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Legendary Modern Recordings [Import]

John Lee Hooker Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 18.95
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Biography

Singer-guitarist John Lee Hooker (1917-2001) was one of the most successful blues artists of the second half of the 20th century, yet his hypnotic brand of blues was in many ways a throwback to earlier times, before rules of rhyme, meter, and chord structure became standardized. The Clarksdale, Mississippi-born musician burst on the national scene with his first record, "Boogie ... Read more in Amazon's John Lee Hooker Store

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Legendary Modern Recordings + The Definitive Collection
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  • The Definitive Collection 5.15

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 Jun 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Virgin
  • ASIN: B000000W6D
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,265 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Boogie Chillen
2. Sally Mae
3. Hoogie Boogie
4. Hobo Blues
5. Weeping Willow Boogie
6. Drifting From Door To Door
7. Crawling Kingsnake
8. Women In My Life
9. Howlin' Wolf
10. Playing The Races
11. Let Your Daddy Ride
12. Queen Bee
13. Wednesday Evening
14. I'm In The Mood
15. Tease Me Baby
16. Turn Over A New Leaf
17. Rock House Boogie
18. Too Much Boogie
19. Need Somebody
20. Gotta Boogie
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Here's proof that one man can rock a house. These 24 songs are stone simple: built upon Hooker singing to his boogying guitar and stomping foot. But their energetic performances and irresistible grooves remain a model of blues perfection. They include the hits that made Hooker a star around Chicago and Detroit: "Boogie Chillen," "Crawling Kingsnake," and "I'm in the Mood." More than a ticket out of his factory job, these singles became the foundation of a career that has spanned half a century. They were also quite daring for their day. Producer Bernie Besman used techniques like doubling and tripling Hooker's voice on tape, and occasionally (on "I'm in the Mood," for example) had Detroit blues guitarist Eddie Kirkland duplicate Hooker's lines as he sang and played them. For Hooker fans, this is ground zero in all its fiery glory. --Ted Drozdowski

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
If you wish to collect a reasonably thorough overview of Hooker's career then start with this album. It features his earliest work which was for Modern. If you have listened to any of the various Hooker greatest hits compilations then you may find this hard to get into at first as the recordings are of JLH alone with an acoustic guitar, however, this is when he is at his best- raw and stripped down. It features the original versions of some of his songs that later made him famous when recorded for other labels, such as 'Crawling King Snake' and 'Boogie Chillun'. The album does get a little repetitive after a while but nonetheless, it is a great place to start your John Lee Hooker collection. It would be very exhausting to collect all his work as he recorded for many different labels under various names, however he mainly recorded for two major labels during his best period, Chess and Vee Jay, and most compilations tend to be a mixture of these two and so the next best place to go would be 'The Complete 1950's Chess Recordings' followed by some kind of Vee Jay best of or the Vee Jay box set.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
They're not made like John Lee Hooker any more, but sixty odd years ago the man himself was putting it down, as these sides testify. Even by that time the hypnotic guitar playing was in place, and the sometimes declamatory voice already had that hint of menace which ensures that when he relates a tale of being on the road -and railroads, probably- on "Hobo Blues" you don't doubt him for a minute. Okay so the blues is littered with examples of musicians and singers who wouldn't have known how to fake it, but in Hooker's case it's the very gravity of his work that makes it so compelling.

"Crawling King Snake" was of course destined to become one of the staples of his repertoire but the chances are he never made a version of it he didn't mean. This one, released by Modern in 1949 on one side of MOD 714, is all meaning, underpinned by that rolling, minimal guitar punctuated in a fashion that perhaps only Hooker knew. Certainly it's not difficult to see why he hardly ever needed a band.

"Boogie Chillen" was a bona fide hit, to the reputed tune of one million sales, a figure which was a lot more significant back in 1948 than it might be today, and on the back of such a hit it might be said that Hooker's future was assured, but that didn't stop him going on to be one of the most compelling performers in the whole of the blues. Thus, anyone who wants to know where the music still going today came from need look no further.

Truly, the blues had a baby and they called it rock `n' roll..............
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Blues 15 May 2003
Format:Audio CD
A CD of uncompramised blues with an unbreakably strong boggie Rythem. I haven't sampled much else of John Lee Hooker's recordings so am unable to compare this to the rest of his work, but to me it stands out from most chicargo blues, probably because it is right at the leading edge of the field, songs like Rock House Boogie represent real cutting edge production work that I was under the impression didn't happen until the Beatles come along, his pure voice and developing guitar lend a grate honesty to the work, and his ability to sing outside the blues whilst still remaining grounded in it's rythems and patterns give this record an honesty that I feel many blues recordings seem to miss. I wouldn't recomend this to everybody, some of the tracks have not been copied briliantly and there are imperfections, but I think that if you are somebody who really enjoys listening to to music (I don't mean the words or the style, but the music behind all that) then I don't see how you can be disapointed by this CD, I certanly wasn't.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The Legendary Modern Recordings 9 Oct 2013
By XBBX
Format:Audio CD
I'm in two minds about The Legendary Modern Recordings, probably because it's very much a compilation of two halves.

The first half of this CD is nothing less than classic and essential Hooker, just the man with his guitar and stomping foot, banging out quality material. The second half becomes something of a mixed bag, with a distinct sag in the middle. The run of stone cold classics drops off and additional musicians begin to make an appearance, to the extent that a couple of tracks sound downright cheesy and cliched.

From a mastering perspective this is a very clean sounding CD - maybe at times too clean? I can't help feeling the modern process of transferring this material from the original vinyl to a digital format resulted in the loss of some of the "life" of the sound. For example; Boogie Chillen on this CD, despite being fantastically clean and surface noise free, simply doesn't engage with me in the same way it does on other compilations. Even though its exactly the same recording, it just seem to be missing that certain "something".

To briefly digress, this disc was released by Ace Records just a year after their Blues Brother compilation. That Hooker CD takes material from the same 1940s/1950s period but was originally transferred from vinyl in the 1970s, and to my ears it sounds much more natural, vibrant and engaging. I can't help thinking that difference is down to the mastering technique.

So to sum up;

At least 50% of The Legendary Modern Recordings consists of essential John Lee Hooker. Out of the rest, 25% is Hooker on near enough top form and 25% is material-which-should-have-remained-on-a-B-side Hooker.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense as a slab of ribs cooked by the corner barbecue man 15 Nov 2001
By Rick Beall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
These are John Lee Hooker's first recordings. These are not the covers he made later, but are the real thing. Most early blues recordings are so raw that only dyed-in-the-wool blues fans would like them, but such is not the case here. On these recordings John stomps his foot for percussion, strums and finger-picks his guitar for rhythm and lead, and in the saucy tone he gets from his guitar you can hear the coming roar of Rock and Roll. The songs, in the same order as he historically recorded them, progress from acoustic to electric guitar as a sort of Stairway to Blues Heaven.

If you are a musician, study this album to see how one man stomping his foot can generate enough intensity for an entire band.
If you are a music lover, well, man just groove!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply seminal blues by John Lee Hooker 22 Jun 2001
By R. Weinstock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Writing this right after John Lee Hooker's passing, I note that of all of Hooker's recordings, the one's that draw me in deepest are his earliest ones. Here are the recordings from the beginning, mostly John Lee Hooker with a guitar performing some of the songs he would still be remembered for fifty years later. As another reviewer has stated, the early John Lee Hooker may be a bit too raw for those casually into blues, but if you are a fan of his later recordings, give these sides a chance. Listen to a few tracks at a time. Here is a man pouring out his soul on these trackks, especially on some of the slow numbers. Included in this are his biggest R&B hits and some very personalized renditions of classic blues from other sources. Hooker was an original and greatly influenced numerous performers. There are several other equally excellent albums of Hooker's early recordings available on Specialty, Atlantic; Ace; Krazy Kat; MCA/Chess and Charly. This may be easier to find and it does have the hits, Boogie Chillen, and In the Mood, and for that reason probably edges the others out as an essential disc for any well rounded blues collection.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 25 Mar 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
John Lee is a pioneer of the blues. The truth is that not everybody can listen to his early works. The sound is way to different then what the blues have become and how it sounds now. But for those who want to know the evolution of music, John Lee is too important and good to mis.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep blues 26 Mar 2002
By Blues Bro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Although John Lee Hooker became a star who drank champagne and ride limousines, his first tracks recorded will make you feel with mud up to your neck. These tracks are among the deepest blues ever recorded. This collection is in the same level as Robert Johnson, Muddy's plantation recordings or the Wolf's Sun sides. Until these CD was released in 1993, these sides had never been compiled in one album. The liner notes explain every session and personnel that were involved. For a new blues fan, probably the rhino compilation 'best of' is more digestible, but eventually you'll have to get this one, as any other serious blues fan.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable early John Lee Hooker 15 Aug 2000
By bruce horner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
There's so much Hooker material available that it's hard to know where to start. This CD compilation of early Modern sides is a very good place indeed. Even if you already have many of his Chess and Vee-Jay recordings, these early versions of famous songs such as "Boogie Chillen" and "I'm In the Mood" (and much else) are riveting as blues performances and interesting from a historical perspective. As to the charge (from the Pennsylvania music fan) that he played the same song every time, much the same thing could be said about the likes of Chuck Berry, Wynonnie Harris, Joe Turner... in fact, everybody who released music before record albums really came into vogue (as anything more than dumping grounds for hits and b-sides that is), which is to say, pretty much everyone before 1965 or so. This was music recorded and released as SINGLES and meant to be listened to one (or two) songs at a time. It certainly wasn't meant to be taken in marathon doses of 20 songs or more at a time. That was a problem with LP-record compilations of old jazz, blues, country, r'n'b, and early rock sides, and it's only been exacerbated by the interminable playing time of compact discs. But look at the bright side: they can fit more good music onto one (overpriced) CD than they ever could have on one (slightly overpriced) LP, so that's more music for your money, no matter how long you take to listen to it. This particular CD should get your foot tapping and fingers snapping. Plus, the front cover is great.
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