Saturday, April 14, 2012

B. B. King

Now's my opportunity to gather all my B.B. cassettes in one post..
Starting with the Kent issue of "Rock Me Baby"

Next is United issue "Blues For Me:

Here's another United cassette.. the "Original Folk Blues" album..

Next,  a few more of the  Kent cassette  issues:

Here's an alternate release of the above "Live" album..Upon listening,  it sounded to me like applause was simply added to studio tracks.. if anyone has the above album, could you confirm that?

One of the 'Timeless series' BB king issues.. ( a favorite of mine too)

Next is a Fantasy reissue of an early album of his.. I don't know which, but the FAntasy issue is almost as rare too!

Next is one of those ACE UK reissues.. before the internet ,  the Ace reissues and compilations were the very best way to get to hear early B.B. King.. I was thrilled ecery time I got to pick up another record (yup, almost always vinyl. I have in fact seen very few Ace cassettes)

This next one is a very underrated compilation, containing as it does, selectiones from his first 4 ABC/Paramount/Bluesway albums .. futhermore, until very recently, all excepting "Live at the Regal" were out of print for decades, and these tracks were only available on this compilation:

Another really awesome compilation.. that isn't *quite* a compilation, in that more than half the album consisted of new material, was "The Electric B.B. King".. one of the very first BB albums I ever had. It left quite a mark, and to this day,the reverb laden BB from this period is still the one that most moves me!

Another from this period, which contains the long talking blues "Lucille", is also named after that track..

Indianola Mississippi seeds is notable for having a lot of guest artists on it.. I think Joe Walsh may be ob it, as well as Leon Russel.. etc..

Here's one from 1969 / 1970:

He made several  albums during the 70's , perhaps one a year, but even though they must have been more available on cassette, I just don't run into many of them.. Here's one I did find..

He also ended the 70's with this cool show at the University of  Mississippi, which came out the following year as 'Live at Ole Miss'.. this is a very early issue, before it was quickly taken out of print... apparently because there were overwhelming sound problems, and yes, I can hear what sounds like it was recorded right next to the bar (glasses clinking loudly all through the tape) plus some wonderfully weird percussion effects.. I think it gives a neat 'Pub' aura, but others though differently:

Here's some of his later 80's and 90's cassettes:

Some assorted compilations to lead things out:

Here's the first ABC 'Best of' compilation...
And here's one of those budget 'MCA Special Product' tapes that flooded the market some years ago.. what was really bad about some of them , was that (like this one) they would use the name of an out of print album, but place common tracks on it..

Next, BB's most well known two live albums
Certainly, the first one here (Live at the Regal) is, by anyone's definition, a pure classic.. 100% pure B.B. King, as he sounded in the early 60's
 Cook County, below, is widely regarded as his ideal follow up to the Regal show, but I must say , I prefer the long out-of-print, until recently "Blues Is King".. many of the tracks from that show ended up on compilations, most notably "Great Moments With BB King".. Also worth checking out is the Bootleg "Live at the Fillmore 1969" recorded during the Stones '69 tour, which also supplied "Get your Yayas Out"
Instrumental..! And on Ace! This is a true treasure, especially to me..
During the very lean years between the early 80's and the late 90's.. blues of any calibre was *Extremely* hard to find.. naturally, the latest BB King albums were available, but, no\t to be too unkind, they weren't really BB at his most fiery best.. Stored sometimes orderd in the occasional import, but almost everything Blues related was Out Of Print (OOP)..
But out of the blue, like a life preserver to an overboard sailor resigned to drowning,  companies like Ace Records and Charly R&B appeared.. Slowlly, compilations of stuff that hadn't been issued for 20 years appeared, in awesome sound quality.. Buying an Ace BB King, or a Charly R&B Freddy King,, or Jimmy Reed, was an event! You'd wake up early, take the first bus to the shop that had ordered it in from the UK.. and call your friends over, to listen to it all day, 
There was no internet.. and absolutely NO way to access these tracks any other way..  other than the Collector's store, for rare LP's (and that could cost you 20$ PER TRACK! for a rare album..
Nope , this was it.
This album bel;ow, came out in the middle of the import boom.. in 1986...
It's still priceless...;-)

All for now... 

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