Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
I'll Play the Blues for You
Genres: Blues, Pop
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Albert King's Most Experimental Album.
Perry Celestino | Tahmoor, NSW Australia | 02/08/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When the late great Albert King signed with Stax records in the 60's, they really didn't know what to do with him. Like Aretha Franklin at Atlantic (which had a hold on Stax in the 1960s). They teamed him up with Booker T and the MGs to produce a unique soul based blues that no one had ever heard. He had had several winning LPs for Stax and then put out this one. "I'll Play the Blues for You" is a concept LP (Like Issac Hayes' Hot Buttered Soul). King re-invents himself to fit into the emerging soul-funk grooves of the 1970s. However, his guitar playing is about the best it ever got!
"I'll Play The Blues For You (Parts One and Two") showcases his singing, talking blues ability and guitar. It features the only use of his famous (to blues players) bass string riff in Part 2 of the tune. SRV used it several times. "Little Brother Make A Way" is a great soul vocal and is the only double tracked vocal he ever did! "Breaking Up Sombodys Home" is a classic blues funk inspired from an earlier tune by Ann Peebles. He vamps it up with a meaty solo. "I'll Be Doggone" is a Marvin Gaye tune made into real soul (like Stax did!!!) I have never fully believed that that track is really live- oh well, it is effective! The solo has true King-style bending.
"Don't Burn Down The Bridge" is a King classic. However, he subsequently was never able to produce the power in this song in later live versions of it. The bending on this tune is the best ever in any blues music, it is Albert's finest creative hour! (I'll stick my neck out!) SRV tries in The Sky is Crying and a couple more efforts, but this is IT!!!!
"Angel of Mercy", another classic minor key blues, was originally a bonus single later added to this LP. This one also features King's finest bending and phrasing. His vocals proclaim "I can't even afford them soup!! A great tune written by Al Jackson Jr the great MG's drummer who also produced Albert's first live LP. The Bar-Kays are good backing for this album, Albert always sounded better with horns although he didn't always use them on the road.
The tune that always gets bagged in this set is "Answer to the Laundromat Blues"- well it's typical filler material- the topic is very sexist and pro-domestic violence (like JB Lenoir's "Talk To Your Daughter"), but the TONE and clarity of his guitar, bends and micro-pitches is truly amazing. I always thought this one of his best solos. The use of wah-wah second guitar dates it a bit, but I love it!
Finally, the pop inspired blues tune "High Cost of Loving" also is a track which seemed was destined for single release, it's short enough for radio play. But it never made it. The solo features great bending, timing and tone. This LP is a classic it shows why Blues is the foundation of all popular music and is the most adaptable of any music genre. B.B. King tired to do the same thing with strings in "The Thrill Is Gone", but stopped after that when he became a household name. Albert continued to experiment throughtout the 1970s."
Fine, soulful 70s blues
Docendo Discimus | Vita scholae | 01/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There are no fewer than three albums by Albert King titled "I'll Play The Blues For You" - a 1999 album which also includes some sides by John Lee Hooker, a 1977 live recording, and this one, which is the original, or at least the first.
Released on Stax in 1972, "I'll Play The Blues For You" doesn't quit match his magnificent second LP, "Born Under A Bad Sign", but it is a very enjoyable, melodic blues record, even if it lacks the raw, gritty power of men like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.
Albert King's soulful vocals are supremely smooth and confident all the way through, and this album includes some of his best recordings of the 70s, "I'll Play The Blues For You", "High Cost Of Loving", and "Little Brother (Make A Way)" among them.
The title track would be even better without the spoken soliloqy half way through part one, but King's fluid guitar playing couldn't be better. When Stevie Ray Vaughan was a boy, he wanted to be Albert King, and you can understand why when you hear King's sparse but powerful soloing, every note ringing clear as a bell.
The Memphis Horns back Albert King on this album, without overwhelming him in the slightest, a credit to the excellent mix and the relatively lean production.
This funky, soul-influenced slice of urban blues is one of King's best Stax sets, and one of his best studio albums, too.