11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A fabulous compilation!,
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This review is from: The Definitive Collection (Audio CD)
I've sometimes thought that John Lee Hooker's "interpretation" of the blues might be an acquired taste. Before you judge me too harshly, I will explain: I've heard people say he growls rather than sings and his stuttering guitar style is not everyone's cup of tea, apparently. This compilation is not quite definitive but does a good job of collecting some of JLK's best tracks from the 1950s and '60s. The sound quality is excellent too, which is not necessarily a good thing. I somehow quite like the crackle and hiss of my original vinyl records and find the sound a bit warmer. Many tracks here are with full band, including drummers Tom Whitehead and Earl Phillips, guitarists Eddie Taylor and Lefty Bates and legendary harmonica player/friend Jimmy Reed amongst others. All are sublime, whether accompanied by bass and drums or alone with a bottletop tied to his foot, tapping away to keep the rhythm. However, for those who first heard Hooker with Santana, Van Morrison et all, they will have to look elsewhere, perhaps "Best of Friends". But this is how it all started: the story of one of the greatest bluesmen of them all. An acquired taste maybe, but I love it and always have!