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Definitive Albert King Import

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Albert King is truly a "King of the Blues," although he doesn't hold that title (B.B. does). Along with B.B. and Freddie King, Albert King is one of the major influences on blues and rock guitar players. Without him, modern guitar music would not sound as it does -- his style has influenced both black and white blues players from Otis Rush and Robert Cray to Eric Clapton and ... Read more in Amazon's Albert King Store

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Definitive Albert King + I'll Play The Blues For You [Stax Remasters]
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Product details

  • Audio CD (20 May 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Concord
  • ASIN: B004N5DHI0
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 223,979 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a great collection of music. Its such a shame that so many whoever compiled it believed that the track should end when the last word has been sung. So much great playing curtailed. I just hope I can find full length versions elsewhere.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A Extension On The Very Best Of Albert King 1 Jun 2011
By Perry Celestino - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Well ever since Albert King died in 1992 there have been many compilations of this Blues Legend's work. The only one which actually included a sample of his whole career was the Rhino (1993) one released just after Albert died. It had the (still) very rare sides from Coun-tree and they are great, such as Lonesome, one of my favourites. This latest offering is an expanded version of the 2007 Very Best of Albert King which contains some fairly rare mixes, singles and remasters. They are all back again. I have to give this five stars for the expansion material, the reasonable price and the great booklet included which has album cover reproductions and 45 labels- even more than the rare UK "Blues For You" CD of the 1990s. This CD is a collector's item.

I reviewed the original disc in 2007 in a quite a lot of detail and that review is still available, so I'll discuss the new material and a few points. If you are new to Albert King this compilation has samples from all of Alber's Stax records from "Born Under A Bad Sign" to "The Pinch", his last real Stax LP and the first Fantasy Records LP of the 1980s, "I'm In A Phone Booth, Baby". Overall, this is an excellent introduction to the music of Albert King.

In Disc 1 the set starts with Albert's first national hit (on King Records) which was the self-penned and stolen from his many influences such as Elmore James, Robert Nighthawk and Tampa Red, "Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong". This is a new mix and it is very good and clear. The next selections are from the "Born Under a Bad Sign" signature LP which was a compilation of outtakes and studio single hits-like his first LP "The Big Blues" was for King Records, which I guess is appropriate as a starting place. "Laundromat Blues" is the rare original single and has been curiously edited to cut part of the famous solo to the turnaround and "Oh, Pretty Woman" is a different version to the original album-it is also the rare single version as well-you will grow to love it! "The Sky Is Crying" is Albert's famous take on Elmore James' tune that inspired SRV in the 1980s. However, the version on "Hard Bargain"-Albert's last official ablum for the newly reconstituted Stax Label in 1995 had the alternate version which is longer, clearer and better. Incidentially- this new CD cover has the full verison of the photo used on the back of the Hard Bargain CD-I think it's great and it shows the famous Korina wood Flying-V Lucy which would be worth over $150,000+ today as one of the originals- This original Lucy was stolen more than once and according to Robby Kreiger of the Doors it was massively warped (probably from the heat in cars and gigs) so it was even harder to play and bend those notes! Albert claimed that he had every Flying-V that was ever produced at one time or another.

This Disc adds Big Mama Thronton's "Hound Dog" with a rhumba beat from his Elvis tribute LP-which of course everyone has bagged and knocked during the years-but to me it's just Elvis songs and lyrics with Stax soul-blues grooves so enjoy it! And the drummer is Al Jackson. Jr (I just got to visit his grave south of Memphis during my last trip to Memphis-he has drums on his tombstone!) Albert's grave by the way is still surrounded with some broken bricks a year after I last visited it! Wow. "Honky Tonk Women" is of course a Stones tune from King's underrated LP "Lovejoy". The lyrics are changed to make it "cleaner" but as with the Elvis songs, the groove works for it. Afterall, it is Stax! "Can't You See What You're Doing To Me" is one of Albert's self-produced singles. This one had "Cold Sweat" from James Brown on the flipside. The bass riff from the Bay-Kays makes this song as does Albert's overbends-something he didn't do a lot.

Disc 2 has Don Nix's "Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven" tune to start off also from Lovejoy but it is cut down and fades out which is a shame. It does include for the first time a track from the Lost Session with John Mayall CD. "Tell Me What True Love Is" is an interesting track. It was home recorded at Wolfman Jack's studio in California and is in a guitar key for a change and not horn keys as Albert usually played in. This second CD offers "Angel of Mercy" and "I'll Play the Blues for You" (another cut down version) and the interesting "I Want To Get Funky" a tune that has had some resurgenece with Blues Bands in the past few years-I even heard it in Chicago at the Kingston Mines Club last month! The rarest cut on the whole CD is Mack Rice's "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'". It is great and Albert's guitar never sounded better-no effects either. It was on the rare Stax Xmas LP which was not out long and appeared as a CD in the early 1990s. Driving Wheel is a Roosevelt Sykes tune that Albert adds to this collection-it was also once very rare. There is some great guitar and difficult timed bends. Fantastic!

"I'm Doin'Fine" is also one of my personal favourites. It is from the Pinch LP now called "The Blues Don't Change". It is super soulful-one of Albert's best and you should check out Jimmy King's version as well! The CD ends with Elmore James' "Dust My Broom"-interesting with no slide guitar on it too! I would have also included "The Sky Is Crying" the later minor key version from Albert's first Fantasy LP "Phone Booth". It is a fantastic track and probably I would have also included a cut from his last CD "Red House", such as James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight", it would have been a great finale.

This is a great compilation-if only expanded. It is well worth the price and as I said the notes and photos are very good. Bill Dahl is a good music writer. My only disappointment would be that they should have included the full lenght version of the 1974 "Crosscut Saw" from the "I Wanna Get Funky" LP, it is a dictionary of Albert King licks. If you have a limited Blues collection or need a sampler of Albert King, this is currently the best and most comprehensive CD available.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Disappointing at best. 10 Feb 2014
By Richard Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This compilation has bad sound quality and the worst part is the songs are cut off, apparently an attempt to fill the two cd's. Albert King was a guitar player yet his playing is cut short by the makers of this so called definitive collection. Be safe and buy the original recordings to hear the real man and his guitar.
the king! 17 April 2013
By Mike Guerin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Awesome album. A great look at one of Stevie Ray Vaughn's heroes. A must for anyone interesting in learning about the blues.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Some of the best blues from the 1960s and 1970s 4 July 2011
By OffBeat Magazine - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The very first blues album I ever purchased was Albert King's Born Under a Bad Sign. Forty-two-years later, I still have it and play it. It's been through three years at a distant college, a move here from Canada, a divorce and Katrina. That album is on the same podium with Bobby "Blue" Bland's Two Steps from the Blues and The Best of Muddy Waters. This two-CD reissue contains several tracks from that album and so much more.

The album opens with a ringer, "Don't Throw Your Love on Me So Strong," a song that predates King's Stax tenure, but was his first hit from 1961. Most of the best tracks from Born Under a Bad Sign (the first Stax album) are represented, including the brilliant "Laundromat Blues," "Crosscut Saw" and the title track. On these recordings, King was capably backed by Booker T. and the MGs and the Memphis Horns, but what made these recordings stand out was King's unconventional guitar playing--he played a right-handed guitar left-handed--and he always sounded pissed off. While the 1970s brought about drastic changes in music, King stuck with what worked for him.

There are several covers here on disc but they're done King's way, and the album includes his Stax Christmas classic "Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin'," which was recently covered on an episode of Treme. If you want to hear some of the best blues from the 1960s and 1970s, be on the lookout for this one.--Jeff Hannusch, OffBeat Magazine, June 2011 issue.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
SONGS ARE CUT - WHY???????? 13 Dec 2011
By RJM Music Man - Published on Amazon.com
I am an avid fan of AK. I have over 20 cd's and maybe 15 lp's of his blues. For my money he is the best. This collection offers a few shortened versions of some of his greatest songs. Most notably "I'll Play The Blues For You". In my opinion this is his best song he ever produced. Why would anyone consciously omit the full version. If you really like Albert King there are many other collections you can buy. If you're just starting out listening to him you must make your first purchase the aforementioned "I'll Play The Blues For You" CD of the same title.
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