Take a moment to realize the huge influence this man has had on Rock N Roll and popular music as a whole. In 1962 The Rolling Stones formed in England taking their name from his 1950 song “Rollin’ Stone”. In 1967 Jann Wenner created Rolling Stone Magazine after that same song. Along the way he has influenced countless British and American Rock & Blues musicians, not to mention his direct involvement in turning up the volume of blues with the introduction of electronically amplified instruments.
When you think of Muddy Waters you probably think of his Chess Records hits. Most people don’t realize that Muddy first recording was in 1941 while living on cotton farm in Mississippi way before the guitar had been amplified electronically – he was playing good old acoustic country blues from the Mississippi Delta. He was recorded by none other than Alan Lomax (& John Work III) the famous American field recordist for the Library of Congress. Once Muddy moved to Chicago in the mid 40s his first records were with the Chess brothers original record label, Aristocrat records. Muddy didn’t officially record for Chess Records until 1950 when the label was born. From 1950 – 1975 Muddy records many sides and albums for Chess but the majority of his best songs come from the years 50′ – 58′. After Chess was sold to a few different companies in the 70s Muddy recorded a few albums for CBS/Sony, most notable are Hard Again and I’m Ready.
I put together a playlist of my favorite Muddy Waters tracks spanning his whole career. Keep in mind you will be unable to find an official release that compiles all his best songs spanning his whole career because of licensing rights. The best compilation of Muddy’s overlooked original Lomax recording is called The Complete Plantation Recordings. The best career retrospective compilation (believe me there are many) that I could find is called The Anthology released in 2001 by MCA Records. This 2 CD set features Muddy’s best tracks from his Aristocrat recording in the late 40s and all his best stuff from his many years at Chess Records. Lastly a few songs from his best CBS/Sony recordings which I mentioned above are also included.
If you don’t see the embedded playlist below, follow this link.
Posted originally: 2009-07-12 17:08:11