Rhino Records usually know what they are doing when they assemble compilation albums and anthologies, and this Freddie King-retrospective is no exception.
A few of these songs are a bit generic, perhaps, but there are some real classics here as well, most notably the superbly catchy, oft-copied instrumentals "Hide Away", "Remington Ride" and "San-Ho-Zay" (about a third of the twenty tracks are instrumentals), the powerful, rocking blues of "I'm Tore Down" and "Going Down", and the slow, anguished "Someday, After A While" and "It's Too Bad Things Are Going So Tough".
Also, the smouldering "Have You Ever Loved A Woman" became a concert staple for Eric Clapton, who was a great admirerer of Freddie King, and cut a very good "I'm Tore Down" for his "From The Cradle" album.
King was a strong, soulful vocalist and a magnificent, versatile guitarist. His music was somewhat less gritty than that of blues greats Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, and sometimes had more of a dance-friendly pop sheen to it, but it's very good in its own right, and this is an excellent overview of his too-brief career.
on 27 May 2005
I'd been hunting around for a good Freddie King compliation for a while, and I'd seen some positive reviews for this particular Rhino compliation so decided to pick a copy up. Happily, I'm really glad I did, as it's brilliantly sequenced - so despite the large number of songs included it sounds fresh and interesting throughout and never dips or drags.
It's just a fine example of a solid, well thought out compilation album (of a great artist I must add!).