18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2003
Albert King, a true behemoth of the blues both in status and stature, really hit top form with this release in the late Sixties. Playing his right handed guitar, left handed, without altering the instrument in any way, King was able to create notes of exceptional pitch and clarity. The resulting sound was a 'crying' guitar style that at the time this recording was made was truly unique amongst bluesmen. In the hands of Albert King, a well structured guitar rhythm could suddenly be turned into a near wailing banshee of sound. An example of this can be found on the track, 'Blues Power' where King manages to weave his original musical chops with audience chat and whoops of joy to overwhelming effect. There is much beauty and passion to be experienced in Albert's voice too. Listen to his gospel laced vocals on 'Blues at Sunrise.' There is so much soul in this piece.
Personally, I would give this musical experience a Perfect Ten!
The Classic 'Born Under A Bad Sign' album may boast more hits but track times are limited to approx 3 mins each. This means that the complete range of expression from this Blues Titan is not fully realised. With this masterpiece, where Albert's guitar solos are not tapered off, it most certainly is. Highly recommended!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 7 May 2007
I'm a fan of all Three Kings' when I saw them all seperately in concert, decade's ago, sadly they didn't reach this standard, maybe it was the restrained atmosphere of the U.K. concert hall, that put them out of their comfort zone. How many of us have been to a concert where the support act was so outstanding, I wonder how Hendrix & Mayall were received after this blinding set? A definitive Live blues album's simply because it capture's a unique moment in time when the artist is on top form, the tracks were selected from three performances on his return to Fillmore in 1968 the most outstanding, when compared with the other albums from the same concerts. They just convey the audience's eagerness to get up & involved with the performance & Albert has them eating out of his hand, showing his stunning self taught upside down guitar work, which from here on in influenced many future artists. This set begins with Herbie Hancock's 'Watermelon Man', followed by Albert's near on 10 minute self penned explanation of 'Blues Power' leading into an oustanding instrumental 'Night Stomp' this was Side One on the original vinyl. Side Two begins with 'Blues At Sunrise' another long laid back track with Albert injecting sudden burst's of energy into it. It then moves onto an excellent rendition of B.B.'s 'Please Love Me' & finally signing off with 'Lookout' showcasing once again his brilliant guitar work. Backed by a very tight four piece band, Willie James Exon-Guitar, James Washington-Bass, Rooselvelt Pointer-Bass, & Theotis Morgan-Drums & produced by Al Jackson. Best Played VERY LOUD!
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2003
I can't believe this is the first review for this CD!
Albert King is one of the greatest influences ever on all guitar players. Right up there with your Hendrices (is that the plural?) et al. Every blues guitarist ever must have copied some of Albert's motifs and incorporated them into their own playing. But what made him unique was the sound he could get from a guitar. As I understand it he spurned the plectrum and would pluck with his fingers instead, giving a great twangy sound.
This particular cd I rate as his best, just above Born Under a Bad Sign. It's a live cd with a very high instrumental:vocal ratio. Three of the tracks are straight instrumentals. And a lot of them sound as if they're improvised on the spot. There's a lot of foot tappingly funky music on this disc that will have you air guitaring to yourself in traffic jams - so probably a high funky blues:slow blues ratio too.
Night Stomp would be somewhere in my top ten guitar solos of all time - don't get me started on that please.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2008
These are my most-listened-to guitar solos. All his albums are good, and all have memorable moments but, like most blues guitarists, his guitar-playing is much better than his singing and his songs; here he does what he does best, and there are no better examples of it ( though most of his 3 tracks on the Montreux festival album, with Chico Hamilton and Little Milton, are on a par - note: that's a different album from Albert's own 'Blues at Sunrise:live at Montreux', which is also essential). This is a pleasure from start to finish; far from finding my mind wandering and wishing for a catchier tune, every note of this hypnotises me. This is a master-class in not only blues guitar, but in the essence of music; every phrase seems part of every other phrase, every note connected to every other note, relaxed, seemingly effortless, but soaring. He finds infinite variation in his small repertoire of licks. If you play the guitar, you don't know what it's about if you don't know this; anyone else should give it a try, especially Clapton or Stevie Ray Vaughan fans - Albert was a huge influence. He's much copied, but nobody ever quite gets it like Albert. Incidentally, there is now a tuition dvd 'Albert King: signature licks' by Albert Aledort, NY session man/bandleader,teacher, who has come as close as I've heard to getting Albert's style off - highly recommended. But back to Live Wire/Blues Power - absolutely essential, rarely magnificent.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2009
This is not only Albert King's best album, bar none, it is one of the best blues albums ever made!
I would give it more stars if there were more to give.
You need to hear this on vinyl for the full live feeling 'though. The CD just doesn't have the same vitality.