The The Best of John Lee Hooker 1965 to 1974
Performer: John Lee Hooker
Artist: Muddy Waters; Eddie Taylor; Van Morrison; Elvin Bishop; Tower Of Power; Milt Hinton; Steve Miller; Otis Spann
Distributor: Universal Distribution
Notes: Personnel includes: John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters (guitar, vocals); Van Morrison (vocals); Elvin Bishop, Steve Miller, Eddie Burns, Eddie Kirkland, Eddie Taylor, Barry Galbraith, Wayne Bennett, Dan Alexander, Paul Asbell, Sammy Lawhorn, Luther Johnson, Hollywood Fats, Jim Kahr (guitar); Louis Myers, Dave Barger, Jeff Carp (harmonica); Emilio Castillo, Lenny Pickett (tenor saxophone); Steve Kupka (baritone saxophone); Greg Adams (trumpet); Mic Gillette (trumpet, trombone); Otis Spann, Mark Naftalin (piano); Clifford Coulter (Hohner Clavinet, electric piano, Moog bass); Johnny "Big Moose" Walker (keyboards); Robert Hooker (organ); Milt Hinton, Gino Skaggs, Phil Upchurch, Mac Arnold (bass); David "Panama" Francis, Al Duncan, Ken Swank, Roosevelt Shaw, Francis Clay (drums). Producers: Ralph Bass, Bob Thiele, Al Smith, Bill Szymczyk, Ed Michel. Reissue producer: Andy McKaie. Recorded between November 1965 and May 1974. Includes liner notes by Colin Escott. Digitally remastered by Robert Stoughton (MCA Studios, N. Hollywood, California). Personnel: John Lee Hooker (vocals, guitar); Van Morrison (vocals, guitar); Jim Kahr, Dan Alexander, Eddie Kirkland, Eddie "Guitar" Burns, Stephen Miller , Mike "Hollywood Fats" Mann, Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson, Muddy Waters, Sammy Lawhorn, Barry Galbraith, Wayne Bennett, Paul Asbell (guitar); Elvin Bishop (slide guitar); Jeffrey M. Carp, Louis Myers (harmonica); Emilio Castillo, Lenny Pickett (tenor saxophone); Stephen Kupka (baritone saxophone); Mic Gillette (trumpet, trombone); Greg Adams (trumpet); Mark Naftalin, Otis Spann (piano); Clifford Coulter (electric piano, Moog synthesizer); Robert Hooker (organ); Johnny "Big Moose" Walker (keyboards); Roosevelt Shaw, Francis Clay, Ken Swank, Al Duncan , Panama Francis (drums). Liner Note Author: Colin Escott. Recording information: Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; San Francisco, CA; Sausalito, CA. Photographer: David Gahr. In the '60s and early '70s, Hooker experienced an enormous surge in popularity as folk and rock audiences began to discover the joys of traditional blues. Though the days of Hooker's classic Chess sides-which featured only the bluesman's raw voice, wiry, distorted electric guitar, and a rhythm track consisting of Hooker's foot pounding a miked 2x4-were long gone, the artist had attained a new fluency with full backing bands. The tunes included here are culled from some of Hooker's finest '60s releases, including IT SERVES YOU RIGHT TO SUFFER, THE REAL FOLK BLUES, and URBAN BLUES. The disc is packed with favorites-"One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer," "I'm In The Mood," "House Rent Boogie," and an incendiary live version of "I'm Bad Like Jesse James" that features the mind-boggling line-up of Otis Spann on piano and Muddy Waters, Sammy Lawhorn, and Luther Johnson on guitars. Many of the sessions, in fact, are studded with stars, as Elvin Bishop, Steve Miller, and even Van Morrison (who duets with Hooker on "Never Get Out Of These Blues Alive") all put in appearances. This set is probably the finest single disc introduction to Hooker's work from this period.
Q (8/93, p.112) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...over 70 minutes of high-octane moaning from Hooker's more coherent catalogue...the set stands up well for both blues anthologists and '60s enthusiasts alike..." Mojo (Publisher) (10/01, p.169) - "...This filleting of the years from 1965 to 1974 includes his pointed, poignant 'Motor City is Burning' as covered by the MC5..."
John Lee Hooker is the most elemental of the electric blues giants. His spooky musical minimalism--plaintive yet powerful vocals coupled with guitar work alternately haunting and toe-tapping--has inspired countless artists, from contemporaries like Slim Harpo to acolytes the Rolling Stones. Few, however, can summon up the inexplicable erotic charge at the heart of Hooker's best performances. The patented "boogie" rhythm upon which seemingly every blues-rock and hard rock band of the 1970s wrought variations was virtually invented by Hooker. One of the most-recorded post-war bluesmen, Hooker released records on countless labels, working much of the time in Detroit and Chicago. He kept working well into his eighties, his style growing ever more refined and penetrating.
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