Saturday, June 21, 2014

38 The Muddy Waters Anthology (2001) Muddy Waters

Disc one

  1. Gypsy Woman
  2. I Can't Be Satisfied
  3. I Feel Like Going Home
  4. Train Fare Home Blues
  5. Mean Red Spider
  6. Standin' Here Tremblin'
  7. You Gonna Need My Help
  8. Little Geneva
  9. Rollin' and Tumblin' Part One
  10. Rollin' Stone
  11. Walkin' Blues
  12. Louisiana Blues
  13. Long Distance Call
  14. Honey Bee
  15. Country Boy
  16. She Moves Me
  17. Still a Fool
  18. Stuff You Gotta Watch
  19. Who's Gonna Be Your Sweet Man When I'm Gone?
  20. Standin' Around Cryin'
  21. Baby Please Don't Go
  22. Hoochie Coochie Man
  23. I Just Want to Make Love to You
  24. I'm Ready
  25. Young Fashioned Ways
  26. I Want to Be Loved

Disc two

  1. My Eyes (Keep Me in Trouble)
  2. Mannish Boy
  3. Sugar Sweet
  4. Trouble No More
  5. Forty Days and Forty Nights
  6. Just to Be with You
  7. Don't Go No Farther
  8. Diamonds at Your Feet
  9. I Love the Life I Live, I Live the Life I Love
  10. Got My Mojo Working
  11. Rock Me
  12. Look What You've Done
  13. She's Nineteen Years Old
  14. Close to You
  15. Walking Thru the Park
  16. Take the Bitter with the Sweet
  17. I Feel So Good 
  18. You Shook Me
  19. My Home is in the Delta
  20. Good Morning Little School Girl
  21. The Same Thing
  22. You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had
  23. All Aboard (Fathers & Sons)
  24. Can't Get No Grindin'

All hail Muddy Waters, the most complete blues package to ever walk the earth. There has never been, and there never will be, a man who is so completely and utterly Blues as Muddy Waters.

The Voice.

Muddy's voice is a beautiful thing. It's deep and expressive and it sounds like it's had pain. It speaks truth. The problem with a lot of white boy blues artists is that when they sing they don't sound convincing. They can talk about how their woman left them with nothing and they're starving, lonely and sad but their voice sounds like they're rich, happy and a few minutes away from stepping into a room full of groupies. Muddy sounds like he has the blues. He sings like a man who has never had a happy relationship  and staggers through life relying on cheap booze to get him from gig to gig. Unlike a lot of his contemporaries, Muddy sounds great when accompanied by himself on a guitar or when he's fronting a big band. He only needs six strings to accompany his music but even if you throw in drums, bass, piano and horns, his voice is still the most powerful instrument in the room. When Rolling Stone made a list of their top vocalists of all time, Muddy came in at number 53, personally I would have put him higher.

His guitar

There aren't too many artists who make Rolling Stone's top vocalists list and at the same time earn a place on their list of top guitarists. Muddy Waters is one, coming in at 53 on the first and 49 on the second. While this chronological release starts off with his earlier low key blues outings it moves into his band era which provides an opportunity to showcase his stinging lead guitar work.

His Songwriting

Waters wasn't just a guy who recorded the blues, he helped to shape it. His songwriting ability has provided us with some of the most recognised and remembered Blues staples. Rolling Stone, Rolling and Tumblin, Trouble no More, Honey Bee, Got my Mojo working,  and many others are great Blues tracks which have inspired generations. There may be those who want to quibble and claim they're based on earlier songs but then so is every damn blues song anyone ever wrote. That's what the Blues was.

His Band.

Muddy Waters was enough of a talent in his own right but he had an ability to gather great musicians around him and bring out their best. The anthology features the guitar talents of Jimmy Rogers and Buddy Guy, the piano of Otis Spann and the harmonica of Little Walter and Junior Wells. It's also got the bass of Willie Dixon but more importantly features a lot of Dixon's songwriting skills. Willie gave us Hoochie Coochie Man, I just want to make love to you, You Shook Me and dozens of other great blues tracks.

His Life.

Nobody knows how old Muddy Waters was when he died. He grew up not knowing his birthdate and how many years he'd been on the planet. That's very blues. That's authentic blues right there. If you want my respect then tell me you don't know how old you are and you don't care and your woman left you and you've got no money so birthday's don't matter much no how.

His name.

Muddy Waters. The guy's name is Muddy Waters. Obviously it's not but that doesn't matter it will always be how we know him and it's perfect.

Muddy Waters had a long and distinguished career as a blues pioneer, innovator and all around genius. There are a million compilations out there but this one is easily the best. It showcases all his greatest moments in two discs. If you want to hear the music that influenced Led Zeppelin (You shook me), The Grateful Dead (Good morning little schoolgirl), The Rolling Stones (I Just want to make love to you), Bob Dylan (Rolling and Tumblin), Elvis Presley (Got my Mojo Working), The Allman Brothers Band (Hoochie Coochie Man), Aerosmith (I'm ready) and thousands of others then this is the place to start. It's blues and it's the real deal.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "McKinley Morganfield - a.k.a. Muddy Waters - started out playing acoustic Delta blues in Mississippi. But when he moved to Chicago in 1943, he started with an electric guitar."

-That's the entire review. Not so much a review as a factoid.

1 comment:

  1. That is one big lived in voice right there. Respect , respect, respect. Glad he moved to Chicago and not Utah.