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Archive for the ‘Howlin’ Wolf’ Category

In Case You Missed It: Sun Turns 60 with New Compilation

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The success of rock and roll has many fathers, but for many, it has one birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee, the home of Sun Records. Sam Phillips’ label was crucial in bringing blues and rock music to a mainstream audience, providing early breaks for artists like B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins.

Last month, Curb Records released a special double-disc set chronicling the label’s heyday in the ’50s and early ’60s, in honor of the label’s anniversary back in March. Sun Records 60th Anniversary features early recordings from future blues legends King and Wolf (recorded at Sun Studios and released on the RPM and Chess labels), early sides by future superstar Presley (including “That’s All Right” and Elvis’ first two private demo recordings for the label), a track from the famous “Million Dollar Quartet” session (when Presley, Lewis, Cash and Perkins all enjoyed an impromptu collaboration in 1956), two tracks by Harold Jenkins – who would later enjoy success under the name Conway Twitty – and much more.

You can check it all out after the jump. (Thanks to Eric Luecking of Record Racks for the tip.)

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Written by Mike Duquette

May 7, 2012 at 13:56

Release Round-Up: Week of October 24/25

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It’s Tuesday, but most of the new music this week has already been out for a day. But assuming you were too busy to get out to the shops, here’s a look at what’s new. And there’s quite a bit!

Various Artists, Phil Spector Presents The Philles Album Collection (Phil Spector Records/Legacy)

Six of the first seven Philles albums presented in mono, along with a bonus disc of those delightfully out-there instrumental B-sides. Seriously, have you heard any of them? They’re crazy. In a good way, that is.

Diana Ross & The Supremes, The 50th Anniversary Collection 1961-1969 / The Temptations, The 50th Anniversary Collection 1961-1971 (Hip-o Select/Motown)

Two new triple-disc sets capture two of Motown’s greatest groups at their peak, with every A- and B-side from the listed periods contained therein.

Paul Simon, One Trick Pony / Hearts and Bones / Graceland / The Rhythm of the Saints / Songwriter (Legacy)

The first four are the 2004 Rhino reissues in jewel cases instead of digipaks (although Graceland is re-remastered), the last is a two-disc compilation handpicked by Simon himself with a big thick booklet for your persual. (Have you read Joe’s great review? You really should.)

Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam 20 (Sony Music Video)

Cameron Crowe’s celebratory documentary, now available for home viewing.

Various Artists, The Bridge School Concerts: 25th Anniversary Edition (Reprise)

Two new sets – a 3-disc DVD box and a double-disc CD set – capture 25 years of one of the best known (and, let’s face it, best) benefit concert series of all time. Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Paul McCartney, Sonic Youth and a host of other rock luminaries appear.

Howlin’ Wolf, Smokestack Lightnin’: The Complete Chess Masters 1951-1960 (Hip-o Select/Chess)

Four CDs of vintage blues goodness from The Wolf – including some tracks making their Stateside debut.

Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More: Deluxe Edition (Glassnote)

The great British roots-rockers’ major label debut, expanded with a bonus track, a live disc and a DVD documentary.

The Monkees, Head (Rhino)

A shiny new vinyl reissue of the cult classic album.

The Mamas and The Papas, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears / Strawberry Alarm Clock, Incense and Peppermints (Sundazed)

The original, classic albums in mono, on CD! (There are a few other notables coming from Sundazed for you ’60s fans, too.)

Yes, 9012Live: The Solos – Expanded Edition (Friday Music)

The first-ever domestic CD release of Yes’ overlooked live album/side project, with two live bonus tracks for good measure.

Deftones, The Vinyl Collection 1995-2011 (Reprise)

A limited edition collection of the alternative band’s studio albums, plus an album of non-album covers, previously only available as a Record Store Day exclusive. (It’s sold out online, but I’m sure it’s still up for grabs here and there.)

Nirvana, Nevermind: Super Deluxe Edition (Geffen/UMe)

Previously a Best Buy exclusive, it’s worth noting that this title is now available everywhere. Hooray!

Howlin’ Wolf Boxed Up from Hip-o Select

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The name Chester Arthur Burnett might not mean anything to the average music fan, but mention his famous nickname – Howlin’ Wolf – and the game changes. Howlin’ Wolf was one of the pioneers of the blues, a legend on the Chicago scene and a powerful force to be reckoned with on the electric guitar.

Hip-o Select celebrates his lengthy legacy through a new four-disc box set of recordings for his longtime home base, Chess Records. Wolf was signed to Leonard Chess’ label in 1951, and began to craft some of the most rip-roaring tunes and performances of the genre, from “Moanin’ at Midnight” to “Smokestack Lightnin’.” His popularity among British blues musicians was typically sterling; The Rolling Stones got him on a 1965 appearance on the Brit variety show Shindig!, and Stones Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts joined Wolf, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and Ian Stewart on the 1970 LP The London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions.

Wolf passed away in 1976, leaving behind a comfortable legacy and a loving family (he did not suffer the iniquities commonly associated with blues musicianship), and this legacy remains strong today; he was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and “Smokestack Lightnin'” entered the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Now, Select’s exhaustive collection – featuring all of his early singles for Chess as well as numerous alternates and outtakes (including 17 tracks never before released on disc in the U.S.), all in a nicely-designed box with a 45-page book of liner notes – provides the definitive Wolf pack, if ever there was one.

Order your copy and check out the track list after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

September 26, 2011 at 14:18