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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That's the ticket
What a great contrasting sound and style on this album, as BB and Clapton complement each other.
"Key to the Highway" swings along in country blues call & answer style and what about the soul standard of "Hold on I'm comin"?
The first time you listen to this, because of its low key start, takes you by surprise when the penny drops and you're listening to a...
Published on 14 Dec 2004 by MR R F HUTTON

versus
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More grit
This is somewhere between 3 & 4 stars for me, it has some great moments, but overall doesn't quite add up to the sum of its parts.

The good first:
There is some lovely blues on here and its all well played by Clapton and King with a supporting cast of top notch musicians. These includes Steve Gadd, Joe Sample, Nathan East, Jimmie Vaughan and Andy...
Published on 4 Aug 2007 by S J Buck


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That's the ticket, 14 Dec 2004
By 
MR R F HUTTON (Ashby De La Zouch, Leicestershire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Riding With The King (Audio CD)
What a great contrasting sound and style on this album, as BB and Clapton complement each other.
"Key to the Highway" swings along in country blues call & answer style and what about the soul standard of "Hold on I'm comin"?
The first time you listen to this, because of its low key start, takes you by surprise when the penny drops and you're listening to a classic being driven like a steam hammer.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joy Ride in Blue., 10 May 2003
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Riding With The King (Audio CD)
B.B. and Eric. Lucille and ... no, not Blacky, who was retired in 1985, but at least Blacky's little brother(s). Two guitar gods , with a combined 80 years of recording experience. Immesurable amounts of talent, from the two "big guys" down to every single one of the other participants in this project. And - dare one say it, given that this is supposed to be a blues album? - loads of fun, on top of all that!
Let's get things straight, musically this is a long way from Cook County Jail and from either man's Cradle, not to mention Layla and other assorted painful love affairs. There is no sense here of "rather [wanting to be] dead than to be here so alone and blue" (B.B. King, "Worry Worry"), of the loneliness at the chiming of the midnight hour (B.B. King, "Blues at Midnight"), or of crawling on the floor like the worst loser in the world begging her to take you back (Eric Clapton, "Bell Bottom Blues"). Sure, the album includes B.B. King's "Ten Long Years," "Three O'Clock Blues" and "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer" and Maceo Merriweather's "Worried Life Blues" - and yes, these songs do strike a number of blue notes, in their lyrics as well as in King's growling vocals and their mournful, reflective guitar solos. But overall, a relaxed and at times even upbeat feeling dominates this release; and you can hear how much fun every musician involved in the project had in recording it. And further proof is provided by the photos of a broadly smiling Eric Clapton and B.B. King featured on the CD's front cover and in its slim booklet.P>The album opens with John Hiatt's "Riding With the King," the CD's title track and obvious motto, whose lyrics ("I stepped out of Mississippi when I was ten years old, with a suit cut sharp as a razor and a heart made of gold; I had a guitar hanging just about waist high, and I'm gonna play this thing until the day I die") could have been written specifically with Mississippi-born B.B. King in mind. The song's upbeat mood is resumed most strongly in William Broonzy and Charles Seger's "Key to the Highway" which, beginning with Eric Clapton/Derek and the Domino's "Layla" album all the way to this one, seems to turn into a different kind of jam session with whomever Clapton chooses to record it; as well as in Hayes/Porter's "Hold On I'm Coming" and the closing track, Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen's classic "Come Rain and Come Shine." In the latter, Eric Clapton and B.B. King thus give a classy blues twist to a song which by now has probably been recorded by virtually every artist of note and nevertheless sounds different every single time
The blending of classics like the aforementioned ones with more recent songs like Doyle Bramhall II's "Marry You" and "I Wanna Be" (both vastly improved in the treatment they receive here) further adds to the album's variety; and the gang really gets going with King's "Days of Old," which has rarely ever sounded like so much fun. As befits any good blue album and particularly one by artists as distinguished as these, the vast majority of what you hear is recorded live, with little to no overdub at all. Joe Sample's fluid piano notes accentuate and frame Clapton and King's vocals and guitar solos in just the right manner on more than one track, and while the CD does also feature some drum programming (by Paul Waller), this is much less obvious than on the decidedly less bluesy "Reptile."
In the album's liner notes, Eric Clapton and B.B. King credit each other as "a true genius" (King about Clapton) and "my hero" (Clapton about King), and express that recording an album together has been a long-standing dream of both of them. The product of that cooperation is one infectuous CD; and after their long and distinguished careers, it is great to see (and hear) how much fun they can still have doing what they do best.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clapton is God...when someone has inspired him., 15 Aug 2012
By 
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This review is from: Riding With The King (Audio CD)
If Jimi Hendrix had lived would he have become as boring as Eric Clapton sometimes is? Probably not. But Clapton, more than most, seems to need someone to push him, otherwise he lapses into tedious, lazy, chug-a-long blues, eg. Derek and the Dominoes. Obviously Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker could fire him up, as could the great Delaney and Bonnie band of the late '60s, but there has been far too much forgettable easy (or, for fans of the incomparable 'Beano' album, painful) listening since then. In steps B.B.King, and Eric starts trying again, probably as a mark of respect to the great man. This is wonderful - essential listening.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to the Blues, 18 April 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Riding With The King (Audio CD)
The CD was billed as a collaboration between two of the greatest blues guitarists of all time. Whilst other reviewers have noted the CDs over production, I think it's important to view this CD as a good introduction to blues for people who might never have listened to BB King but for the fact that they have heard of and enjoy Eric Clapton's music.

I agree that the title track "Riding with the King" is slightly commercial and artificial but I think the track helps serve as a bridge to ease people wanting to explore blues from a popular music perspective.

Highlights on this album are the slow blues track "Key to the Highway" and "Three O'Clock Blues". A chance to hear some great blues guitar in a very pure setting.

Overall, the CD is definitely worth buying for the uninitiated listener to blues.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Joy Ride in Blue., 4 Mar 2004
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
B.B. and Eric. Lucille and ... no, not Blacky, who was retired in 1985, but at least Blacky's little brother(s). Two guitar gods , with a combined 80 years of recording experience. Immesurable amounts of talent, from the two "big guys" down to every single one of the other participants in this project. And - dare one say it, given that this is supposed to be a blues album? - loads of fun, on top of all that!
Let's get things straight, musically this is a long way from Cook County Jail and from either man's Cradle, not to mention Layla and other assorted painful love affairs. There is no sense here of "rather [wanting to be] dead than to be here so alone and blue" (B.B. King, "Worry Worry"), of the loneliness at the chiming of the midnight hour (B.B. King, "Blues at Midnight"), or of crawling on the floor like the worst loser in the world begging her to take you back (Eric Clapton, "Bell Bottom Blues"). Sure, the album includes B.B. King's "Ten Long Years," "Three O'Clock Blues" and "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer" and Maceo Merriweather's "Worried Life Blues" - and yes, these songs do strike a number of blue notes, in their lyrics as well as in King's growling vocals and their mournful, reflective guitar solos. But overall, a relaxed and at times even upbeat feeling dominates this release; and you can hear how much fun every musician involved in the project had in recording it. And further proof is provided by the photos of a broadly smiling Eric Clapton and B.B. King featured on the CD's front cover and in its slim booklet.
The album opens with John Hiatt's "Riding With the King," the CD's title track and obvious motto, whose lyrics ("I stepped out of Mississippi when I was ten years old, with a suit cut sharp as a razor and a heart made of gold; I had a guitar hanging just about waist high, and I'm gonna play this thing until the day I die") could have been written specifically with Mississippi-born B.B. King in mind. The song's upbeat mood is resumed most strongly in William Broonzy and Charles Seger's "Key to the Highway" which, beginning with Eric Clapton/Derek and the Domino's "Layla" album all the way to this one, seems to turn into a different kind of jam session with whomever Clapton chooses to record it; as well as in Hayes/Porter's "Hold On I'm Coming" and the closing track, Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen's classic "Come Rain and Come Shine." In the latter, Eric Clapton and B.B. King thus give a classy blues twist to a song which by now has probably been recorded by virtually every artist of note and nevertheless sounds different every single time
The blending of classics like the aforementioned ones with more recent songs like Doyle Bramhall II's "Marry You" and "I Wanna Be" (both vastly improved in the treatment they receive here) further adds to the album's variety; and the gang really gets going with King's "Days of Old," which has rarely ever sounded like so much fun. As befits any good blue album and particularly one by artists as distinguished as these, the vast majority of what you hear is recorded live, with little to no overdub at all. Joe Sample's fluid piano notes accentuate and frame Clapton and King's vocals and guitar solos in just the right manner on more than one track, and while the CD does also feature some drum programming (by Paul Waller), this is much less obvious than on the decidedly less bluesy "Reptile."
In the album's liner notes, Eric Clapton and B.B. King credit each other as "a true genius" (King about Clapton) and "my hero" (Clapton about King), and express that recording an album together has been a long-standing dream of both of them. The product of that cooperation is one infectuous CD; and after their long and distinguished careers, it is great to see (and hear) how much fun they can still have doing what they do best.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riding with the King: BB King and Eric Clapton - My heart beats like a hammer with anticipation!, 2 Sep 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Riding With The King (Audio CD)
Following the artistic success he had recording an album of pure blues in `From the Cradle', where he paid tribute to many of his heroes, Eric Clapton here pays tribute to one of the founding fathers of the electric blues, BB King. Not just content with covering a few BB King tracks, he decided to go for a full on collaboration with the great man himself.

The title of the album is quite apt, BB King is pretty much centre stage, and at times it feels like Clapton is riding along with him. They work their way through a great selection of tracks, some of them old King numbers. King is on inspired form, as always. Clapton, often guilty of not being too committed to the music, is here totally immersed in the project and in good form.

The star of the album is `Key to the Highway', a superb effort from the two men. The rest of the album, mainly up tempo blues with a mixture of acoustic and electric guitar work is pretty good as well. If I have one criticism it is with the production, it sometimes feels a bit too slick and over-engineered, and drum machines have no place on a album like this. Part from that this is a solid entry into Clapton's discography, 4 stars.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More grit, 4 Aug 2007
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Riding With The King (Audio CD)
This is somewhere between 3 & 4 stars for me, it has some great moments, but overall doesn't quite add up to the sum of its parts.

The good first:
There is some lovely blues on here and its all well played by Clapton and King with a supporting cast of top notch musicians. These includes Steve Gadd, Joe Sample, Nathan East, Jimmie Vaughan and Andy Fairweather Low. The best tracks are the two semi-acoustic tracks 'Key to the Highway' and 'Worried life Blues' and the romping 'Days Of Old'. This track in particular is reminisant of some B B Kings swinging earlier material. A great track.

The not so good:
For my taste, with exception of about five tracks, its a little over-produced. For what is a essentially a blues album its all just a little to clinical for me, and reading the credits for the tracks you will find that on 10 of the 12 Paul Waller is credited with 'Drum programming'. Now that I just don't understand. I have no doubt that Paul Waller is a talented man (you have to be to work in this company) but why do you need a 'drum programmer' (whatever that is) when you have Steve Gadd anyway?

So overall this is a good album, certainly worth getting, but there are better blues albums out there.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable flawed masterpiece, 23 Jun 2000
This review is from: Riding With The King (Audio CD)
Very nice to see Clapton recording something other than m.o.r. again. The voices of both have seen better days though BB can still kick - start a lyric. The guitar playing is as expected - clear, original, ringing phrases and some sinuous meanderings (though where are they going at the beginning of Hold On ?).Definitely worth the effort. If it puts Clapton back on a decent path, it gets my vote.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good quality, 7 Mar 2012
By 
Adrian Dima - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a very good quality vinyl, good quality double cover. Eric Clapton and B B KIng guitars sound perfectly, one on the left loudspeaker and one on the right one. Recommend it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't get much better than this, 11 Feb 2011
By 
Leonard Fleisig "Len" (Virginia Beach, Virginia) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Riding With The King (Audio CD)
Riding With the King indeed. Sit back, pull the top down, put on the cruise control and enjoy the ride. B.B. sounds great as always and Clapton is no slouch either. Clapton has always loved the blues - and B.B. is the blues. For those of you who liked King's Deuces Wild, with a variety of partners, this CD represents a great opportunity to hear 2 artists grow over an entire CD. Each track is worth listening to again and again.. Nuff said, listen and enjoy.
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