John Lee Hooker – His Best Chess Sides (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection) (1997)

John Lee Hooker – His Best Chess Sides (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection) (1997)

Artist: John Lee Hooker
Title: His Best Chess Sides (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection)
Year Of Release: 1997
Label: Chess
Genre: Blues
Quality: Flac (tracks)
Total Time: 50:24
Total Size: 243 Mb

01. John Lee Hooker – Mad Man Blues (2:46)
02. John Lee Hooker – Louise (3:07)
03. John Lee Hooker – Ground Hog Blues (3:01)
04. John Lee Hooker – High Priced Woman (2:46)
05. John Lee Hooker – Leave My Wife Alone (2:50)
06. John Lee Hooker – Sugar Mama (3:16)
07. John Lee Hooker – Walkin’ The Boogie (Alternate) (2:36)
08. John Lee Hooker – Bluebird (3:04)
09. John Lee Hooker – Please Don’t Go (2:32)
10. John Lee Hooker – Blues For Big Town (3:14)
11. John Lee Hooker – Worried Life Blues (3:08)
12. John Lee Hooker – I’m In The Mood (2:46)
13. John Lee Hooker – Let’s Go Out Tonight (6:53)
14. John Lee Hooker – The Waterfront (5:24)
15. John Lee Hooker – One Bourbon, One Scotch And One Beer (3:00)
John Lee Hooker, as anyone with a decent-sized blues collection knows, recorded for a virtual parade of labels early in his career, including Chess, although his stays with the company were fairly brief. Hooker's best early recordings, most would agree, were issued on Modern and Vee-Jay, not Chess. Still, if the only Hooker extant consisted of his Chess sides, his greatness would be readily apparent. Approached not as a best-of but simply as one of many Hooker compilations, this 15-song disc is fine, leaning heavily on early-'50s material (the source for 11 of the songs). This is typical of his early work in its stress on his great guitar work, walking rhythms, and drumless arrangements (most of it is played solo). It's good stuff, even if much of it is derivative of things he recorded elsewhere, and the mike plainly catches him coughing on "Bluebird." The solo on "Leave My Wife Alone" is almost avant-garde in conception, a series of plucked runs up and down the scale with little relation to convention, even by blues standards. Closing the set are four much more modern-sounding cuts from the mid-'60s, the "I'm in the Mood"/"Let's Go Out Tonight" single and a couple of cuts from the Real Folk Blues LP (including his standard "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer").

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