over 8 hours of music B.B. King, known as The King of the Blues, and indeed one of the Three Kings of Blues Guitar (along with namesakes Albert and Freddie) was amongst the finest guitarists and vocalists to ever grace the genre. He has featured in Rolling Stones 100 and Gibsons 50 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, reaching 6 and 17 respectively. Across the six discs comprising this boxed set lie the foundations of one of the most enduring legacies in all of the blues. Featuring more than 160 cuts and over eight hours of music, this compilation will surely remain the ultimate collection of B.B. Kings output a catalogue which most blues fans regard as home to some of the finest music ever released.
Most of B.B. King's studio albums of the '80s and '90s tend to de-emphasize his guitar playing and consist largely of forgettable originals and obvious attempts at pop hits. However this CD (which was cut in the studios) is on a higher level and is quite rewarding. Most of the tunes were co-written by pianist Joe Sample and Will Jennings, and the majority are quite catchy and memorable. Certainly it is easy to sing along with the refrains of "I'm Moving On," "Back in L.A." and "Roll, Roll, Roll." On this date King usually overdubbed his guitar to play along with his vocals (somehow the interplay does not sound spontaneous) but it does not detract from the final results. The intelligent and philosophical lyrics fit King's style very well and his voice is very much in prime form. Well worth acquiring.
Universally hailed as the reigning king of the blues, the legendary B.B. King is without a doubt the single most important electric guitarist of the last half century…