- Audio CD (26 April 2010)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Ace Records
- ASIN: B003BL0BJK
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 233,871 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Bo Diddley is a ... Songwriter
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* This month brings a slightly leftfield addition to Ace's songwriter series in the formidable form of the erstwhile Ellas McDaniel - former resident of of McComb, Mississippi and better known to his thousands of fans as the great Bo Diddley.
* Although Bo's far better known for his signature `shave and a haircut-six bits' rhythm and 20 years of his own fabulous Checker albums and singles, he was also a songwriter of some distinction - not just for himself but also for others. "Bo Diddley Is A...Songwriter" brings together 24 titles from the E McDaniel catalogue, performed by a variety of acts that range from 50s rock'n'roll legends (Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers, Ronnie Hawkins, Mickey & Sylvia) to 60s R&B and garage bands (the Animals, Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, Pretty Things) to later 70s and 80s cult heroes such as the New York Dolls and Los Lobos. Between them and their chosen repertoire, they show there was much more to Bo beyond those mesmerising guitar riffs and out-of-this world rhythm patterns.
* The CD also features a rare appearance from Iggy Pop's first band - the Iguanas - performing `(Mona) I Need You Baby'.
* As with other volumes in this series, the repertoire is carefully chosen to reflect all aspects of Bo's songwriting ability, from ballads (`Dearest', `I'm Sorry') to blues (`Before You Accuse Me', `She's Fine She's Mine') to pop (`Love Is Strange') to the shave-and-a-haircut shakers that he's perhaps known for (`Who Do You Love', `Bo Diddley' etc).
* Copious track-by-track annotation, and the inevitable wealth of illustrations make this a must for everyone remotely interested in the work of one of the true legends of the rock'n'roll era.
Top Customer Reviews
Starting out as a classically trained violinist, and cutting his teeth in the newly electrified blues clubs of Mississippi and Chicago, Bo brought each of these influences to bear on his songwriting, as well as elements of jazz, soul, gospel and r'n'b. What emerged from this melting pot was quite unlike anything ever heard before - a percussive, insistent, hypnotic rhythm that, among many other things, emphasised the African roots of rock'n'roll. But Bo did much more as well. He wrote doo-wop style melodies, as witnessed by 'Love is Strange'. He created classic boy-girl pop in 'Dearest' He tapped into the Westside conjunto soul of the Tex-Mex border towns with 'I'm Sorry'. He experimented with the basics of rap & funk, and he created THE greatest garage-band intro ever (in my opinion) with 'Road Runner'. And the story goes on - you can find his influence on everyone from Alice Cooper & Marilyn Manson to ZZ Top and The Who, as well as Jimi Hendrix, the Black Eyed Peas, George Michael, Billy Joel, Bowie and Elvis. In fact whatever your musical or stylistic fetish - oddly-shaped, outlandishly covered guitars, surreal and amusing lyrics, experiments with reverb & distortion, female instrumentalists - Bo's influence is likely to be in there somewhere.Read more ›
For me, this st is so solid that the lightest entry is actually by Buddy Holly!
(Interesting that Holly had two 1960s U.S. chartmakers with Bo Diddley material; of course, he hit the Top 10 in the U.K. in 1963 with "Bo Diddley").
The Everlys also charted internationally with Bo's "Love Is Strange". This tune also became a cool live-set piece for the duo.
Delbert McClinton has a hip entry on "Before You Accuse Me" but I think that some folks might have enjoyed the Creedence Clearwater Revival version even more (though, natuarlly, more common). Another perfect marriage of lyrics and beat.
It's fun to note how succssfully many of these artists got a "Bo Diddley sound" on their renditions - another facet of Ellas M. that has been ignored over the years -he went for a new sound...and got it! The maraccas bouncing off the clouds and shaking the ground below.
Standout tracks are Jo Ann Campbells' "Mama (Can I Go Out Tonight)", a teenage rite of passage about that awkward "breaking out"; the New York Dolls' take on "Pills", surely a non-hit but something that will make the next millenium; the Downliners' Sect "Cadillac" also moves. (Anybody ever hear Van Morrison and Linda Gail Lewis' workout on this one?). Oh yeah, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates do ust fine on "I Can Tell" - man, I love that song!
As always, the packaging and liners are superb. Ace has aced it again!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
Many years ago when CHESS was releasing box sets of its artists a representative behind the projects appeared on public radio. The person stated that he did not think that Bo Diddley's material was all that strong.
This CD proves otherwise. Maybe it's the Bo Diddley beat which binds the numbers together. Maybe it's Bo Diddley's spirit & sensibilities coming across through the music which make this set a cohesive one. I'm not sure.
Whatever it is, it works. And it's nice to see Bo Diddley recognized as more than a great performer.
Bo Diddley = songwriter.