Living The Blues Box set, Original recording remastered
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Originally released in 1968 on the Liberty record label. Emerging in 1966, Canned Heat was founded by Alan 'Blind Owl' Wilson and Bob 'The Bear' Hite - Hite took the name 'Canned Heat' from a 1928 recording by Tommy Johnson. They gained international attention with their performances at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and at the original Woodstock Festival. They were joined by Henry 'The Sunflower' Vestine, a former member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, Larry 'The Mole' Taylor, an experienced session musician, and Adolfo 'Fito' de la Parra, who had played with T-Bone Walker and Etta James amongst others. Canned Heat's unique blend of modern electric blues, rock and boogie has earned them a loyal following and influenced many bands during the past 35 years. Their Top 40 songs, 'On The Road Again', 'Let's Work Together' and 'Going Up The Country', became rock anthems throughout the world. Their second album, 'Boogie With Canned Heat', included the hit 'On The Road Again' and a twelve minute version of 'Fried Hockey Boogie' that established them with hippie audiences as 'kings of the boogie!' This, their third album, 'Living The Blues', includes a 19-minute tour de force, 'Parthenogenesis' which displays the quintet attheir most experimental. Also featured is their incarnation of Henry Thomas' 'Bulldozer Blues' where singer Wilson retained the tune of the original song, rewrote the lyric and came up with 'Goin' Up The Country', whose simple message caught the 'back-to-nature' attitude of the late '60s and went to Number One in 25 countries around the world.
Top Customer Reviews
For me this album, their third caught the Heat at their peak as each of their first three albums improved with a decline setting in after number three. This album shows the band playing traditional style blues yet also experimenting within the format. Along with the song that for me will be forever associated with Woodstock, namely Going Up The Country, there is another excellent Wilson song in the form of My Mistake. Bob Hite is in good voice on Pony Blues Boogie Music, and of course there is the segmented marathon of Parthenogenesis with a couple of guest appearances. The second CD is the monster Refried Boogie which for me has always been amazing where each band member has their section to stretch out over 41 mins, with the shining star always being the Sunflower in my opinion who has a phenomenal solo - just as good as I remember it after all these years, (especially if the volume is cranked up to 95db or more!!!). One slight disappointment is that this live performance is still divided in to 2 tracks as it was on the original vinyl rather than uninterrupted.
If you like this, then I am sure you will enjoy Canned Heat / Boogie With Canned Heat, their first two albums on a single CD. The saddest thing is how many of the this band are no longer with us.
Packaging is a double CD in a slimline box with cardboard slipcase (!!!), and it contains 12 page booklet with some interesting information. I'm so pleased that I decided to repurchase this album so do yourself a favour and invest in one yourself.
The first seven tracks (side one) are a mix of blues covers, rewritten blues standards, and originals and in general it's pretty good. It opens with a good version of Pony Blues sung by Hite which is followed by My Mistake an original and haunting song written and sung by Wilson to terrific effect. Also included is their massive hit Going Up The Country. It's all very solid enjoyable stuff.
Parthenogenesis, the final track (side 2 of the vinyl), is 20 minutes long and one of the most astonishing pieces of music to come out of the 60's rock and blues bands. Consisting of nine segments, it's mostly instrumental and begins with a couple of pieces with Wilson on jaw's harp (the polite name for the jew's harp) which are dark moody sonic pieces concluding with and unbelievable version of Rollin' and Tumblin'. Wilson's up front again with a jaunty piece where he overdubs his harp playing four times and accompanies himself on guitar. Then there's Hite singing accompanied by John Mayall on piano. Swiftly passing over the drum solo, Henry Vestine overdubs his lead guitar five times for a slow feedback-laden piece which segues into a melancholy instrumental with Wilson's expressive chromatic harp accompanied by a sitar. The penultimate track is the full band playing behind Vestine's Albert Collins-styled lead guitar and it all ends where it began with Alan Wilson's atmospheric jaw's harp.Read more ›
1. Pony Blues
2. My Mistake
3. Sandy's Blues
4. Going Up the Country
5. Walking by Myself
6. Boogie Music
7. One Kind Favor
8. Parthenogenesis: Nebulosity/Rollin' and Tumblin'/Five Owls/Bear Wires/Snooky Flowers/Sunflower Power/Raga Kafi/Icebag/Childhood's
9. Refried Boogie (Part 1)
So on a single cd from See For Miles you have all but Refried Boogie (Part 2) of one of the ten greatest live concerts ever to be recorded....in my view this is right up there with Live/Dead at the top of the "desert island" pile.
This is a concert like nothing else done by them, or by anyone else. If you are turned off by their later weak efforts, you will be amazed at how good this CD is. It has a timeless appeal like Robert Johnson's records that sounds good across the decades of time since it was recorded. There is some really hot guitar work along with some truly bluesy harmonica "duets" and lush, full, soulful horns. I bought the record in 1968 and played it until it wore out. It was out of print for years. This CD is the real deal. If you like blues music, you will love this CD.
I can't understand all those people who moan about the length of the "Refried Boogie"! Like the tracks on disc one "One Kind Favour" and "Parthenogenesis" you hear some of the greatest Solo Guitar playing that ever existed! Henry Vestine is in my opinion the second greatest Guitarist (After Jimi Hendrix) who ever lived!!!
He was the only Guitarist that I know of who incorporated constant but controlled amplifier feedback into his play! Just listen to the "Refried Boogie": First you hear an amazing growling feedback for one second, then there is the tuning of some strings and then Alan Wilson's guitar agressivly slices down the Staccato Rhythm of the Boogie! After the amazing Bass Solo of Larry Taylor all hell breakes loose when Henry Vestine unleashes one of the most powerful guitar performances of all times!!! What a huge sound played only on an small valve amplifier with both the amp and guitar volume set to maximum!!!
Yes the "Fried Hokey Boogie" is great too, but you can't loose the feeling that the time restriction on that Album prevented the players to go to their maximum performance abilities... Just compare the two Drum Solos of Fito de la Para!!! On Fried Hokey it sounds
un-coordinated whilst on Refried you have a proper intelligently worked out Drum Solo!
You have to look at this album with the view that it was recorded in 1968, a time where most bands smoked a lot of dope and used L.S.D., so inevitably there was a lot of experimenting with sounds.
I wish I had a time Machine and journey back to '68 and see the "Refried Boogie" performed live!!!
Well all that's left, as "The Bear" woud say, is:
And don't forgett to Boogie...Boogie..Boogie...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you like down to earth rock, then here it is. Timeless and a true classicPublished 14 months ago by AFDUK
I think the best way to describe Canned Heat, is to imagine if a group of nerds & Geeks formed a band, this then might be what you would create, as apposed to somebody like The... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Jimi Jac
I love this but I always edit it and I like the fact that they gave me the full fat edition so I could have the choice. Read more
Found this album to be discordant and self indulgent. Had a very unorganised feel to it and sounded like everyone was completely stoned when they made it. Read morePublished on 29 Oct. 2013 by MR G TAYLOR
a poor selection of tracks which don't seem representative of canned heat's extensive output. i quickly gave my copy away.Published on 13 Jun. 2013 by matthew higgs
THIS 2 ALBUM SET HAS HAD ITS FAIR SHARE OF PRAISE AND CRITISIM
BUT ALL IN ALL IT STILL HOLDS UP WELL. Read more
"A Musician" has to understand that music is product of its times. I bought this in 1969 and I still (occasionally) listen to it now. Read morePublished on 16 Mar. 2008 by TT1