Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Taking Care Of Business - 1956-1973 (7CD)
Genres: Blues, R&B
Bear Family Tribute to late great Freddie King
Kevin D. Rathert | Carbondale, IL | 08/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While I would concede some points of the previously published review of this massive Bear Family box set, I would beg to differ on several points. Point one, the first three and a half cds, the King recordings are without question some of the best blues recordings ever. Thus, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jeff Beck, and others list Freddie as their major influence. These three and a half discs contain several unreleased tracks, thank heavens for Bear Family. The Cotillion recordings follow, and point well taken that by this point King was not strictly a blues guitarist. Is this fodder for bearing a grudge? I would argue not. Given a listen, and in their proper context, King's recordings may bridge the barrier of blues and rock, but hey Eric Clapton left the Yardbirds to stay true to his blues roots, I don't recall people screaming foul when Clapton combined blues and rock in a power trio known as Cream. Rather, I seem to recall paint in London declaring "Clapton is God." So, I would argue King upon his move to Cotillion Records, combined his early blues with the then en vogue blues-rock genre, and he doesn't miss a note. Rather, he carries on with quite skillful playing although some of his recording choices may well have been dictated by the label. Remember, dear listener, this was the period when Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf were compelled to join rock musicians in recording "Super Blues" albums for Chess. King's recordings are certainly superior to those. In fact, King, with his ever present Gibson guitars, be it his Les Pauls, his 335s, 345s, or 355s, make some rather luscious sounding blues-rock records. Even when the material is questionable King's playing is never in doubt. As for the Shelter Records albums done just before Freddie's final two RSO releases, a contract procured for him by said Mr. Clapton, Freddie continues to shine on guitar while playing not just blues standards, but also soul and r and b standards of the day, always giving them him patented guitar work and his more than average vocals. If anything it is a statement to the man's talent that he is able to make songs like Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" take on a new life as blues-rock statements. By no means is King dialing in his performances though he might well have been more talented than the material dictated to him by the powers that be at Shelter Records even more than had been the case at cotillion. So, he is the dilemma, to be found in this, Bear Family's first venture into foreign (blues, blues-rock) territory, are the guitarists complete works from 1956-73, 168 tracks in all, fully documented and annotated in the sumptuous 104 page hardbound book: Should all of the recordings be included or as suggested above, is the box set too complete? My argument, to be taken at face value is this, better too much than not enough. The price is lofty for this set, but if you search out a drop shipper you can save considerably from the $206 list price. I paid $152 for my copy and do not begrudge a penny. Why? Because this is the COMPLETE Freddie King from 1956-1973, done Bear Family style, with digital rematering by none other than ex-Rhino sound expert Bill Inglot. That's right, Bill Inglot. The 104 page book by blues historian Bill Dahl includes photos galore of Mr. King, including him playing guitar behind his head a la Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy, who it may be argued falls into the same area as Freddie King. I saw Buddy Guy some twenty years ago, and one of his best numbers was a hard, hard rocking cover of Purple Haze, complete with playing done via teeth, behind the back, between the legs, in other words any way imaginable. Now the real question is do we cry foul because Freddie King did not stay strictly true to his blues roots, but like any other blues guitarist, including B.B. King who I've also seen in concert and consider inferior to Freddie because B.B. cannot sing while playing lead, something that was second nature to Freddie, or do we forgive him his transgression in the name of trying to make a living in an ever changing music market. I certainly vote for the latter, bemoan the loss of King at the tender age of 42, and thank Bear Family and Bill Inglot and Bill Dahl, for this beautiful testimony to seventeen years of Freddie's career, his prime years and those immediately following. My suggestion, buy this box for two reasons. First, the music contained within. Second, to encourage Bear Family to continue in opening its focus beyond country and blue grass music. I'd love to see an equal tribute to other blues artists, Albert King and Albert Collins come immediately to mind. Were they always true to their blues roots? Absolutely not. Were they great guitarists deserving of the bear Family treatment? That dear listener is for you to decide. But if this set is shunned there will be no second chance. I've cast my vote with my credit card and encourage you to do likewise. I wonder who Bear Family would select as their second choice? Regardless, I want more Bear Family tributes to blues/blues-rock artists and for them to continue to employ sound genius Bill Inglot. Now its time for you to cast your vote."
A King sized dose of the Texas Cannonball
attentive listener | Joysey | 01/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At seven CDs, packed to the brim, this set contains almost all the Freddie King you'll likely ever need. I say almost because Burglar is not here and his story continues on that release. The clean sound and lavish packaging is Bear Family's stock in trade. This cannot come any more highly recommended. Finding the time to listen and enjoy so much material, there inlies the only real caveat."
Freddie King's BLUES, as good as it gets.
WW | 02/15/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a very expensive set, and even though I'm a big Freddie King fan I had to think about investing so much money on this set. It took me some time but I did take a chance and buy this set. I have not regretted it for one second after I received it. I popped in disc one and "OH BABY" was it good. From start to finish the musical content and sound quality were at the highest levels. I was in some kind of blues induced euphoria. When I was finely able to take disc one out of my player and replace it with disc two, it happened all over again. The first four discs are fantastic. To be honest disc 5 and 6 are a notch below the first four. However they are still very good. Disc 7 is like the producers were trying to put him into a pop music format and it wasn't working to well, but you can still find a few nuggets there. For me the first four disks were worth what I payed for this set. The rest is bones. Next is the book, it's well written and illustrated. I would like to send out a thank you to Bill Dahl for writing the book. It is a coffee table book.
So if you are a big Freddie King fan you must have this set. If you are new to Freddie King and would like to learn more, you should get this box set as well. It is definitely worth the money in my opinion. I hope this is a help to you.
The Blues Dude (WW)"