Music CD - 2006
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Publisher: Los Angeles, CA : Shout Factory ; New York, NY : Distributed by Sony BMG Music Entertainment, p2006
ISBN: 9780738935768
Branch Call Number: COM Blues H764h
Characteristics: 4 sound discs : digital ; 4 3/4 in


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Jun 07, 2016

Blues titan John Lee Hooker's career spanned over half of the 20th century and produced such staples of the blues canon as "Boom Boom," "Boogie Chillen'," "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer," and "Crawlin' King Snake." Like many of his peers, his discography is a bit of a mess, as he recorded for multiple labels (sometimes under other names) and his music has been endlessly reissue. There's a 2-disc set that's a nice introduction, but this deluxe box set is more comprehensive, with over 80 songs, as well as liner notes. It begins with the 1948 single "Boggie Chillen'" and ends in 1998 with a duet with Eric Clapton, one of the myriad guitarists inspired by Hooker. I like the earlier, rawer stuff and had little interest in the final disc, which is mostly duets with younger artists like Bonnie Raitt, Santana, and Van Morrison. For a while, like Johnny Cash, he was the cold old guy that everyone wanted to record. He certainly deserved the acclaim, but these songs are generally overproduced and lack the intensity and primal drive of his earlier work. Still, this is a great box set for a great blues artist.


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