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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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This is an album that has been designed/compiled for folk who already have the main album in remastered form. It contains alternate versions of tracks that are already on the main straight release, some extra dialogue and three songs that failed to make the final cut.

The playing throughout is of the highest order and listening to Howlin Wolf trying to teach Eric Clapton etc...is entertaining.

Stellar cast - Howlin Wolf, Hubert Sumlin, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts(boy can he drum, superb!), Bill Wyman(again superb playing), Ian Stewart and Steve Winwood.
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on 7 April 2017
fantastic album.
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on 29 December 2012
I'd just like to add my opinion that this is definitely no half baked project which shouldn't have happened. In truth it should stand proud in any Wolf collection and in fact some of these versions are arguably better than the originals, when you take into consideration the advanced technology, the excellent production, the fine band and added musical palette - horns, keyboards and guitar in post production. Ok, Wolf's voice is not as intense as in some earlier versions, for example in Who's Been Talking where the original key of Dm is dropped to Am in order to accommodate his range perhaps, but it still has that authority, it still has gravitas, and the band musicianship compensates.

Of course, with such a stellar band supporting their hero it had to work - the Stones' engine room plus the sixth Stone, Scotsman Ian Stewart on piano for 4 numbers (and 5 alternate takes), Clapton on guitar with Wolf's Hubert Sumlin on 2nd guitar and rhythm, and Steve Winwood and Layfayette Leake added keyboards later, according to the notes. A young Chicago harmonica player called Jeff Carp who had played with Muddy, Earl and John Lee Hooker was brought over to fill in for Wolf. The notes say that he was killed in a bizarre boat accident not long after this recording. A sad loss.

The second Cd in the deluxe set is certainly not superfluous, although why they chose the tentative rehearsal of Worried About My Babe to open is curious. At least three tracks are the equal of, if not superior to, the issued tracks - the first What A Woman aka Commit A Crime (there are two versions on Cd2), The Red Rooster, Worried About My Babe (the alt version - not the rehearsal), also Who's Been Talkin after the dialogue ends rocks nicely. The extended alternate take of Do The Do is a hypnotic boogie with Charlie's beat up front for almost 6 minutes while Wolf sounds his way forward. Poor Boy and the alternate Rockin' Daddy are both good.

Of the three bonus tracks on side 1, Goin' Down Slow is one of those deep blues with great guitar - Hubert Sumlin perhaps, and superb harp from maestro Jeff Carp, and Wolf is living his vocal, painting his inimitable picture. His vocal on the self penned I Want To Have A Word With You is raw and passionate. Killin' Floor, by comparison to the original is, for my taste, tepid.

This deluxe edition is a handsome product, the remastering is great, the booklet is informative and well written by Bill Dahl plus photos (including a couple of Jagger with Wolf) and session details. It would complement your Memphis and Chicago Wolf recordings, and while not having the visceral intensity of prime Wolf, it does provide another rockin' side to the man with it's fine band, added horns and keyboards, Jeff Carp's harp fills and top production. It is a testament to producer Norman Dayron that he had the vision, and was able to bring a sometimes testy Wolf together with these young dudes and make music worthy of the legend. As the Wolf is moved to say near the end of Wang Wang Doodle ''Lemmie howl for ya!''
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Like many avid collectors I've felt that Universal's 2CD 'Deluxe Edition' series has had some dubious expansions of popular albums across the reissue decades - forever chasing our battered debit cards with yet another sonic temptation. But sometimes - just sometimes - you get the perfect blend. You get a forgotten album that shouldn't be - extras actually worthy of the moniker 'bonus tracks' - classy and sympathetic presentation and a Remaster Engineer capable of bringing genuine new life back into old recordings. Ladies and Gentlemen (and those of you who aren't sure) - welcome to one of those 'DE' beauties. Here are the little red roosters and the wang dang doodles...

Released March 2003 on MCA/Chess 088 112 985-2 (Barcode 008811298524) - "The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions" is a 2CD DELUXE EDITION and breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 (56:52 minutes):
1. Rockin' Daddy (Side 1)
2. A Ain't Superstitious
3. Sittin' On The Top Of The World
4. Worried About My Baby
5. What A Woman!
6. Poor Boy
7. Build For Comfort (Side 2)
8. Who's Been Talking?
9. The Red Rooster (False Start And Dialogue)
10. The Red Rooster
11. Do The Do
12. Highway 49
13. Wang Dang Doodle
Tracks 1 to 13 are the album "The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions" - released August 1971 in the UK on Rolling Stones Records COC 47101 and Chess CH-60008 in the USA

14. Goin' Down Slow
15. Killing Floor
16. I Want A Word With You
Tracks 14 to 16 are Bonus Tracks - they originally appeared on the American Muddy Waters & Howlin' Wolf LP "London Revisited" from 1974 on Chess CH 60026
They're Newly Remixed From The Session Multi-Tracks for this reissue

Disc 2 (52:50 minutes):
1. Worried About My Baby (Rehearsal Take)
2. The Red Rooster (Alternate Mix With Alternate Piano)
3. What A Woman (A/K/A/ Commit A Crime) (Alternate Take)
4. Who's Been Talking (Alternate Take With False Start & Dialog)
5. Worried About My Baby (Alternate Take)
6. I Ain't Superstitious (Alternate Take)
7. Highway 49 (Alternate Take)
8. Do The Do (Extended Alternate Take)
9. Poor Boy (Alternate Lyrics Mix)
10. I Ain't Superstitious (Alternate Mix)
11. What A Woman (A/K/A Commit A Crime) (Alternate Mix With Organ Overdub)
12. Rockin' Daddy (Alternate Mix)
(All tracks on Disc 2 PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED; Tracks 1 to 8 are newly remixed - Tracks 9 to 12 are the original 1970 mixdown sessions)

The first thing that hits you is the awesome sound - remastered by ERICK LABSON. I've sung this man's praises before on many occasions - he's one of Universal's principal sound engineers and has been involved in excess of 1,100 reissues including the vast majority of the huge Chess catalogue. This guy knows his way around tapes like this - and his work here is fabulous - ballsy, clear and full of power. Once out of the outer DELUXE EDITION plastic slipcase - the gatefold card digipak offers up a wide and long booklet that is classily put together. You get a revealing interview with NORMAN DAYRON the original engineer, pictures from the period/sessions and a recording credits roll call of ace British and American musicians lining up to play with their hero - ERIC CLAPTON (Guitars), STEVE WINWOOD (Keyboards), BILL WYMAN and CHARLIE WATTS of THE ROLLING STONES (Bass and Drums), HUBERT SUMLIN (Guitar), JEFFREY M. CARP (Harmonica), PHIL UPCHURCH (Bass) and IAN STEWART with LAFAYETTE LEAKE (Piano) to name but some.

Like "Fathers & Sons" with Muddy Waters and The Paul Butterfield Band blowing up a storm in 1969 - I've always felt this "London Session" was one of the most successful of those Blues-Rock collaboration albums precisely because of who was involved (Clapton in particular was in blinding form). Chester Burnett wasn't in the best of health (he would be lost to us in early 1976) - and at times his voice does seem ever so-slightly uncomfortable with the arrangements and the UK surroundings - but Clapton and his adoring boys broke the ice and brought in a formidable project in the end.

Side 1 opens with the Wolf's own "Rockin' Daddy" followed by Willie Dixon's "I Ain't Superstitious" and the joint is jumping right away. We get mean and gritty with a harmonica and piano-driven "Sittin' On Top Of The World" and the horns of Dennis Lansing, Joe Miller and Jordan Sandke back up the band for "Built For Comfort". Clapton tears into "Red Rooster" - really enjoying himself after giving the master the respect he needed by asking the Wolf to lead on guitar. But if was to single out two killers - it's the rocking "What A Woman!" and the unbelievably good Blues Boogie of "Highway 49" (a Joe Williams cover). I've put them on countless Shop Play CDs in Reckless - and it never failed - kids rushing to the counter wanting to know who `the real deal' is...

The 3 extras on Disc 1 are unbelievable - "Goin' Down Slow" featuring blistering slow bluesy harmonica playing from Jeffrey Carp - then his own "Killing Floor" in boogie style with the band sounding in your face and loving it. As if that's not enough - Disc 1 finishes with another storming version of one of the album's highlights "What A Woman!" Wow!

It's arguable that Disc 2 is actually a better album - meaner and grittier - with versions that are complete but rougher around their frayed edges. The slashing slide guitar on "Red Rooster" and the boogie of "What A Woman!" are fantastic stuff. Love the harmonica and shambolic feel to "Worried About My Baby" - razor sharp bass and vocals too in the remaster. And the piano is far more to the fore for "Highway 49" - his presence exuding out of the speakers ("stop by the whiskey store...and get me a jug of wine...").

Hospitalized in late 1975 with liver failure after an automobile accident - he passed away 10 January 1976 - one of the true greats - a Blues force of nature that wouldn't be tamed.

Hit the Blues Highway 49 children and start your journey to the dark side here...
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on 14 March 2017
Quite simply a masterpiece.Please, when people moan about it not being as good as the original recordings,look at it perhaps like this. Bob Marley's sound was very roots before Chris Blackwell got involved and added rock/blues musicians,but how many people heard his stuff prior to Catch a Fire?Blackwell made it more accessible to the whole world.
I was born in 1959 and my older brothers educated me re the blues and other types of music.They had all of Wolf's stuff from the beginning and still bought this. I was very into the Stones, through them and the blues and this Lp gave us a glimpse into this mystical world,both visually and through the Audio. To see Mick Jagger sit with The great Wolf and look like a little boy with an uncle showing him something incredible ( the photo's are stunning) but fundamentally sharing with a mystical note. Please get this an keep on playing it until you wear it out,that was how we used to do it,because you could not afford to buy lots of Lp's, you had to search inside and listen and listen. The musicians on this did not have to do it,but they did and they did it with love. Please use your love of music and listen to this with love.
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on 23 April 2013
great to hear it again. Had record (LP) year ago and mssed it . great stuff
great to hear the dialogue between Eric Clapton and Howlin' wolf.
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on 19 June 2008
This is a wonderful album and has a lot to recommend it. It's a builder, and the more you hear it, the more you realise is there. I would just suggest you get a copy, you won't be disappointed. Great stuff.
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The original LP when it came out in the early 1970s made it largely on the back of the various UK superstars who particpiated (Clapton, Watts, Wyman, and an uncredited Starr together with Wolf and his long time guitarist Hubert Sumlin - Winwood per the notes having been added later and not very succesfully it seems).
This reissue with a full CD of out-takes none of which are filler, an outstanding sound remix and thoughtful notes by the original producer Norman Dayron epitomises just what excellence a special edition CD can achieve where the basic material is so good. The vocals by Howlin' Wolf, given he was not in the best of health at this age in his life and was it seems initially uncomfortable in the different London recording environment to the one he knew at Chess in Chicago, show his true prowess as a blues legend.
While Dayron's extensive notes are very honest in telling how he had to add keyboards esp. by Chess stalwart session man Lafayette Leake in getting to the final release mix, also underline that this was a very rare opportunity for certain British blues superstars to pay true homage to one of their main heroes by providing such stalwart support on these recordings.
Compared with the lacklustre recordings other US bluesmen made with UK musicians around this time(Sonny Boy Williamson with the Animals, John Lee Hooker with the Groundhogs, Muddy Waters in London and the original Fleetwood Mac sessions recorded at Chess in Chicago) this is the true masterpiece that will beat them all.
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on 7 February 2014
I have had this album on vinyl.cassette tape, c.d and download since it first was released. It is such an important recording of the mighty blues legend,Howlin' Wolf, meeting up with a band made up of the British Blues/rock elite at the time, Eric Clapton,Steve Winwood, Bill Wyman etc. Basically he is showing them ( his devoted British musician fans ) how to do his songs to his satisfaction. He died not too long after this was recorded. What a wonderful album. I am not too sure about the, addition of the 'second take' releases on this album as the original album is wonderful enough for any Wolf lovers. I suppose that the 'anoraks' will appreciate the extra detail and value that they bring though.

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on 3 March 2014
I already have most of these tracks covered by other artists, so it was good to hear them being performed by Howlin Wolf, albeit with some of the fore mentioned musicians. The modern recording equipment helps bring the material more up to date, something the purists might take issue with, but it works just fine for me.
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