Which BB King?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by tkingen, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. tkingen

    tkingen Tele-Meister

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    I've come across a vinyl album called Blue Guitar Masters on the ace label. It's a collection of some of the blues greats...BB, Albert King, Elmore James, etc. The dates of the recordings are from 1943- 1970, but it doesn't say which song was recorded when.
    The ones that caught me the most were two by BB King. They are called "Early In The Morning" and "Talkin' the Blues." The picture looks like he had a non-cutaway archtop and his tone and phrasing were different than when he started becoming famous in the 60's. I'd love to get some of these type of recordings, hopefully in just a trio format.
    Does anyone have suggestions?

    Thanks in advance,
    Terry
     
  2. Bruce Kiely

    Bruce Kiely Tele-Meister

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    Hope this helps .....

    Went through my BB CDs, and couldn't find either title. However, BB recorded a song early in his career called "Early Every Morning". Maybe this is one of the tunes you're looking for?

    In any case ..... I agree with you about BB's early stuff. Both his tone and his playing are quite different, and I enjoy his early period as much as his more "famous" stuff. His tone is less sophisticated. More raw. And his playing has a lot more T-Bone Walker influence. Great stuff!

    I have 3 CDs of BB's early stuff, and they're all excellent. There's some overlap, but some songs only appear on 1 CD or another.

    All 3 CDs have "Early Every Morning".

    -"Best of BB King Volume One" on Flair/Virgin Records, #86230-2 (careful to get the right one, there are quite a few "Best of BB" CDs out there), 20 tunes remastered from the original Kent, RPM and Modern sessions.

    - "My Sweet Little Angel", Flair/Virgin, #39103-2, more of the mid to late 50s Modern/Kent/RPM sides, 21 total.

    - "BB King Singin The Blues/The Blues", Flair/Virgin 86296-2, his entire first 2 albums on 1 CD, 24 tunes in all. The original album cover for 1 of these albums shows him with a non-cutaway archtop.

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers,
    BK
     
  3. trag-o-caster

    trag-o-caster R.I.P.

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    Ditto on that Flair "Best of" set. His early sides are just KILLER! What tone! What taste! What a voice! "Live at the Regal" may be the essential B.B. King, but the earliest stuff is even better IMO.
     
  4. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    Check out "Back In The Alley" on ABC Bluesway too !!!
    Judging by the Tone these may have been the outtakes
    from "Live At The Regal" performances.
    I cut my teeth on "Back In The Alley" and "Live Again".
    The version of "Everyday I Have The Blues" on "Live Again" is great for learning to really "SWING" a solo.
     
  5. John Harrison

    John Harrison Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    The B.B. King box set, "King of the Blues", is one of the best box sets available. It's a pretty comprehensive selection of all phases of his career. While I'd agree that B.B.'s early recordings are preferred by many, a lot of his material from the 60's and early 70's was also quite good - "Indianola, Mississippi Seeds" and "Completely Well", for examples.
    I'd argue there are no bad B.B. King recordings, but there are clearly some extraordinary ones ("Live at the Regal" deserves all the props it gets). As always, www.allmusic.com is a good resource.
     
  6. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I was going to suggest the "King Of The Blues" set as well. 4 discs full of just incredible music. Right now my most favorite stuff is the late 60s and early 70s stuff he did that had a great funky blues beat. But I've gotten into every one of those discs at one time or another, and they've never left me disappointed.
     
  7. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    indispensible

    "My Kind of Blues" is a reissue of the Modern / Crown stuff from the fifties, with some bonus tracks thrown in. BB's playing & singing at the absolute top of his game, and the rhythm section work is impeccable. Four-star gold-plated, money-back-if-it doesn't-rock-your-world recommendation.

    Bonus: there are several pix of BB around this time with his hands wrapped around a Telecaster and much of this sounds like it could have beeen cut with one.
     
  8. weelie

    weelie Friend of Leo's

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    SKIP the King of the blues set! It has too much of the current stuff.

    Get the "Vintage Years" collection instead, for the 50s and 60s gems, 4 discs of vintage "Kent records" BB! Has him playing an archtop on the cover, and 50s strat on the first page on the book.

    4 years CDs is a bit overkill, as it has some of the poppy and big band stuff too (it's divided to the 4 CDs by theme instead of chronology). So for a more concise collection: the ACE records one disc collections (two CDs of "Best of the Kent Singles") are real good, but I haven't got them myself. "Do The Boogie: B.B. King's Early 50s Classics" is a nice one CD collection, I hear.

    For T-Bone Walker: Get the black&white collection disc or the T-Bone Blues remake album from the 60s (I ABSOLUTELY LOVE the latter one!)

    Check allmusic.com for details.
     
  9. Kingtone

    Kingtone Tele-Holic

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    My favorite BB

    One of my favorite BB records from the early 60s is "Live at the regal" Talk about tone! Also check out "Live at San Quentin" Some of the best BB there is........
     
  10. trag-o-caster

    trag-o-caster R.I.P.

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    Oh yeah - all of the live albums. That kinda goes without saying. Cook County is great! Regal is a must have. I don't think I've heard San Quentin, or Ole Miss. Any reviews?

    I'm probably in the minority here, but I really enjoyed the album that he recorded with Eric Clapton too.
     
  11. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    I enjoyed that one too, though it had to grow on me. I thought that the guitar tone for both of them seemed awfully cold, not at all the tones I associate with them.

    I thought that it was a great idea to make "Riding With The King" the title and main single of the album. It's a real bluesy long and lets each of them show off their blues chops, but it's a nice change from the typical I IV V that most people think of first when they think of the blues.

    I wish I'd seen the video for that one. I haven't been able to find it on the net anywhere.
     
  12. weelie

    weelie Friend of Leo's

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    San Quentin and At Apollo are not as great as Cook County, Blues is King and At Regal.

    The rather recent (though recorded in the 70s) Live in Japan is quite good too. Mostly just playing, less singing or talking.

    "Riding with the King" is fun too, though I don't like the couple of poppy numbers (like the title track). And Clapton's singing is terrible on the duo numbers... he can sing the blues alright on his own, but when singing with a real blues singer like BB, he just hasn't got the voice to pull it off. YMMV!
     
  13. tjalla

    tjalla Friend of Leo's

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    Re: Hope this helps .....

    This double-CD is da bomb... raw and immediate, but a great youthful energy in his playing, and especially his voice. AND his influence of early Buddy Guy is even more apparent here...
     
  14. Kingtone

    Kingtone Tele-Holic

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    Live at San Quentin has some of BBs most powerful playing and vocals. Another CD worth checking out is "Lucille"
     
  15. peter_schoen

    peter_schoen TDPRI Member

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  16. Monster Mike Welch

    Monster Mike Welch Tele-Meister

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    The best sounding compilations of the Kent/Crown/RPM/Modern years are on Ace Records out of England. My favorites are the Vintage Years box and The RPM Hits for a single disc.

    My Kind Of Blues is actually not a compilation - it's a single after-hours session in 1960 with a small band (the great Lloyd Glenn on piano, a bassist and a drummer) and is among the greatest blues records in history.

    The Holy Trinity of the live albums is Regal, Blues is King (a SCREAMING show recorded in a Chicago club in 1966), and Cook County. I also love Live in Japan and the live side of Live and Well, but I'm less enamored of the 80's and 90's live records (San Quentin, Apollo, etc.)

    M
     
  17. Mickey

    Mickey Tele-Holic

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    what a great thread

    I know and like "king of the blues" (maybe '66) which seems kind of transitional from the older stuff you're looking for to the BB we know from Regal, Japan, et al. Very great for it's 'I'm sitting in the club' feel.

    As for the funky '70s BB, I think it's fabulous. "I want to live the life that I sing about in my song" has almost no bb guitar but it's one of his best tunes, IMHO.
     
  18. mr tom

    mr tom Tele-Meister

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    Blues is King

    I love the '50s and early '60s stuff best, but I can't believe no one has yet mentioned Blues is King. For my money, this one beats Regal for tone and killer playing and singing. Sounds like a Super Reverb - not B's usual sound.
     
  19. Tom P.

    Tom P. Tele-Holic

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    Re: Blues is King

    Agreed! I have been working on that CD for a while now. Sometimes it feels like anything I'd ever need to know/want to play is there - especially "How Blue can You Get".
     
  20. Bruce Kiely

    Bruce Kiely Tele-Meister

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    A lesser known gem .....

    I hadn't mentioned this one in my original post, as Tkingen was interested in the early stuff ...... but seeing as how we're all mentioning our faves regardless of era, I just had to mention this one .....

    "BB King The Unexpected Instrumental ..... Just Guitar"
    Kent/Polygram 838 019-2

    Not nearly as well known as his "famous" stuff (all of which are excellent, IMHO), and no singing (I think BB is among the absolute best singers). But if you're jonesing for just BB's playing, this CD is essential. Only 8 cuts, but well worth the effort finding this little gem.

    Cheers,
    BK
     
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