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Back Door Wolf
Howlin Wolf
Back Door Wolf
Genres: Blues, Pop
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2007.


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CD Details

All Artists: Howlin Wolf
Title: Back Door Wolf
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mca Special Products
Release Date: 10/24/1995
Genres: Blues, Pop
Styles: Chicago Blues, Traditional Blues, Electric Blues
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 076732935828


Album Description
Limited Edition Japanese pressing of this album comes housed in a miniature LP sleeve. 2007.

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CD Reviews

Wolf's last
Laurence Upton | Wilts, UK | 10/15/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Everyone one knows how great Howlin' Wolf had been in the previous two decades, but how did he sound in 1973 on his final album, at the age of 63, in poor health and with less than three years to live? The contents of The Back Door Wolf, recorded on August 14th and 17th 1973, seem ignored on all the compilations by which most of us now know his work.
Actually, he is in great voice and contributes some nifty harmonica work to boot. Regular accompanists SP Leary and the legendary Hubert Sumlin are all over the record, abetted by Willie Harris on rhythm guitar and either James Green or Andrew McMahon on bass. The baroque harpsichord-like sounds of Detroit Junior's electric keyboards on four of the tracks have put off some listeners but didn't trouble me, though on balance I prefer his piano work on the other tracks, particularly on Stop Using Me. An alternative take of St Louis Jimmy's Speak Now Woman is added to the CD on which the harpsichord is replaced by background piano and Hubert Sumlin's guitar lead. The tenor sax player Eddie Shaw wrote five of the tunes but plays only on the instrumental title track, also the single from the album, which has Wolf moaning and howling in the background.
In some ways this is a retrospective album, with Wolf frequently back-referencing his earlier recording in the lyrics and in his harmonica playing, and also quoting lines from early influences such as Charley Patton, though there are also topical songs about the Watergate hearings and about African-American integration. At times the playing can seem slightly subdued and to lack fire, but this minor criticism aside this is a fine body of work."
Wolf good, Hubert good, songs good, harpsichord BAD
A. Pickering | CA USA | 02/13/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Frankly, this album gets off to a less-than-good start, wherein a really good song ("Movin'") is effectively ruined by the highly audible presence of Eddie Shaw feeding Wolf his lines. This was standard practice for Wolf in the studio, as reading wasn't his strong suit, but when it winds up on mic it's distracting as hell, as it is here.

Fortunately, this technical gaffe is not repeated, and the album picks up steam from there with a series of uniformly strong compositions from Wolf and/or Shaw. Wolf is in good voice despite his failing health and puts the songs over well, while Hubert Sumlin turns in some of the most indescribably sublime guitar work of his (or anyone else's) career, which is saying a whole lot.

Then there's the harpsichord. I don't pretend to know what the motivation was behind this experiment, but it doesn't work on any level. The several songs on which it appears are rendered (to my ears at least) pretty much unlistenable. It's too bad, because without the harpsichord, this would be an absolute five star career-closing triumph for one of the giants of American music in the 20th century. However, despite the harpsichord experiment gone awry, there's still plenty of stuff to like here. If you already own Wolf's extraordinary Chess albums of the '50s and '60s and are looking for more, The Back Door Wolf will certainly not disappoint."
His Best!
Jonothan Blanton | America | 04/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A more detailed review will be on the eventual way but for now...I feel I must get in my two cents...

This album is EXCELLENT, that keyboard that everyone keeps complaining about rips like Herbie Hancock! The vocals are at their most developed, the lyrics are at their best, and even speak out and take a stance on songs like "Watergate Blues." Some EXCELLENT all-around muscianship. The title track is a ripping instrumental with the Wolf OOOing over the fine solos.

Put this along with the highlight tracks off of "Real Folk Blues" and maybe a couple other albums and you have yourself a fine Wolf collection...

One love"