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The Blues (+4 Bonus Tracks)

Long Play Vinyl
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Slip Sleeve (CD or Vinyl)
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This essential LP release includes B.B. King's splendid album, 'The Blues', which was originally issued in 1958 and marked his second LP on the Bihari brothers' Crown label. It collects a dozen sides King cut for RPM and Kent between 1951 and 1958.

This album is distinguished by a raw, ragged feel, which proves refreshing in light of the artist's subsequent slicker recordings. It has a loose, roadhouse vibe and features B.B. King backed by a full band, including horns, piano, harmonica, and a thumping rhythm section. At the heart of the set are King's stinging, soulful leads and his passionate vocals, serving up instant classics like "Why Does Everything Happen to Me" and "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer." As was often the case with Crown's product, The Blues used a single hit tune (in this case the aforementioned "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer," a Top Ten R&B chart entry in 1954) to help sell a package of lesser-known material, but thankfully the label also picked some great tunes that hardly sound like filler, even if they didn't make the charts. The album is dominated by muscular, horndriven performances with B.B. King's interjections of single-note riffs and powerful string bends punctuating the arrangements, and his songwriting was already stellar, with "I Want to Get Married," "Don't You Want a Man Like Me," and "Ruby Lee" demonstrating his way with a melody and lyrics.

In addition to the original LP, this collector's edition includes 4 bonus tracks from the same period: the staple "Everyday I Have the Blues," the heart-felt blues ballads "Sweet Little Angel," "My Sometime Baby," and the joyful "I'm In Love."


  1. Name
  2. Why Do Things Happen To Me
  3. Ruby Lee
  4. When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer
  5. Past Day
  6. Boogie Woogie Woman
  7. Early In The Morning
  8. Sweet Little Angel
  9. Everyday I Have The Blues
  10. I Want To Get Married
  11. That Ain't The Way To Do It
  12. Troubles, Troubles, Troubles
  13. Don't You Want A Man Like Me
  14. You Know I Go For You
  15. What Can I Do
  16. My Sometime Baby
  17. I'm In Love
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