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1. The Very Best Of John Lee Hooker
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2. Live At The Cafe Au Go-Go (And
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3. The Best Of Friends
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4. The Best of John Lee Hooker 1965
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5. John Lee Hooker: The Ultimate
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6. Blues with a Vengeance
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7. Chill Out
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8. Mr. Lucky
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9. Jack O Diamonds: 1949 Recordings
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10. I'm John Lee Hooker
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11. Winning Combinations: John Lee
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12. 20th Century Masters: The Best
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13. Endless Boogie
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14. Silky
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15. The Black Godfather
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16. John Lee Hooker [Dressed To Kill]
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17. Boom Boom [Pointblank]
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18. Chess Blues Classics: 1957 to
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19. Live at Sugar Hill 2
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20. If You Miss 'Im I Got 'Im

1. The Very Best Of John Lee Hooker
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Asin: B0000033I0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1776
Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

A million or so collections, all from different record labels, document this Detroit blues guitarist's influential boogie-woogie career. This 16-song Rhino CD is an excellent starting point, with definitive versions of Hooker's classics "Boom Boom," "Boogie Chillen'," "I'm in the Mood," and "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer." It's interesting to hear the singer's voice progress from a deep, growling slur to the more polished later material, such as his collaboration with slide guitarist Roy Rogers on Robert Johnson's "Terraplane Blues," but he never lost his bottom-line rawness. --Steve Knopper ... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Stuff Legends Are Made Of!
Every once in a while, a budget disc comes along that is surprisingly good. Such is the case with Rhino Records release of "The Very Best of John Lee Hooker." On this release, Rhino combines 16 stand out tracks and some nice liner notes which briefly describe the man as well as the origin of each of the tracks. The selection of songs range from Hooker's signature "Boogie Chillen'" recorded in 1948 through "Terraplane Blues" recorded with slide man Roy Rogers in 1987. This is not a comprehensive collection nor was it ever intended to be. Instead, you get a flavor for a younger John Lee Hooker and his amazing guitar work. The recording quality is excellent especially considering the age of the songs. Well worth the purchase.

5-0 out of 5 stars 16 John Lee Hooker classics all in a row!!!
This great CD from Rhino collects 16 classic tracks from John Lee Hooker's awesome career!!!Includes:Boogie Chillen',Crawling King Snake,Boom Boom,Big Legs,Tight Skirt,Shake It Baby,One Bourbon,One Scotch,One Beer,Terraplane Blues(with Roy Rogers!),and more!!!An awesome collection!!! Two thumbs up!!! Five stars!!! A+

5-0 out of 5 stars A fine starting place
This single-disc compilation actually does a better job than Rhino's double-disc "The Ultimate Collection (1948-1990)", from which these tracks are taken. It's not a complete career overview, of course, but where "The Ultimate Collection" tries and fails to be definitive, "The Very Best Of John Lee Hooker" doesn't strive to be "ultimate", but only to provide a good introdution to the daunting legacy of the Hook.
And it does a superb job, collecting sixteen of Hooker's best song, including "Boom Boom", "Dimples", "I'm Bad Like Jesse James", "Big Legs, Tight Skirt" and "It Serves You Right To Suffer".
A perfect introduction for the curious.

5-0 out of 5 stars simply and absolutely Blues
It's the best way to enter the world of the blues and the finest way to realise why the man with the guitar is the one make you feel good everytime you want to relax.It's the combination of that electrical tone and the rough voice that relax you during or after a dificult day.It's simply and absolutely blues.

5-0 out of 5 stars pioneer of the blues
There is nothing like drawing the shades close, putting on a set of headphones, and listening to a good John Lee Hooker disc. Whether it be something from the late 40's or his newest releases back in 2000 with John Lee Hooker and Friends. That is what was great about this man, he just got better as time went on. To start out, The Very Best of John Lee Hooker is a great way to get into him if you are interested in the blues. You wont be dissapointed. The Classic Boom Boom, One Scotch, One Beer, are great, but the others that you may never heard of are just as good. It serves You Right To Suffer, Burnig Hell, and Crawlin' King Snake are just a couple on this cd that will grab you. I give this disc 5 stars and then some. ... Read more

2. Live At The Cafe Au Go-Go (And Soledad Prison)
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Asin: B000002P4B
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 22603
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Simply one of the greatest live blues recordings ever. Hooker plays alone at Soledad, yet the real thrill is hearing him backed at Greenwich Village's Café Au-Go-Go in 1966 by Muddy Waters and his band, including pianist Otis Spann, unsung harmonica giant George Smith, Francis Clay on drums, and guitarists Sammy Lawhorn and Luther Johnson. All are at the height of their abilities, but it's Hooker who works like a hoodoo conjurer, making misery rain down in "Seven Days" and "When My First Wife Left Me." This August night's reading of "I'm Bad Like Jesse James" ranks among the most intimidating vocal performances ever taped. His guitar and baritone singing sink to rarely heard depths of the blues--that secret place in the music (known only to its absolute masters) where it becomes an elemental force. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic, Must-Have
Miles Davis once told John Lee that, "You sound like you're buried up to your neck in mud" (that's a good thing if you tell the blues). This CD is deep. Raw. Painful. In fact, "I'm Bad Like Jesse James" hits so hard that you get scared just listening to the song. This live compilation, especially the 8 tracks from the Cafe au Go-Go which are backed by Muddy Waters band (yeah, THAT Muddy Waters), is a must-own for anyone who wants to experience the depth and power of John Lee Hooker. This is the blues in its finest 70 minutes. Awesome.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Live
This is my favorite live recording of early John Lee Hooker material. The CD has two different live recordings. The first eight tracks were recorded at The Cafe au Go-GO in in 1966. The last five tracks were recorded inside Soledad Prison in 1972. The last song on the CD, "Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang" which was changed later in his career to "Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom", is probably the best recording of this song that I have heard on any of Hooker's CDs. This recording is raw, rough, and powerful, just like the man himself!

John was right, way back in 1966, when he first sang the song (also on this CD) "I'll Never Get Out of These Blues Alive." Rest in Peace, I drink one bourbon, one scotch, and one beer to you.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Real Transformation
Despite Hooker being in his prime and having a great band at the Cafe Au Go-Go, I found the tracks from his performance there tepid. It sounds like he was trying to tone down his act for an ofay audience. Really - it's not a lively performance. So, that part of the disc gets three stars.

However, the tracks from Soledad Prison are scalding. "What's the Matter, Baby", "Boogie Everywhere I Go" and "Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang" in particular absolutely cook. That part of the disc gets five stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb, gritty live blues
This CD reissue combines John Lee Hooker's "Live At The Cafe Au Go-Go" album with five songs from his "Live At Soledad Prison" LP (the other two songs from that LP had John Lee Hooker, jr. doing lead vocals, which is probably why they aren't included).

The eight Café Au Go-Go-tracks feature Muddy Waters and his band backing John Lee Hooker, and Hooker performs some of his best songs in rough, tough arrangements, topped by his hoarse, expressive baritone voice.
It's a little bit unusual to hear John Lee Hooker backed by a full band, but the arrangements work exceedingly well, and Hooker is in no way overwhelmed by the presence of three more guitarists (Muddy Waters, Sammy Lawhorn and Luther Johnson), and pianist Otis Spann.

Highlights include a truly menacing "I'm Bad Like Jesse James", a swaggering, swinging "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer", a tremendous, slow "I'll Never Get Out Of These Blues Alive", and a soulful "When My First Wife Left Me", to which Otis Spann adds some truly magnificent piano playing.

On the Soledad tracks, which are also band-backed, Hooker lays down great renditions of "What's The Matter Baby" and "It Serves Me Right To Suffer", with the twin lead guitars of Luther Tucker and Charlie Grimes smouldering behind him.
"Lucille" is a great, mid-tempo boogie, and "Bang Bang Bang Bang", an alternative version of "Boom Boom", which rocks every bit as much as the MTV version did twenty years later.

If your idea of what the blues should sound like is latter-day B.B. King or Robert Cray, this might not be your thing...these recordings are far from polished and very much full of grit, but if you like your blues raw and ragged, this is indeed the real deal. One of the finest, most autenthic live blues records I have ever heard.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Classic John Lee. Worth it just for "Bad Like Jesse James" me chills.... ... Read more

3. The Best Of Friends
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Asin: B00000DCER
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 16261
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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The premise behind this compilation is somewhat unusual: classic tracks, yes, but classic tracks recorded by John Lee Hooker... and friends. Charles Brown, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Los Lobos, and Bonnie Raitt are only some of the performers who appear here, and the tracks, selected from recordings made by the prolific guitarist since 1988, show that Hooker hasn't lost his touch. Among the highlights, there's a smokin' duet with Raitt on "I'm in the Mood," a rendition of "Boom Boom" with a guest appearance from Jimmie Vaughan, and a reprise of Hooker's 1956 hit "Dimples" with Los Lobos backing up. Mention must also be made of the lone solo track on this CD, the acoustic "Tupelo," which hearkens to Hooker's Delta blues roots. There are also three previously unreleased tracks, which are probably the real reason to get this compilation. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply said, this album is a must-have for all Hooker fans.
Blues fans will be pleasantly surprised by this recording pairing the master himself with some of the finest musicians alive today. Special mention should be made of "I Cover the Waterfront" and "Don't Look Back" which feature the soulful voice and guitar of Van Morrison, as well as the familiar touch of Carlos Santana in "The Healer". Last, but certainly not least, adorers of Bonnie Raitt will love the playful duet she and Hooker provide in "I'm in the Mood".

BUY THIS CD, lower the lights, crank up the volume, and be swept away. You won't regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars A bluesmaster!
The photos of John Lee Hooker,at the booklet inside this cd,show us how old is this man,but no doubtly,his musics are still one of the most beautiful things at the modern blues. This album is marvellous in all the ways.The participation of artists such,Bonnie Raitt,Van Morrison,Ben Harper,Eric a great gift for John Lee Hooker,and all of the bluesfans! The voice of John Lee,is pure,fantastic,and .... eternally!

3-0 out of 5 stars "Blues"
This 1998 compilation draws from John Lee Hooker's guest star-heavy Virgin/Point Blank albums, mostly ignoring the solid Hooker-songs in favour of the attention-grabbing, star-studded duets featuring Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Jimmie Vaughan, Los Lobos (!) etc.

Almost all the duets from "The Healer", "Boom Boom" and "Mr Lucky" are here, the good one ("I Cover The Waterfront" with Van Morrison) and all the mediocre ones.
John Lee Hooker's original versions of these songs are almost all significantly better than these overblown re-recordings, which means (as Stephen Thomas Erlewine said in his review) that this disc is primarily for listeners who like to think they like Hooker, but really just want to hear Eric Clapton wail away.

5-0 out of 5 stars Super CD
Absolutely a gem no doubt about it. You will not go wrong with this cd.

5-0 out of 5 stars Some Blues Greatness Here
If you love the electric blues and blues slide guitar, this is a must-have album for your collection. Many of the songs are instantly recognizable blues patterns that have set the style for generations of blues and rock superstars. John Lee Hooker is on a par with B.B. King, Robert Johnson and other classic great blues artists. The repertoire of session musicians from the likes of Carlos Santana, Jimmy Vaughn, Bonnie Raitt, and Eric Clapton are not to be missed. John Lee Hooker set a blues standard - get this album. ... Read more

4. The Best of John Lee Hooker 1965 - 1974
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Asin: B000002OJZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 74466
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars ***½
MCA's "The Best Of John Lee Hooker 1965 - 1974" opens with the best-ever rendition of "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer", a swinging, piano-driven boogie version, followed by superb songs like "Think Twice Before You Go","House Rent Boogie", the slow shuffle "I'm In The Mood", and "Back Biters And Syndicators", which features Louis Myers on harmonica.
The gritty live recording of "I'm Bad Like Jesse James" is from the "Live At The Café Au Go Go" album, which you may already have. If not, get is by far the best live recordings of John Lee Hooker playing with a band.

But there are also a handful of lesser songs here, and I'm not sure the world really needs a ten-minute version of "I'll Never Get Out Of These Blues Alive" with Van Morrison sharing lead vocals with the Hook (the song was originally recorded by Hooker for Vee-Jay), but it's actually better than you might think, and since MCA doesn't have the rights to the original, I guess I can't complain too much.

The lean solo version of "I Cover The Waterfront" found here is not the same as the organ-driven one on Rhino's John Lee Hooker anthology, "The Ultimate Collection (1948-1990)". Which one you prefer is a matter of taste, I guess, since they're both pretty good. But if you already have "The Ultimate Collection", you really don't need this CD, since all the best songs from Hooker's ABC years can also be found on the Rhino compilation.

Hooker's ABC records, from which these songs are taken, weren't as consistent as his earlier output, so this compilation is pretty much all most people will need from this period of his career.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good, not essential selection of Hooker's ABC recordings
A nice sampling of Hooker's recordings for a variety of ABC labels that are sometimes overlooked. Calling these recordings essential is nonsense as it includes none of the stark, compelling solo or duet Detroit recordings nor as strong as the finest of the Vee-Jay recordings (The original Boom Boom or Dimples for example), but still these are better than many of Hooker's later recordings and no offense to the superstars who helped elevate Hooker's profile and made some of his last recordings so enjoyable, but I would as soon hear these recordings which include the late Eddie Taylor on second guitar and the late Louis Myers on harmonica on some tracks. Motor City is Burning, his reaction to the Detroit riots is perhaps the most compelling single track here. Unfortunately these recordings and the wonderful colloboration with Canned Heat, Hoioker and Heat were followed by over a decade of Endless Boogie before a bit of musical healing. This is a solid collection recommended to Hooker fans, but not one that is essential

5-0 out of 5 stars Johnny Lee
Funny how expressive he was with so few notes. he inspired more with just a twang and a moan, than a legion of educated guitar wizards could do because he and was the cornerstone of American music. This collection does a great justice to his years when he played with larger groups and was full of howl and understood what the younger guys were doign on the scene. He made so many recordings in those years too. If you have no other of his stuff and are looking for a GREAT intro then this is a good un" I could hear him say "get your moneys worth" I especailly like the "I cover the waterfront with its eerie feel. You cant help but identify with the words and the reality of a sense of loss and hope. There is some rocking tunes as well that let you understand that rock and roll of the sixties rallied around the stuff that his soul shared.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooker's Best
Some "Best of" CDs really are not. This CD really is! This CD covers 16 of John Lee Hooker's greatest hits from 1965 to 1974, over 70 minutes of music. All of these songs were recoded in the '60s and '70s too, long before his gold and platinum album days. These are the same songs that would make Hooker famous 25 years later. Most of his better-known songs can be found on this disk. Throughout it all, Hooker's music remained unchanged. His rich and sonorous voice, full of ancient hurt, and his brooding and savage style remained hypnotic but unpredictable. To the strains of his own guitar, he sang of loneliness and confusion. Neither polished nor urbane, his music was raw, primal emotion. His one-chord boogie compositions and rhythmic guitar work were a distinctive sound that influenced rock 'n' rollers as well as rhythm and blues musicians. According to John shortly before his death, "I been doing the same things as in my younger days, when I was coming up, and now here I am, an old man, up there in the charts."

During a career more than six decades long, the veteran blues singer from the Mississippi Delta estimated he recorded more than 100 albums. To have a "best of" CD with that much material to pick from is a hard task, but the producers have done well.

If you only own one John Lee Hooker CD (if that is possible) this is the one to own.

5-0 out of 5 stars Johnny Lee at his best
Never have I heard such a collection of blues masters. This album is burning with soul and emotion. Key tracks such as, "Never get out of these blues alive," "Bluebird," and "House Rent Boogie," feature superior bluse musicians such as: Van Morrison, Jim Kahr, Hollywood Fats, and Steve Miller, before their claim to fame. A tear fell from my eye when I first heard John Lee's story of his passing wife, Sadie Mae, in "Decoration Day." This album is a true tribute to all those who lost their lives in the terrible flood of Tupelo, Mississippi so long ago. ... Read more

5. John Lee Hooker: The Ultimate Collection 1948-1990
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Asin: B0000032HO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 11730
Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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This 2 CD set represents the best introduction to Hooker's trademark sound: one- and two-chord vamps delivered with a hypnotic, perpetual boogie rhythm and accented by reverberating staccato runs and intense foot-stomping. With his deep, rich voice, Hooker electrified the blues of the Delta, bringing the stark, brooding sound to the city and influencing scores of rock musicians. Most of his highlights are here: from early Modern classics "Boogie Chillen," "Crawlin' King Snake," and "House Rent Boogie"; to Vee-Jay singles "Boom Boom" and "Dimples"; to 1966 Chess work with Chicagoans Lafayette Leake and Willie Dixon;to 1971 collaborations with rockers Canned Heat;to performances with modern blues stars Roy Rogers and Bonnie Raitt. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars As Close as It Gets!
Let's get one thing straight: as of today 09/15/03, there is no "ultimate" John Lee Hooker collection. But with 31 of his best tracks, this Rhino mini-box comes the closest to Hooker nirvana. (There is a 10-CD set, Epitath, but since it would take a week to listen to it once, I'll pass.) The problem with compiling such a collection is implied in Boogie Man, Charles Shaar Murray's fine biography. Hooker recorded for a number of different labels, especially in his early days, and also under a variety of different names (John Lee Booker, John Lee Cooker, Little Pork Chop, etc.), so it takes a lot of legwork to figure out just which recordings were made by Hooker at all, much less obtain the rights to rerelease them. (Murray spends almost half the book on such detective work.) Therefore, such classic gems as "The Flood" and "Whiskey and Wimmen" are not included in this set. Still, it's a very good attempt. Rhino has chosen to start the collection with the track "Teachin' the Blues," which is an aural primer on how he created his unique sound. Thus educated, the listener can then move on to such primal tunes as "Boogie Chillun" (A live staple for virtually every major blues band from Canned Heat to Savoy Brown, this was the number Hooker chose to perform in a guest spot on the Rolling Stones Steel Wheels tour in the eighties.), "Crawling King Snake" (covered wonderfully by the Doors), "Boom, Boom" (the Animals), and his reinterpretation of an Amos Milburn song, here entitled "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (which, when combined with John L's House Rent Boogie, was very well covered by George Thorogood). He recorded several such reinterpretations, most notably "Frisco Blues" (In this case, he reportedly didn't try to get the correct lyrics to Tony Bennett's famed "I Left My Heart in San Francisco;" he just sat down and recorded his own off-the-cuff rendition.). In conclusion, there is plenty of John Lee Hooker's best stuff here to warrant a recommendation; it's just not as "ultimate" as his most devoted fans would want it to be.

4-0 out of 5 stars One of the best available overviews of the Hook's career
So why "only" four stars?
Well, the music is great, but Rhino could certainly have found room for more than 31 songs on two compact discs. And why include two versions of "In The Mood" when songs like "I'll Never Get Out Of These Blues Alive", "Onions" and "Old Time Shimmy" are missing?

The sad thing is that there are really no John Lee Hooker-compilations on the market that truly get it right. Either they're too short, or they're limited by the fact that the compilers were only able to chose from recordings made for one particular record company.
This one is the best of the lot in my view, though. It almost gets it right (although the missing "Never Get Out Of These Blues Alive" is a pretty big minus), and the sound quality is very, very good.

(If you're not against spending a little extra, you might want to look for the fine Vee-Jay compilation "The Early Years", which also spans 31 tracks, and MCA's "The Best Of John Lee Hooker 1965-1974" instead of this album. Those two will satisfy almost everyone. And if it doesn't, there's always the ten-CD "Epitaph" box set.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Rhino Captures the Hooker.
This is such a nice set.

Almost a primer for the new fan, and a refresher course for seasoned vetrans...John Lee is well portrayed on these very nicely remastered cuts.

Disc 1 starts with his solo accoustic stuff...

"Teachin' the Blues" is a classic blues gem, and this is a great cut of it.

Disc 2 features gritty, rocking cuts of legendary blues tracks including Hooker staples like "Boom Boom," and "One Bourbon, One Scotch, and one Beer."

If you think you like Hooker, this is your starter kit.

If you love him, this little portable collection completes the set.

There is also a 2CD set from Tomato Records that closely mirrors the titles on the Rhino collection but uses different cuts. It is grittier, and poorly produced, but makes a wonderful companion peice to the Rhino set.

Boogie, Chillun.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good tunes, but compilers show lack of respect for music
This is the first John Lee Hooker album I've ever bought. I love the music, but as a product, it's not worth the price. Originally, I couldn't decide between this and a couple other compilations. I went for this one because it had good reviews and seemed the most complete. I was dismayed to find out that, although there are lots of tunes, many of them fade out right in the middle of the song for no good reason. There was plenty of room left on the disc to have the songs in their entirety (less than 50 minutes of music out of a possible 75?). Personally, I think that fading out tunes like that shows a complete lack of respect for soloing and arrangement. In addition to this, the liner notes are are less than thorough and not too interesting. I would recommend finding another recording of this fine artist.

5-0 out of 5 stars Now I got this rent, let's have a ball!
People who know nothing about any kind of blues and blues afficionados alike will have a ball with this collection of some of the finest moments of Hooker's long career.

Many different styles and a whole array of production values are laid down chronologically in order to give one a linear idea of Hooker's output.

So many great moments exist on this puppy that I will not begin to list them. There is lots of treasure here - that's for sure. ... Read more

6. Blues with a Vengeance
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Asin: B00003G1GH
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 62834
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

These songs by singer/songwriter David Shepherd Grossman. This is Grossman's 10th release. Part of this collection has been previously released and part has not... 18 years of recordings are documented on this 70+ minuite CD.

Some Recent Awards 1. Arizona Music Awards

Best Male Folk Aritist

2. Spree Songwriting Competition

Best AAA Song

3. New Times Magazine

Best Troubadour

4. KRCL Radio

Utah Finalist

5. Arizona Music Awards

Best Male Folk Singer

6. Music Voice Reader's Poll

Best Male Folk Act

1996 ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Buy this CD
I'm an avid listner to most kinds of music. Plain and simple this CD blew me away. It's twenty years of this prolific writers work, and runs from mellow to rock. Every time I play it someone will say "Who is this? He's great" So if you are looking for a semi unknown artist who has really put the work in buy this CD you won't be sorry. ... Read more

7. Chill Out
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Asin: B000000W74
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 42821
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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One of his finest '90s recordings, Chill Out balances the guitar-glitz of Carlos Santana's guest shot on the karmic title cut with a handful of profoundly deep Hooker solo performances. Among those are new versions of his standards "Tupelo" and "Annie Mae," and the soulful "If You've Never Been in Love," where expert slide-man Roy Rogers provides subtle accompaniment to Hooker's spontaneous storytelling. The band numbers that bookend the album are weak, relying on Hooker's strong vocal presence to overcome sketchy writing. Van Morrison, pianist Charles Brown, and M.G.'s leader Booker T. Jones also lend a hand.But Hooker doesn't need anybody's help to get to the passionate heart of his blues. One last note: Anton Corbijn's CD-booklet photographs of ol' Johnny Lee are terrific. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooker's best contemporary blues recording
CHILL OUT was Hooker's fourth album since his triumphant comeback began in 1989 with THE HEALER. CHILL OUT also won a Grammy in 1995 for the Best Traditional Blues Album. The title track features long time supporter Carlos Santana and his band. Van Morrison further cements their long-standing friendship with a duet on" Medley: Serves Me Right To Suffer/Syndicator." Charles Brown and his band join in on "Kiddio" and "Annie Mae." Unlike some blues CDs filled with guest performers, the guests on this CD do not dominate the songs. John Lee certainly is the front man. In fact, of all the Hooker albums I have heard, and there are hundreds, I would have to say the best display of his vocal talents of all his contemporary recordings.

I had the privilege of seeing Hooker two years before his death during his last performance on the East Coast. The CD's last track is slower blues ballad; "We'll Meet Again." If there is blues in heaven, hopefully we will indeed, meet again.

3-0 out of 5 stars Add this to your collection
Mr. Hooker is an artist who pulls off collaborations with such success, that it takes you to another dimension of the blues. The title song "Chill Out" accompanied with Santana's potent guitar licks makes the album worth buying in itself. He also performs a powerful version "Serve Me Right to Suffer" with Van Morrison caring on a conversation that only true bluesmen could do!!! His solo works are what is expected out of the great Hooker. "One Bourbon... One Scotch... One Beer" is a classic with new found energy.

The man should be, but is not a millionaire, yet has the enough money to ride around in a limo with the personalized license plates "Chill Out" in Redwood City, CA. I had the opportunity to visit him about 2 and a half years ago. I came to his door uninvited, dogs barking etc. and Mr. Hooker answered the door. I explained I was a fan with his "The Healer" CD in my hand. He silenced the German Shepherd as well as the Cocker Spaniel, and invited me into his home. There were gold records with pictures of Bill Graham, Bonnie Raitt and others on the wall over his fireplace. He graciously signed the CD cover and we began to talk about the Giants baseball game on T.V. We discussed baseball and other current events for about a half an hour before I left. Mr. Hooker invited me back again; yet, I have not mustered the courage to re-visit him. We never touched on the great contribution he has made to the Blues, Rock n' Roll, or music in general. However, the very modest bluesman left me with the belief and impression that the Blues are about everyday people, sharing everyday experiences.

His recent recordings are mostly collaborations (I.E. "Mr. Lucky", "The Healer", and "Don't Look Back"), but they are what helped sparked my interest in the Blues. I think one of the most positive undertones to his albums is his ability to record with various artists and spark my interest with him as well as their efforts. For the novice fan such as myself, check out "Mr. Lucky" (my personal favorite 5 stars), also "The Healer" and "Don't Look Back" are the next to add to the collection. The more you listen to this man's stuff like albums that I feel demonstrate some of his roots: "King of the Boogie", "Blues Legend", and "The Collection" heighten one's awareness to the roots of all modern music. Listen to each album a few times and ENJOY!!!! ;)

P.S. I give this C.D. only a 3.5, definitely worth buying, but "Mr.Lucky" and the "Healer" are in a class all by themselves....

4-0 out of 5 stars Chill Out
This is a very good album from one of the greatest men in all of music history, John Lee Hooker. This album has a mellow mood to it that makes it perfect to listen too when you want to Chill Out. The title track, is a collaboration with Carlos Santana, a long-time fan of JLH. That song is a classic and was the reason I bought the album in the first place. Other stand out songs here are KIDDIO, ANNIE MAE, TOO YOUNG, ONE BOURBON ONE SCOTCH ONE BEER, and MEDLEY: SERVES ME RIGHT TO SUFFER/SYNDICATOR. Many songs here are updated classics that will sound fresh to new fans. I think that some of the songs on this album where it is JLH and his guitar are without a doubt, the songs that we are able to see how great his talent really voice. He had that perfect voice for his storytelling type of blues music that kept the listener hooked.

4-0 out of 5 stars Take Your Shoes off and Sit a Spell
Though true JLH fans probably have found some of his earlier CDs to be a better reflection of his talents, this is a fun blues CD for those who are just getting into Blues. After just a few plays, you'll be humming "Kiddio" as if you've known it for years. Hooker's rendition of "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" is more likely to get you doing "air-band" than George Thorogood's version. Finally, the title cut ("Chill Out") is a great piece that should have received substantially greater attention. Much of the CD is just Hooker's voice, a guitar and a tapping shoe, with an occassional piano thrown in, but a few cuts have a bit more. Don't let that scare you... this is a good buy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Get the early stuff!
There's nice stuff here, but most of these songs are retreads of numbers he's done much better on superior albums much earlier in his career. DO NOT MAKE ANY HOOKER RELEASED AFTER 1980 YOUR FIRST PURCHASE (or second, or third, or fourth, or fifth, or..) Earlier Hooker is much, much better. Trust me. ... Read more

8. Mr. Lucky
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Sales Rank: 27782
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing followup to The Healer
John Lee Hooker provided some very basic but important music in his time. The Healer was a landmark album bringing John back to the fore with some good cuts which made up for his musical deficiencies. This album attempts to go down the same road but in general fails to achieve the same heights. The best tracks are 'Stripped me naked' with Carlos Santana and 'This is hip' with Ry Cooder. I prefer the original JLH cuts of the track on the album.

2-0 out of 5 stars If you must have everything
Hooker's second album on the Pointblank label is a guest-heavy homage that doesn't have a great deal to do with John Lee Hooker as an artist and only occasionally plays to his strengths. Some cuts, such as the opening "I Want to Hug You" are just plain odd in their selection. This album is for the completist; sporadically enjoyable but unnecessary. The title cut is much better in its original version on "Urban Blues" (a somewhat chaotic but quite good album from the late '60s), while "Backstabbers" (actually "Backbiters and Syndicators", another remake from the same album) meanders too. The later cuts are better and, as usual, the fewer musicians playing with Hooker the less his sound gets mucked up. "Highway 13", "Father Was a Jockey" and yet another remake of "Crawlin' Kingsnake" are all quite nice. One wishes Hooker's late '80s and '90s producers more often had had the sense to leave him by himself or with minimal accompaniment. So, like all of Hooker's work on Pointblank, this is less about making a good album than honoring a lifetime of work. Still and all, worth having. His June 21st passing is greatly mourned.

5-0 out of 5 stars All Star Cast
When one of the most revered blues guitarists asks for help on his album, there is no shortage of great talent to show up. The likes of Santana, Ry Cooder, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, John Hammond, and Robert Cray (to name just a few) come out in support of "Mr. Lucky", the follow up guest album to "The Healing". But, John Lee Hooker doesn't need all of this talent to put out a great blues album.

Robert Cray shows up on the title cut of this album providing some great leads to Hooker's rhythm. A tune that makes Hooker "... feel a little better". Albert Collins steps in for "Backstabbers" providing a powerful presence that only he was capable of. All you have to hear is one note of Collins to know it's him. "I Cover the Waterfront" is a haunting tune with Van Morrison taking over the guitar work and Booker T. Jones on organ. Morrison's voice complements the low-boom of Hooker's. Another highlight is Santana's work on "Stripped Me Naked".

Hooker's Delta Blues sound is hypnotizing, and his deep voice is lazy and sweet. There are very few that have shaped the sound of music, especially the blues, as he has. This album, a tribute of sorts, is a must for blues lovers. To hear so much talent gathered in one place playing with a legend like Hooker gives me the chills.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lucky Mr. Lucky!
Thank God for Amazon.Com! After misplacing our Mr. Lucky CD (Or perhaps it magically disappeared), and looking high and low, over the hills and through the woods (in our area,at least) I finally found this wonderful piece of music history! Its truly an icon by John Lee Hooker!

5-0 out of 5 stars 'Mr. Lucky' is John Lee Hooker's masterpiece!
John Lee Hooker should be proclaimed a National Treasure, and 'Mr. Lucky' is in my mind his masterpiece. It is not a 'greatest hits' collection, but a unified work of timeless music. 'Stripped Me Naked' is worth the price of the album alone. All-star supporting musicians! ... Read more

9. Jack O Diamonds: 1949 Recordings
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Sales Rank: 8798
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

TOTALLY ESSENTIAL AND MAY NEED BUYING QUICKLY!!! This seems to be the same as the short-lived Flyright (UK) CD, 'The Unknown John Lee Hooker', possibly less one track. That was arguably the greatest discovery (of not just long lost, but TOTALLY UNKNOWN vintage material), of all time! At a 1949 private function for noted animator & film-maker, Gene Dietch (Bugs Bunny, later Tom & Jerry, etc) and his blues-fan friends, with JLH in the first year of his recording career. Learned of by sheer chance, when British collector/writer Paul "Sailor" Vernon ('Sailor's Delight' blues-mag, etc), interviewed him about his film work and learned of the appearance and (say it softly!) A STILL-EXISTING TAPE OF IT!!! Even the tale of that tape & its subsequent location is the stuff of thrillers, but this led to its issue on a CD by Bruce Bastin, noted British blues indie, on his Flyright label. One of the most welcome and significant releases since the war - but then(AT LEAST, so it was SAID) the suits around Hooker squashed it. Anyway, it rapidly disappeared so, if this is now an "approved" issue, well done, somebody!! If NOT, its days may be numbered, so GET IT WHILE YOU CAN!!!!!

This is a fabulous recording of Hooker's acoustic work. John Lee is certainly one of the very best blues musicians, just as comforable acoustically as he is electrically. What a great CD. Get this one if you like the blues. It is a real treasure. I wish that this had been released sooner but then again, all GREAT things are worth waiting for.

An other interesting thing to do is to listen to this, or a few songs, and then some Buddy Guy acoustic. you'll find such a similarity in style and beat.

Have fun!

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic John Lee!!!!!
This album is great. Any blues fan would love it. My favorites are 'Two White Horses' and 'How Long Blues'. Highly recommended. Thanks... ... Read more

10. I'm John Lee Hooker
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Asin: B00004TCQ9
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 151690
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

On this 1959 album, this writer, guitarist and vocalistshines on numbers such as I'm In The Mood, I Love You Honey as well as his classic Boogie Chillun. 12 tracks. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooker's best album
Originally recorded at various mid- and late-50s sessions, "I'm John Lee Hooker" is the Hook's best original album. It first came out in LP form some 44 years ago, and features Hooker on his own as well as with various small, tight combos.

Some of these songs had been cut before, but this is the album which best reflects what John Lee Hooker was like in his prime, his left foot tapping out the rhythm on the plywood floor on solo numbers like "Dimples", "Crawling King Snake" and "Boogie Chillun". And the various bands that back him on songs like "Time Is Marchin'" and "I'm So Excited" are all excellent...just listen to the delightful, piano-driven boogie of "I Love You Honey".

"I'm John Lee Hooker" is one of the great blues records of the post-World War II era, and it belongs in every blues enthusiast's collection.
4½ stars - highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Hooker's Best
With his second-coming which began in 1989 with the release of the star-studded The Healer, you can't walk into a music store and swing a dead cat without hitting a John Lee Hooker album. But at age 80, Hooker is well past his prime and real fans of the blues would be better served by digging deep into this blues giant's voluminous catalog. Because of the many labels Hooker recorded for beginning with his classic sides for Modern in 1948, it can be a daunting task. While nearly anything Hooker has recorded is worth listening to, the neophite fan would do best to stick with Hooker's albums recorded for Modern, Chess and Vee-Jay.

This album was first released in 1960 by Vee-Jay, again in 1991 by Chameleon, and now by Collectables. The standout tracks are the four featuring Hooker performing solo while keeping the rhythm with his foot pounding a piece of plywood as he plays his boogie guitar licks and sings in that distinctive deep voice. Those four tracks ("Hobo Blues," "Boogie Chillun," "I'm In the Mood" and "Crawlin' Kingsnake") were first recorded on Modern, but these versions are all first-rate. The other eight tracks include a second guitar, bass and drums.

While not as essential as The Legendary Modern Recordings 1948-1954 or Rhino's excellent 2-disc The Ultimate Collection, I'm John Lee Hooker is certainly one of his top ten recordings. [And keeping in mind the more than one hundred albums currently in print, that says a lot.] HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

5-0 out of 5 stars An essential find.
"Dimples" "Boogie Chillun" "I'm In The Mood" "Crawling Kingsnake" These are all essential songs by John Lee Hooker and they are all right here. It is a shame that this CD is apparantly out of print. Released on VJ in 1959, Hooker shows all the power that most people who listen to his later stuff find so appealing. If you can find it, buy it immediately. It is worth the search and the purchase. I liked it so much that I got it on vinyl and CD. It is a staple of my blues collection. ... Read more

11. Winning Combinations: John Lee Hooker & Muddy Waters
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 175402
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12. 20th Century Masters: The Best Of John Lee Hooker (Millennium Collection)
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Asin: B00000I9CM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 131342
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Not comprehensive by any stretch of the imagination--there's only 12 tracks, for heaven's sake--this is still a pretty good collection for the casual or beginning John Lee Hooker fan. The remastering job on these tracks is excellent, and the material is topnotch, from the barfly's anthem "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" to the down-deep-in-the-blues "It Serves You Right to Suffer." All of the songs are served up with Hooker's trademark boogie-woogie sound, and it just doesn't get any better than that. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

Reviews (6)

1-0 out of 5 stars muddled sound
I just purchased this based on reading reviews. Should have been aware of anything "remastered". Sound is very muddled. Now I am unsure of all reviews that I read on here. Would have felt taken if I had bought this in bargain bin much less for this price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very essential
John Lee Hooker is One Of The Greatest Artists Ever.His Guitar Playing&SInging are timeless.He takes the Blues too a Whole Different Level.This Genius has Been Incredible for So Long.& He is Still Going Strong.

5-0 out of 5 stars good one but lacks deapth.
this is a good one, but lacks deapth. in 'country blues of john lee hooker' he is really deep in the blues. 'country blues' consists of all his original songs. he plays an acoustic guitar and sings alone. you may try 'country blues of john lee hooker', too.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Starter CD
This CD is great for those of you that enjoy the more upbeat side of Johnny Lee. Think Twice Before You Go and Sugar Mama really stand out to me. It is one of the first blues discs I ever purchased and my taste in music has never been the same. I feel this is a must for any newcomer to the blues. Its worth it.

5-0 out of 5 stars abslolutely a must, outstanding music and quality sound
This is such a treat, especially for those who have heard the old time recordings . A wonderful job of presenting the old music with nearly zero sound defects. If you like Junior Wells' Hoodoo Man Blues, this you will like even better! A bit quicker and more toe-tapping. ... Read more

13. Endless Boogie
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Asin: B000002OI6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 25640
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Peak performance by a legendery entertainer
A true standout, especially when you compare the performances on this album to some of Mr. Hooker's other work. The studio musicians all seem to blossom here, with J.L.'s incredible vocals, in creating this classic. It ranks with my personal top 10 alltime albums, way up there. Universal and current messages abound, and is a lot of fun too (check out "House Rent Boogie"..."Hit Kix U").

5-0 out of 5 stars Endless Blues
I bought this album soon after its initial release in 1971 and was blown away. It holds up even after 30 years and will continue to do so. Some critics have dismissed this album as another example of aimless jamming by some white guitarists in awe of a blues icon. I completely disagree. Sure, many of the tracks are over 5 minutes: and yes these are jams. But they anything but chaotic and unstructured as some listeners have suggested. There are fine contributions from the likes of Steve Miller, Mel Brown and the late Jesse Ed Davis (listen to Davis' snake like notes and brittle playing on the jam Pots on, gas up high). For the blues mood in extremis check out Kick Hit 4 hit Kix U and Sheep out on the foam. The rhythm section of Gino Skaggs (you want to learn blues bass playing, listen to this cat's clean playing) and Ken Swank (fine drumming) on most tracks (late Carl Radle and Jim Gordon of Derek and the Dominos appear on the remainder) is rock steady. I emigrated to Canada as a 15 year old in 1971 and this was the album that got me into blues. I have worn out two double albums and have presented copies to numerous friends to illustrate how joyful blues music can be. Its wonderful that the CD is available once more to delight blues fans every where. The 5 stars are for the content and for the seminal role this CD has played in shaping my musical education.

5-0 out of 5 stars Driftin' and driftin'...
Do you like your blues sleazy? I mean with sleaze just dripping off it and oozing out of every nook and cranny? Do you like your blues without chord changes, droning and building emotional intensity as it burrows into your soul like a thousand nights in a shotgun shack on the delta? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, Endless Boogie is your type of album. It's John Lee "jamming" with a group of, mostly, young white blues dudes in an essentially live session recorded in studio. All the tracks are extended by today's standards, and all have some decent guitar, piano, and electric piano solos. What really makes this disc special is the alchemy, that special "something" that you hear sometimes at the Monday night blues jam, when the players catch fire and everything transcends. Hooker's voodoo guitar doesn't get much of a showing, but his singing is definitely in top form: brooding, evocative, and, quite frankly, somewhat disturbing in its urgent melancholy. Listen to this, you will come away changed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jus' Jammin'
If you like yer 12 bar blues to be exact, down to the beat and measure - turn away from this one. But if you dig the raw, improvisational nature of The Jam - just a bunch of talented musicians getting together for the love of making music - then this is the quintessential John Lee collection. Savor it, enjoy, because this type of CD/album comes along very rarely. Most studio work is usually pretty scripted, which is fine. But I love the power of a live blues jam - I cut my teeth in blues hanging onto the stage watching the greats like Mighty Joe Young and Albert Collins tear it up. This work has the strength and energy of a live show but the intimacy of a guitar circle (a living room-style jam where everyone sits and trades licks) - in the title song, at one point during a scintillating acoustic solo, you can hear 'em just shout out with pleasure. It's like John Lee sings: "All the cats, getting together in the studio, just cookin' They call it...The Jam....Look out!" RIP, John Lee. I know they're boogyin' in heaven right now.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of his best!
As a longtime fan of Johnny Lee (I have, over the last 20 years, collected many of his CDs, as well as albums and tapes), I LOVE this CD, it is my favourite! It never disappoints, day after day! ... Read more

14. Silky
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Asin: B0000061Z1
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 58629
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Williams made his nickname of "Mr. Rhythm" by talking his way through a series of fun, creepy, sleazy-sounding R&B records back in the '50s. The 1998 Silky is a lot more, uh, explicit (there's a big difference between "Bacon Fat" and "Let Me Put It In"), and Williams sometimes sounds unconvinced by the words he's drawling, though his torn-up purr slyly makes the point of "Only Black Man In South Dakota." The band behind him--a group of garage rock all-stars including members of the Gories and Demolition Doll-Rods--is terrific, backing him up with an echoey multi-guitar roar that's nothing like what he used in his R&B days, but suits his rasp nicely. --Douglas Wolk ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars raving mad and depraved brilliance
Andre Williams has survived more than most of us ever will. In the 50s and 60s he worked on the fringes of the rock/R&B field, issuing sleazy records like "Bacon Fat" and "Greasy Chicken," and working as a producer. A stint in Ike Turner's post-Tina band helped him acquire a severe drinking and crack habit that landed him on the street. He struggled back from addiction and began making records again in the 90s.

Far from being 50s R&B records, Williams' current CD's are skull-cracking exercises in the kind of depravity that the late Screamin' Jay Hawkins used to indulge in. "Silky" is a triumphant, raging comeback of filthy-minded (and filthy-mouthed) garage rock that sounds like the musical equivalent of the wildest night you ever had, multiplied by 10. He drawls and growls his way through songs like "P*ssy Stank," "Bring Me Back My Car Unstripped," and the frankly frightening "Agile, Mobile and Hostile," with impressive panache, especially considering he's 65 years old. This is music to get drunk and pick up strippers and steal a firetruck and rob a bank to.

Back in the day, there used to be preachers who would refer to rock and roll as the Devil's music. Andre Williams' "Silky" is exactly what they had in mind. Listen now, repent later.

5-0 out of 5 stars Silky Rocks Out
This album is hilarious. It is worth buying just for the humor and the stories. It is not recommended if you find references to drug use, dirty sex, and the objectification of women in bad taste. But if you're not a [wuss], you can really enjoy this album. Andre rocks out. Instrumentally, the album is also very innovative, which I would not necessarily expect for a guy well over 65.

2-0 out of 5 stars Another badly produced album spoils a great artist
Like Williams' other recent CD, RED DIRT, this is so badly produced, you have a hard time hearing some of the lyrics--which are the whole point of the exercise. Massively loud, bad guitar work hammers the rest of the mix. (Surprise: The guitarist did dual duty as the "producer" of this mess.) Andre Williams needs to dump these clowns and get the kind of professional production he enjoyed in the 1950s.

5-0 out of 5 stars Raw, raunchy and excellent
This is one of the greatest garage rock n' roll albums EVER! For fans of Andre's early work as well as fans of the Cramps, Blues Explosion, Gories, ect. Mr. Rhythm is king!

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Lord, what he gets away with
"Silky" is actually a garage-rock effort, pretty far removed from Andre's R&B roots. But it's also the greatest garage-rock album of the '90s, and would have fit right alongside the Gories on the Crypt Records roster of the decade. For a 60+-year-old man, Andre's mind is strictly in the juvenile gutter, but at least he's a talented exhibitionist. References to sex (all types) abound, albeit with comparitively little obscenity. Two cuts especially, the obvious "Let Me Put It In" and the jealously apocalyptic "Everybody Knew," make him sound like he's in physical pain. He growls, huffs, and doesn't give a damn what you think. What more could you ask? ... Read more

15. The Black Godfather
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 125785
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Number one album to listen to while intoxicated.
Man, I love this record. It's the voice. I could just about care less as to the indie rock credibility he's gained by playing w/ Blues X, Compulsive Gamblers, etc. and with the Beck-like production to boot. The godfather sings like he is quite literally losing his mind. He screams like he wants the devil to come out of his body. Imagine Joe Cocker in the body of Howling Wolf on some major amphetamines in a padded room. Simple arrangements with nods to punk, surf, metal and soul permeate the background for Mr. Williams, Esq's blow torch vocals, intimations on adultery, drug-dealing, stripping, and just being a godfather. One last thing, play this album late at night with an equal amount of drunk men and women in the same room. Fun.

5-0 out of 5 stars Andre Williams IS the godfather!
It's a tough task for 65 year old Mr. Williams to follow up his astonishing comeback "Silky", but he's done just that - ten fold. This album finds Andre backed by a number of different garage/punk/blues king pins including the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. This album has more of a soul/funk feel to it than "Silky" which was more of a straight garage record. This album is also louder and less lo-fi than "Silky" while still maintaining a crude, raw sound. Songs like "I Wanna Go Back To Mexico" come closer to bridging the gap between the sound of his old Fortune Records recordings and the modern garage sound of his current label In The Red than anything on "Silky". Also, this album has hands-down one of the best album covers ever - a hilarious send up of the whole No Limit/Hip Hop style. Album of the year on the only rock n' roll label that still matters!

5-0 out of 5 stars MR.RHYTHM IS KING!
Andre Williams follows up on his amazing 98 "Silky" (with Mick Collins and Dan Akroyd, ex-Gories) and the soft-edged 99 "Red Dirt" (with his country-band "The Sadies") with a record full of friends, fans and fellows: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, the Countdowns (who were his band on the 98 European Tour), the Dirtbombs, two ex-Oblivians and lots of other members of the CRYP/In The Red/SFTRI - Family. A rambling, kick-ass, dirty-as-rotten AND groovy R'n'R record that will tear you apart and will make your girlfriend RUN you coz she fell in lurve with ANDRE.

5-0 out of 5 stars YOU GOT IT AND I WANT IT !
Mr. Rhythm is back with again a great record !

Buy it ! ... Read more

16. John Lee Hooker [Dressed To Kill]
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Asin: B00000I84X
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 76980
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Dressed To Kill release featuring the best by the King of Mississippi Delta Blues, including 'Boom Boom', 'Dimples' & 'Crawlin' King Snake'. 64 tracks. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome rare Hooker at a bargain price.
This is a great CD. The first CD alone is worth the purchase price. It consists of rare sides transcribed from old 78's from obscure labels like Chance, Staff, Acorn, Regent and others (1948-1950). Plus 5 live tracks w/backing by Muddy's band circa 1960. The sound quality is reasonable considering the source but some of the performances are blood curdlingly awesome. If you don't have any Hooker the other CD's have a lot of his best Vee-Jay sides. There is absolutely no documentation with the CD's except for a track list but it's all killer stuff.

3-0 out of 5 stars Rambling unfocused selection, but good stuff at a good price
Basically this is a lot of stuff tossed into one big pot and stewed together. There's no apparent logic to the selection, and some of the sources are a bit dubious; on the first CD in particular I hear vinyl noise, and the recording quality varies, sometimes from song to song.

BUT...there is some awful good stuff on here, and at a very hard-to-beat price for three CD's that are around an hour each. There's no way to tell when this stuff was recorded; I suspect it was from the 50's and 60s, when John Lee would basically record for anybody who fronted him some cash. As a result some of these recordings have a real guerilla blues, down-home sound.

The first CD mostly consists of John Lee by himself, his big ole foot slamming into the floor, his distorted, honking, blaring guitar, and him growling, singing, mumbling and sometimes shouting over the ensuing racket. This is John Lee at his most primitive. The sound is raw, but if you aren't used to raw-sounding blues recordings by now you shouldn't even be listening to the blues. The recordings are generally clear; it just sounds rude, crude, and vicious. About 3/4 of the way through the first disc a band consisting of snare drum, bass and piano begins to accompany him. Some of these recordings are pretty trashy, but for the most part they work.

The second disc is John Lee with a band. John Lee is not easy to play music with because he tends to turn a 12-bar blues into a 13, 16, or 9-bar blues at will. The unnamed band accompanying him doesn't sound bad at all, but occasionally they have to scramble to keep up with John. Still, they connect with John more often than not and rock out. There are some strong songs and performances on this disc, and some lesser-known songs that will be interesting to blues scholars.

The third disc is definitely from the early 60s and features John Lee with a band again. It seems like the band is a little bit better connected with him than on the 2nd disc. It almost sounds like most of the material is from the same session as the second disc. No way to tell, because there are no liner notes. On the inside of the box is a small 2-page insert which basically gives you the names of the songs on each disc and a couple of pictures of John Lee from the late 50s or early 60s wielding an Epiphone electric.

Overall I would say this CD is worth having. It's not expensive and there's a ton of material on here, and most of it is of good quality. More importantly, the performances from John are strong throughout.

Fans of cleaned-up, sanitized, digitized blues will not be happy with this, but for people who regularly listen to imitators like Jon Spencer, here is the real, rough, crude, barfightin', low down dirty article. The two missing stars are for the absolute lack of sequencing and the total absence of liner notes/musician credits. The three stars are for the fact that it's a big fat hunk of John Lee Hooker's music at a dirt cheap price, and the performances are definitely worth buying this for. ... Read more

17. Boom Boom [Pointblank]
list price: $16.98
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Asin: B000000WJ8
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 116823
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome raw blues
Hooker doesn't play by the rules, and that distinguishes him from most other blues players. His style is raw and gritty, with his right foot stomping. I was only getting to know Hooker when I got this CD, and I was seruiously surprised by the songs where it's just his guitar and his voice: "I'm Bad Like Jesse James", "Sugar Mama", "Hittin' the Bottle Again", and "Thought I Heard". He's clearly not afraid of the imperfections, and that makes these raw guitar-only blues so real. The first time I heard a track like "I'm Bad Like Jesse James" or "Sugar Mama", I was shocked. I listened to it many more times, and the more I listened, the more I loved there blues.

The only problem with some of Hooker's recordings is that there's not enough Hooker on them. His vocals are always there, but I am real hungry for his unmistakable guitar. More often than not on his most recent recordings, he lets his collaborators take the front seat with their guitar (i.e., Robert Cray, Jimmy Vaughan, Carlos Santana, Morrison, etc). I thought that Healer, which a seriously excellent Hooker disk, was more main-stream, for the masses, which made Hooker more popular. But THIS disk, Boom Boom, is about as real and raw as Hooker gets on his recent recordings. That being said, if you are a Hooker novice, Healer or Don't Look Back are the best CDs to start with. After that, you should be more ready for this disk. For fans, this disk is a must.

I like many tracks on this CD, so it's tough to choose a favorite. I'd have to pick from two different styles used on this CD. One style - with a several-piece band, more "blues-as-you-know-it" style. Other style - just Hooker and his guitar. As the song with the band, I'd choose "I Ain't Gonna Suffer No More" because, while with the band, it's got the most of Hooker on it. His vocals got fire in them, his guitar is rough and raw and right by his side. As the song alone, I'd choose "Thought I Heard". The only other person playing on this song is Charlie Musselwhile on harmonica, which only adds to the strange wild-west mystery of this song. Excellent track. Sugar Mama is also an excellent, excellent alone track. Same Old Blues Again is very appropriated named - it's just about same old blues. The casual, rolling blues as you know them. The highlight of that song is Cray's nice long solo.

This disk isn't main-stream, as I said above. It's somewhat of an acquired taste if you are new to Hooker. If you already know Hooker, you'll love it. If you don't know much of his work yet, start with "Don't Look Back" or "Healer". The former is mostly a collaboration with Van Morrison and is an excellent piece of work - Hooker's last CD before his passing. The latter has a host of different guests on it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
John Lee Hooker provided some early memorable historic cuts but this album does not include any. The Healer was a milestone in his revival, Mr Lucky less so and this followup album loses even more of that impact. The album has guests: Robert Cray, Albert Collins, Charlie Musselwhite and John Hammond among others. The only tracks which approach being memorable are 'Same old blues' and 'Boogie at Russian hill'. This album is not often played from my collection.

3-0 out of 5 stars More than one Boom Boom
There is a Pointblank/Charisma CD titled Boom Boom. Its tracklist differs from the K-Tel CD by the same name. Some of the other reviews refer to it instead of the K-Tel release based on the references to song titles. It includes 1.Boom Boom 2. I'm Bad Like Jesse James 3. Same Old Blues Again 4. Sugar Mama 5. Trick Bag (Shoppin' For My Tombstone) 6. Boogie at Russian Hill 7. Hittin' The Bottle Again 8. Bottle Up and Go 9. Thought I Heard 10. I Ain't Gonna Suffer No More. Don't be misled by those reviews into thinking the K-Tel release is better than it is.

3-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre modern Hooker
Anyone who knows Hooker only from his mid-'80s and '90s albums knows absolutely nothing about him. While this is one of the better "modern" Hooker albums, minus most of the annoying guest appearances, this is not even remotely close to being prime Hooker. Everyone knows that (don't they?) Get the real thing. With few exceptions, the earlier the Hooker, the better; and the fewer musicians, the better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hooker delivers basic blues-raw
This CD is raw basic blues delivered with John Lee's complicated guitar strokes and rythms. His use of silence leaves you hanging on the edge of your foot tap. The raw gritty sound of the revisited Jesse James cut gives this song an additional dark side. Bottle Up and Go has you dancing in your seat from the snappy acoustic begining. Boogie on Russian Hill inspires a house party. I highly recommend this album to anyone interested in getting to know Hooker's music and it is a must for a fan. ... Read more

18. Chess Blues Classics: 1957 to 1967
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Asin: B000005KQF
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 88403
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Teasin' Pleaser....
The Chess Blues Classics. Bellisimo, Baby. Great for an intro to the Chicago style post-Delta electric blues music--heck, this is great even if you're a longtime fan. This chronicles Chess Records move to their Michigan Ave. digs and the consolidating of some of their satellite small record companies into one big happy homestead. Bass man extraordinaire Willie Dixon becomes the Chess A & R man, and these Blues? They wail, Man, they wail! Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy, Howlin', Etta, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy!!!! When the Buddy Guy track comes on, you notice how much smoother the recording technology, hence, the Blues itself, becomes. A Little Milton cut has sessionmen Charles Stepney on piano and Maurice White on drums. Etta James house rocks a live audience in Nashville. Willie gives a tune to KoKo Taylor. And Hooker does the Last Call...will you love this? Do you have to ask?

4-0 out of 5 stars Great music
Like its companion volume, "Chess Blues Classics 1947-1956", this CD offers some of the best tracks by some of the best blues musicians of Chicago's famed Chess label.
A couple of selections are debatable, and "Chess Blues Classics" is of no interest to the more experienced blues fan (no rarities). But if you're a newcomer and would like to explore classic electric blues, this is a very fine place to start doing so.

"Chess Blues Classics 1957-1967" includes two excellent cuts by harp legend Aleck 'Rice' Miller (Sonny Boy Williamson II), namely "Help Me" and the magnificent "Fattening Frogs For Snakes", as well as excellent tunes by John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, and legendary bluesmen Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, and slide guitarist Elmore James. And Otis Rush's too rarely heard "So Many Roads, So Many Trains", with its smouldering slow guitar solo, is here as well.

Several of these tracks count among the greatest electric blues performances ever issued, including Howlin' Wolf's "Little Red Rooster" and John Lee Hooker's "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer".
4½ stars. A great place to start.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent doorway into the blues
I bought this CD 4 years ago, not knowing a whole lot about the blues, and it is now one of my favorite albums. An excellent anthology of the classic blues. Anyone who considers themselves a music fan should listen to this CD. ... Read more

19. Live at Sugar Hill 2
list price: $15.98
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Asin: B00006EXKU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 49678
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20. If You Miss 'Im I Got 'Im
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B0000089FC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 62215
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

1998 reissue on BGO of 1970 album for MCA by the legendary bluesman. Earl Hooker is featured on guitar on seven cuts & Paul Asbell is featured on the other two. Nine tracks total.Also features the original cover art. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars If you ain't got....get it.
I have a pretty fair collection of JLH's work--this one rates right at the top of my list of his best (comparable to Live at Cafe Au go go; Don't turn me from you door; Real Folk Blues). This one has it all from a laid back piano oriented tune (The Hookers); some nice organ work; a couple of good all out romps (I Don't care when you go; Bang Bang Bang Bang). An added bonus is the searing guitar work of alleged JLH cousin--Earl Hooker.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great raw JLH
Perhaps because this was the first cassette that introduced me to JL Hooker, but it has remained my favorite all these (11+) years. ... Read more

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