Excellent for cramming it all onto one disc.
Josh P. | 05/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ever notice that you're seeing more and more of these "best of" collectons out there now? Now there is UMVD's "The Definitive Collection" of numerous artists from that same unforgettable era featuring 20 or more top tunes of the featured artist crammed onto one disc. Sometimes these single-disc collections fail to make the grade because of so much essential material that ends up being left off for reasons of space alone and the rest of it is the same predictable fare. An exception in this case would be this: Muddy Waters' Definitive Collection. This collection runs through Muddy's premiere years featuring his swampy, slide guitar sound and musical style then continues through the '50s and early '60s when he began to make his significant impact on blues music and eventually would be regarded as one of the most highly respected names in blues music. So many of his best tunes like "Hoochie Coochie Man", "I'm Ready", "Forty Days and Forty Nights" and "Got My Mojo Working" were covered by so many bands so many times that these tunes are really timeless and have becomes standards in blues. You really do get and stay interested for the entire length of the album. It is a little slow to start, but it picks up quickly and the bulk of the action happens with tracks 8-18. "Crosseyed Cat", recorded in 1976, is something you really got to hear. It is swampy, raw and tough. A 6 minute jam session, basically. This "Definitive Collection' lives up to its name overall, and is absolutely essential for the blues fan if the 2-disc anthology is a bit much."
Steven A. Peterson | Hershey, PA (Born in Kewanee, IL) | 04/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You want to know about Muddy Waters? This is a wonderful introduction to his work. No single work, of course, can contain all the best songs of someone like Muddy Waters (nee McKinley Morganfield). But this CD is awfully satisfying.
And the first cut is the classic "I Can't Be Satisfied" (later covered by The Rolling Stones). The instrumentation is remarkable simple--guitar and bass. But Waters' singing is primal and gives this cut life.
The 1950 tune, "Rollin' Stone," gave the English rock and roll band their name. The music is raw, but compelling. One line: "I wish I was a catfish, swimming in the deep blue sea, I would have all you women's comin' after me." At another point, he sings that his mom says to his dad that I got a boy child comin', gonna be a Rollin' Stone. A must listen to piece.
Willie Dixon wrote the words for another song, a Waters' classic, "(I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man." First, what a backing group! Little Walter, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Spann, Willie Dixon, and Fred Below. This is a great blues tune topped off with Muddy Waters' great blues singing.
Another Willie Dixon song, "I Just Want to Make Love to You." Also covered by the Rolling Stones. . . . Listen to this version. A wonderful blues song.
And then there is "Mannish Boy" (talk about a greatest hit!). Again, great instrumental work and a terrific backing band. The song begins with him singing "Everything's gonna be all right this mornin.'" The insistent theme, "I'm a mannish boy," recurs throughout. One set of lines hearkens to other classic music:
"I'm a man,
I'm a Rolling Stone.
I'm a man,
A hoochie-coochie man."
Then there is "Got My Mojo Working." An uptempo romp with a great backing band.
So, do you want to know what Muddy Waters was all about? Try this CD. It will give you the introduction to his body of work.
Not quite definitive, but some great, great music here
Docendo Discimus | Vita scholae | 12/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There is a huge amount of Muddy Waters-compilations out there, and while MCA/Chess's two-disc, 50-track "Anthology 1947-1972" is certainly more definitive than this Geffen compilation, it does offer a very good overview of Muddy Waters' career.
Opening with the classic 1948 single "I Can't Be Satisfied", this CD takes you through (most of) the highlights from the 1950s and 60s. "Hoochie Coochie Man", "I'm Ready", "I Just Wanna Make Love To You", "Mannish Boy", and "Got My Mojo Working" are here, of course, and in the original versions, too, but it's a shame that some slightly lesser known (but equally fine) singles like "I Love The Life I Live, I Live The Life I Love", "She's Nineteen Years Old" and "I Want To Be Loved" are missing.
But there is certainly enough great music here to satisfy the casual fan, and if you do want more, there is always the impressive "Chess Box" and the late-70s/early-80s albums produced by Johnny Winter (only one track out of these 24 is from those sessions).
This album is not the definitive word on McKinley Morganfield, but it's a good introduction for the uninitiated."