One of the best recordings in Chess Records' 50th Anniverary series is the first of two bookend Muddy Waters collections, His Best 1947-55
. Documenting Waters's most creatively and commercially successful years at Aristocrat/Chess, this collection begins with his formative years and ends with Waters at his peak. So you're in for a lot of terrific bottleneck slide guitar work as well as electric Chicago blues; what's to criticize? Superb remasterings of "I Can't Be Satisfied", "Rollin' and Tumblin'," "I'm Ready", and "Mannish Boy" are simply beyond reproach. With simple bass accompaniment from Ernest "Big" Crawford, Waters's bottleneck tracks are spare, haunting and, quite frankly, perfect country blues. And listening to Waters, Little Walter, Willie Dixon, and Jimmy Rogers piece together (and perfect very quickly) the classic Chicago sound is pure blues epiphany. At the very least, this collection shows you why Waters's rollicking stop-time classics like "Mannish Boy" and "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" have sparked endless imitations over the years--and why nobody has played them better since. --Ken Hohman
1-I Can't Be Satisfied 2-I Feel Like Going Home 3-Train Fare Blues 4-Rollin' And Tumblin Pt.1 5-Rollin' Stone 6-Louisiana Blues 7-Long Distance Call 8-Honey Bee 9-She Moves Me# 10-Still A Fool 11-Standing Around Crying 12-Baby Please Don't Go 13-I Want You To Love Me 14-I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man 15-I Just Want To Make Love To You 16-I'm Ready 17-Young Fashioned Ways 18-Mannish Boy 19-Sugar Sweet 20-Trouble No More (1947-55 'Chess')(59:57/20) 'The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection'.