Search - Bo Diddley :: His Best : The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection

His Best : The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection
Bo Diddley
His Best : The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B, Rock
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1

"Sounds nice," Bo Diddley tongue-in-cheekily observes of his music in "The Story of Bo Diddley," one of three self-named tunes on this 20-track examination of his classic '50s and '60s Checker Records sides. Not only was t...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Bo Diddley
Title: His Best : The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Chess
Original Release Date: 4/8/1997
Release Date: 4/8/1997
Genres: Blues, Pop, R&B, Rock
Styles: Chicago Blues, Electric Blues, Oldies, Oldies & Retro, Rock Guitarists
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 076732937327, 0076732937327, 0008811254827, 008811254827, 000881125482

"Sounds nice," Bo Diddley tongue-in-cheekily observes of his music in "The Story of Bo Diddley," one of three self-named tunes on this 20-track examination of his classic '50s and '60s Checker Records sides. Not only was the former Ellas McDaniels rhythmically sharp enough to have a beat named after himself; he had a great guitar sound and a seemingly endless supply of shaggy-dog stories, lover-man boasts, silly jokes, and complaints with which to fuse them. His Best boils down the two-CD Chess Box, including signature pieces like "Bo Diddley" and "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover" alongside unjustly obscure tunes such as "Pills" (later covered by the New York Dolls) and "Dearest Darling." Great. --Rickey Wright

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CD Reviews

Patrick Earley | Edmond, Oklahoma USA | 04/23/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Bo Diddley is without a doubt one of the most influential musicians in the history of rock and roll. That trademark "Chunka Chunka" guitar riff of his was probably copied more times, by more bands, than any other guitar line. What I liked about Diddley was not only his ability to make rock and roll, but also his equal talent with making great blues. It's only fitting that his first single was Bo Diddley/I'm A Man, with rock and roll on one side, and the blues of "I'm a Man on the other. This has to rank as the most influential two sided single in history. Although you won't find much more in the way of blues on this compilation, 2 of the songs here were written by Diddley's bass player and blues legend Willie Dixon. The first, recorded in 1955 was "Pretty Thing", which features some good harp work by Billy Boy Arnold, and "You Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover", which has been covered numerous times by rock and blues artists alike. Even on these songs though, Bo gives them a rock and roll slant with his use of right hand rhythm chops. Diddley has been compared over the years to Chuck Berry. The biggest difference I can see in their musical styles was that Bo Diddley used a much deeper african type drum beat, and at times latin rhythms, as heard on the songs "Crackin' Up" and "Bring It To Jerome", which was written by band member Jerome Green, who was soon to become the worlds most famous Maracas player. A couple more of my favorites are "Who Do You Love", which was later covered by Quicksilver Messenger Service in the 60's, and Tom Rush and George Thorogood made a hit out of it in the 70's. The royalities from this song alone should have made Bo a rich man. "Roadrunner" is another song which has been covered many times. With it's "Beep Beep" vocals, I think you could say he even inspired that famous cartoon character that battled Wile E. Coyote. Surprisenly, his biggest pop hit was "Say Man", a different sounding Diddley tune which offered a little hip hop funk with his verbal insults that was known as "Signifying". Bo Diddley, with his trademark homeade square guitar and black rimmed glasses, offered us a little bit of everything in his musicial career. As far as I know, he's still going strong. I had the privalege of seeing him live a few years ago, and the man could still walk the walk. This "Best Of" is a great introduction to Bo Diddley's rock and roll side. Another great compilation by the always reliable Chess Records."
"You got your radio turned down too low!"
happydogpotatohead | New Orleans, LA USA | 09/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"So says the man on "You Can't Judge A Book By Lookin' At The Cover." He's right. Turn this UP. Get it to the point where Bo's guitar is vibrating your entire house. Let it shake all the dust out of the floorboards. Make your neighbors call the police. This music is worth a night in jail.Seriously, it could be argued that this guy was the forerunner of so many things. None of the British rockers of the 60's would be anywhere without Bo Diddley. The Who and the Stones in particular owe him a great debt, not just for the rockin' Bo Diddley beat but for the macho, right-upfront lyrics and vocals and the total rock-and-roll attitude. Not to mention the huge sense of fun that permeates the whole Bo Diddley experience. And that guitar! It's safe to say that nobody ever played electric guitar like Bo Diddley. He just turned on every effect available to him and turned it all the way up. It wiggles, it throbs, it bumps and it vibrates. And if you think the White Stripes invented minimal rock and roll, dig Bo Diddley. Some of this stuff is just his guitar and some maracas! Lean, mean, and ready to rumble. There are so many classic songs and so many innovations on here, it's impossible to pick one out and praise it too much. I'll just point out here that, among other things, Bo invented rap on "Say Man," and that his use of rhythms that head straight back to Africa predate "world fusion" by about, oh, 30 or 40 years. Or the fact that he was one of the first rock musicians to have female instrumentalists in his band. I could go on and on, but you get the point. You cannot go wrong with this CD. I don't care who you are or where your head is at or what kind of subgenre of rock you dig; Bo Diddley had an influence on it. In many ways he was the "Originator" as he and his fansites claim. You owe it to yourself to pick this up immediately if you haven't experienced the one and only Bo Diddley. All your rock heroes (and heroines) already have!"
Long after the money is gone..Bo's legacy will live on!
Bob Martinez | Brooksville, FL USA | 03/03/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Everytime I pick up a newspaper or magazine article on Bo Diddley, I read about his bitterness toward being ripped off as a young man in record sales, percentages etc. Well, that's a long time ago, and you know how fast money goes...yet Bo's legacy lives on! This is the best compilation for cuts and sound on Bo I've ever owned. Every one is a rock masterpiece. Bo, I know you feeled ripped off by all the groups who've captured your sound, like The Beatles, Rolling Stones,Yardbirds, plus countless other 1-hit wonders through the years without any dividends. But you were one of the major architects of rock and roll, and long after the money is gone..and long after we're all gone....your contributions to rock history will always live on. You can't put a price on genius and originality."