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Koko Taylor Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 April 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Polygram
  • ASIN: B00005B7GU
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 658,304 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Love You Like A Woman
  2. I Love A Lover Like Yoiu
  3. Don't Mess With The Messer
  4. I Don't Care Who Knows
  5. Wang Dang Doodle
  6. I'm A Little Mixed Up
  7. Nitty Gritty
  8. Fire
  9. Whatever I Am, You Made Me
  10. Twenty-Nine Ways (To My Baby's Door)
  11. Insane Asylum
  12. Yes, It's Good For You
  13. Love Sick Tears (Previously Unreleased)
  14. He Always Knocks Me Out (Previously Unreleased)

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Format: Audio CD
In late 2009, Hip-O Select finally put out a decent Koko Taylor compilation in the USA called "What It Takes - The Chess Years" which gave fans 19 tracks in superlative remastered form (see separate review). But it featured only 6 songs from this - "Koko Taylor" - her debut album. They were "Don't Mess With The Messer", "Wang Dang Doodle" (lyrics above), "Whatever I Am, You Made Me", "I'm A Little Mixed Up", "Insane Asylum" and "Twenty Nine Ways" (To My Baby's Door)". Which means that the other 6 are only available in remastered form on this disc - still making it a worthwhile purchase.

Released in the USA in April 2001, MCA/Chess 088 112 519-2 breaks down as follows (39:53 minutes):

Tracks 1 to 12 are the Stereo LP "Koko Taylor" issued October 1969 in the USA on Chess LPS-1532

Tracks 13 and 14 are "Love Sick Tears" and "He Always Knocks Me Out" - two previously unreleased outtakes from the LP sessions

ERICK LABSON - who has over 850 audio credits to his name including the vast majority of the huge Chess, Checker, Cadet catalogue - has remastered this set to typically superlative standards. The sound quality is wonderful - clear, full and a genuine blast to listen to. The 8-page foldout inlay has affectionate and informative liner notes by noted writer and soul enthusiast BILL DAHL and pictures Koko's mentor, producer and friend - the Chess Giant WILLIE DIXON.

"Koko Taylor" was in fact a ragbag of an album - singles from 1965 and 1967 fleshed out with newly recorded 1969 tracks - yet it all worked so well. The two previously unreleased tracks are good rather than great and it's easy to see why they were canned at the time. Still, it's nice to have anything new from the period.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, gritty 60s sides by the Queen of Chicago blues 29 Sept. 2004
By Docendo Discimus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Released by Chess subsidiary Checker in 1969, Koko Taylor's eponymous LP debut compiles twelve singles recorded and released between 1965 and 1969 (plus two newly added bonus tracks).
Cora Walton, as her real name is, was "discovered" by Chess recording artist and resident songsmith Willie Dixon, and Dixon is everywhere in this album: Bassist, songwriter, composer, arranger, backing vocalist, and Taylor's duet partner on the athmospheric "Insane Asylum".

This album is a terrific place to start for those just getting acquainted with the reigning Queen of Chicago blues. It opens with the gritty, soul-flavoured "Love You Like A Woman", and from there it goes from highlight to highlight, rounding up a slew of classic blues and R&B singles, "Wang Dang Doodle", "Don't Mess With The Messer", and "Twenty-Nine Ways" among them. And lesser known songs like the swaggering "I Love A Lover Like You" and the slinky "Whatever I Am You Made Me" are no less magnificent.
There is not a single clunker here, in fact, and Koko Taylor is expertly backed by men like Sunnyland Slim and Lafayette Leake (both keyboards), Buddy Guy, Johnny Shines and Matt "Guitar" Murphy (guitars - duh), and harpist Walter Horton, whose smouldering playing on "Twenty-Nine Ways" and "I Love A Lover Like You" is pure gold.

This is one of the finest LPs in the Chess catalogue, and a terrific overview of Taylor's early Chess sides. Especially now that "What it Takes - the Chess Sides" is no longer in print. Fans of classic Chicago blues in general, and of Koko Taylor in particular, should get themselves a copy right away!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent example of the potential of Koko Taylor 14 July 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
When I first heard Koko's amazing ability to sing, I was astonished! Koko has the ability to reach down into the soul of the blues, and give an edge never before seen by a blues performer. She is an inspiration to classical blues, and I think this album, which was recorded in the late 60's gives way to a whole new generation of blues singing. I would highly suggest to the avid blues enthuist to at least listen to a sample of Koko's songs and see for yourself. If the blues are not in your soul, you cannot enjoy some of the best female vocalist blues of this century.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pitchin' a "wang dang doodle" with Koko Taylor. 1 Aug. 2007
By Josh P. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Imagine what Howlin' Wolf was thinking when Koko Taylor came along and just belted out the Willie Dixon-penned classic that he once had done himself. Her take on it was obviously without peer as it has gained legendary status and became her signature tune. It was all thanks to Willie Dixon, the blues master at Chess Records, who turned Koko Taylor into the Queen of Chicago Blues by providing with her excellent material (his songwriting credit dominates this album) and even backing her up vocally on "Wang Dang Doodle" and the wailing, heartfelt "Insane Asylum".
Those who dismiss the blues as music that just brings you even more down in the dumps than you already are should give Koko Taylor a try. You'll soon be pattin' your feet or even dancin' around soon enough. She just roars with a fire in her voice through each of these songs so that you can't help but be entranced by it, if not also by the phenomenal group of backing musicians like Buddy Guy, Matt Murphy, Sunnyland Slim, Daddy G, as well as Willie Dixon. Koko Taylor got her start at the perfect place and was already on her way when she departed from Chess, and Willie Dixon seemed to be the one person who was the biggest help as he wrote most of the songs here, played bass, sung some duets and not to mention produced this album. What a great mentor!

This is a reissue of the 1969 album that comprises all of Koko's best material from '65-'69. Two never-before released tracks ("Love Sick Tears" and "He Always Knocks Me Out") are presented to extend the album...somewhat. It would have been even more impressive if there 20 here and include famous tracks not present like "What Kind of Man Is This." So this album might be too short for numerous-song enthusiasts as it clocks in just under 40 minutes. It seems though that this is the only album that contains the material from that era.
If you're looking at the original album without the bonus tracks, don't be misled with the link to the "Chess Years" compilation; it took me back to Amazon's home page, so apparently that album is not available anywhere on here. However, this a decent set showing how Koko Taylor got to be Queen of Chicago Blues at no better place and with no better musician: Chess and Willie Dixon.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What we can do?Jus't clap our hands! 4 July 2000
By Ricardo Neves Gonzalez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Koko Taylor is an amazing blues woman,and was superb on this cd.She have one of the most fantastic nasal tone voice of all of the history of the music! The participation of great Willie Dixon enriched this,with great performances and great lyrics. Highly recomended for those that like good,really good and intense music!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...We're Gonna Pitch A Wang Dang Doodle...All Night Long..." 8 Aug. 2010
By Mark Barry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In late 2009, Hip-O Select finally put out a decent Koko Taylor compilation in the USA called "What It Takes - The Chess Years" which gave fans 19 tracks in superlative remastered form (see separate review). But it featured only 6 songs from this - "Koko Taylor" - her debut album. They were "Don't Mess With The Messer", "Wang Dang Doodle" (lyrics above), "Whatever I Am, You Made Me", "I'm A Little Mixed Up", "Insane Asylum" and "Twenty Nine Ways" (To My Baby's Door)". Which means that the other 6 are only available in remastered form on this disc - still making it a worthwhile purchase.

Released in the USA in April 2001, MCA/Chess 088 112 519-2 breaks down as follows (39:53 minutes):

Tracks 1 to 12 are the Stereo LP "Koko Taylor" issued October 1969 in the USA on Chess LPS-1532

Tracks 13 and 14 are "Love Sick Tears" and "He Always Knocks Me Out" - two previously unreleased outtakes from the LP sessions

ERICK LABSON - who has over 850 audio credits to his name including the vast majority of the huge Chess, Checker, Cadet catalogue - has remastered this set to typically superlative standards. The sound quality is wonderful - clear, full and a genuine blast to listen to. The 8-page foldout inlay has affectionate and informative liner notes by noted writer and soul enthusiast BILL DAHL and pictures Koko's mentor, producer and friend - the Chess Giant WILLIE DIXON.

"Koko Taylor" was in fact a ragbag of an album - singles from 1965 and 1967 fleshed out with newly recorded 1969 tracks - yet it all worked so well. The two previously unreleased tracks are good rather than great and it's easy to see why they were canned at the time. Still, it's nice to have anything new from the period.

The sessions also featured the cream of Chicago bluesmen - Buddy Guy, Matt Murphy and Johnny Shines on Guitar, Walter "Shakey" Horton on Harmonica, Lafayette Leake and Albert "Sunnyland Slim" Luandrew on Piano and Organ, Jack Myers on Bass, Clifton James and Fred Bellow on Drums - with of course Willie Dixon on Upright Bass and helming the overall Production.

Although you can't see it from the picture provided, this release is also part of Universal's "Blues Classics - Remastered & Revisited" Series. It's a generic title displayed upright on the spine of the back inlay on each release, which is visible through the see-through tray to the left. I mention this because it differentiates this release and other titles in the series from older versions that weren't mastered as well. If you click the tag provided above "blues classics remastered and revisited series", you will be able to see all 12 titles in this fantastic 2001/2002 series.

A superb version then of a forgotten classic - get this in your life, you'll not regret it...

PS: for more of Bill Dahl's incredible work in liner notes, see also the Bear Family "Sweet Soul Music" CDs from 1961 to 1970 - 70 to 95 page booklets - 10 titles - all reviewed. Unbelievably good stuff...
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