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B.B. King - MR. BLUES ((Vinyl))

B.B. King

B.B. King - MR. BLUES ((Vinyl))

$ 19.59 $ 23.98

To suggest that B.B. King's ABC-Paramount debut LP Mr. Blues (1963) is stylistically diverse is an understatement. Granted, cohesion might not have been a top-shelf priority to a label which actually sandwiched Mr. Blues between releases by Fats Domino and the N.Y. Salvation Army Staff Band. Another equally legitimate rationale is that the album was filled with a dozen tracks cut at three disparate sessions. These chronologically commence March 1, 1962 with the Maxwell Davis Orchestra. Then, nearly seven months later -- on September 19, 1962 -- King is backed by Belford Hendricks and ensemble. Finally on April 11, 1963 he joins Teacho Wilshire to collectively produce enough material to cobble together this compilation. Fortunately, half of Mr. Blues is derived from the superior Davis-led recordings, highlighted by the Ahmet Ertegun-penned "Chains of Love" -- a hit for blues shouter Big Joe Turner -- while Ivory Joe Hunter's "Blues at Midnight" allows King to show off his own brand of blues testifyin'. Equally enjoyable are the ebullient "I'm Gonna Sit in 'Til You Give In" and "My Baby's Comin' Home," as they bear the distinct presence of King's nimble guitar craft. Belford Hendricks took King through the decidedly more sensitive "By Myself" and "A Mother's Love" with comparable arrangements that bring King's intimate vocals to the center of attention. Hendricks' uncertainty as exactly how to present King is evident on the garish orchestration of "Tomorrow Night" and the Jesse Belvin co-penned "Guess Who." Yet those missteps pale when compared to the overbearing singers who smother the Teacho Wilshire-led "On My Word of Honor" and the opener "Young Dreamers." Perhaps one initial direction for King was as a Johnny Mathis-type of crooner, as these scores indicate him offering little more than over-the-top lead vocals. While Mr. Blues is far from a total washout, there are much better examples of B.B. King's mastery as a singer and guitarist circa the early '60s. ~ Lindsay Planer

  • RSD Release Date: n/a
  • Genre: Pop