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Paul ButterfieldVinyl
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Vinyl
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,396 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Paul Butterfield Blues Band Masterpiece April 14, 2005
Format:Audio CD
There are many albums which have introduced a new combined style of music to the masses (e.g. "Are You Experienced", "Sargent Peppers", "Johnny Winter" and "Texas Flood" are some). This set was way ahead of its time. The Butterfield Blues Band had made a name for itself on their first, self-titled, LP as great exponents of the revived Blues Power. The edge this band had was, say unlike Canned Heat, they had two Black musicians from Howlin Wolf's band. Sam Lay, the drummer, is still considered to be one the best Chicago Blues drummers ever and bassist Jerome Arnold. This lineup was impressive. Unlike John Mayall, whose album fired interest in the Blues from the far side of the Atlantic with its pre-Hendrix like overdriven sound and up front guitar. However, the PBBB had people from Chicago, the home of urban blues, who had grown up and played with all the greats. Butterfield, originally a flutist, is probably, along with Charlie Musselwhite, the greatest ever white harp player-his style of single note playing (listen to the record) is very unique and gives it a true horn sound. He had met Elvin Bishop at the University of Chicago and started jamming. Bishop, a native Oklahoman, was a Blues fanatic from the start. He played traditional blues styles on his Gibson 335 in the Freddie King, Eddie Taylor, Luther Tucker and Otis Rush tradition.

Mike Bloomfield, whose father owned a club in Chicago, had only been playing about 10 years when he made this record. He played jazz, blues and fingerpicking styles well. Mike took up slide on a Fender Telecaster and became known around town for his fabluous technqiue-similar to Elmore James. He was hired to play slide in the initial album on "Shake Your Moneymaker" and joined the band.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars East-West is a guitar Mecca February 20, 2004
Format:Audio CD
By now it seems like everything in music has been tried and done - or overdone - and most of it badly. But back in 1966 when this album debuted, it was nothing less than astonishing. A mixed-race band? A white guy singing blues like nobody's business? A Jewish kid and a southern farmboy sounding like Robert Johnson on guitars? None of us had heard anything quite like it and it gave me, a 15-year-old rock&roll wannabee guitar player, something to focus on.
Right out of the chute, this is a strong album. Opening with "Walking Blues", the BBB struts their stuff with strong vocals, soulful harmonica, and wicked guitar. "I've Got a Mind to Give up Living" was most people's first taste of what Michael Bloomfield could do - simply a stunning blues solo to cap off a great twelve-bar blues.
The album highlight, in my opinion, is their rendition of "The Work Song". Always a great jam song, they carried it to new heights. Bloomfield plays a dizzying guitar solo for 4 verses; Butterfield smokes 2 verses on his harp; Mark Naftalin follows with an understated organ solo; Elvin Bishop gets down & dirty for 4 verses. Then it really gets good; trading off every 2 bars, the musicians rotate for a few verses, each time upping the ante on each other as the song intensifies before resolving into a final melody verse. Whatta song!!!
Noteworthy on side 2 is Elvin Bishop's singing and playing on the sultry "Never Say No". Who knew he could sing?
Finally, the album culminates with the title song "East-West", one of those 60's long-songs which were oftentimes wretched excess, but this one keeps your interest. For 5 minutes or so, guitar and harmonica imitate an Indian raga in a slowly building crescendo.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
A lot of bands from the 60s are making semi-comebacks these days through reissues of their albums and critical reappraisal, but quite frankly not many of them were as good as the Butterfield Blues Band. It's a complete mystery to me why Eric Clapton's early work is held in such reverence when it so obviously pales in comparison with what Mike Bloomfield did with the Butterfield Band.
"East/West" was the Butterfield Blues Band's masterpiece. They had already shown on their first album that they had a definite command of the Chicago blues idiom. Here, they open up and branch out without losing the edge and drive of their first recording. The two long workouts, "Work Song" and "East-West," are so far ahead of what anyone else in rock was doing (including the Beatles) that it isn't even funny. This was recorded in 1966, when most bands, if they played the blues at all, were thrashing around doing impersonations of British musicians impersonating the styles of American musicians. In 1966 it was unheard of to have extended solos unless you were playing jazz, and even then you could expect to be razzed by people with short attention spans.
On "East/West," the Butterfield Blues Band cheerfully dispenses with most of the reigning thou-shalt-nots of their time and proceeds to kick down the walls. This is a trend-setting recording that had more impact than people are willing to acknowledge, and it still rewards the listener. A lot of bands stole liberally from this album and have never paid back their debts. Don't you owe it to yourself to check it out and get the real stuff straight from the source?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 channel doesn't garentee good audio.
Great blues but the recording is not what I was hoping for, 4 channel audio that is so-so is so-so!
Published 1 month ago by Pat
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master!
Hey, it's Paul Butterfield, doesn't get much better than this. Groundbreaking when it was first released. Listen to it on YT and appreciate the insane musicianship. Get it - now! Read more
Published 1 month ago by bluejen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic album.
Published 1 month ago by James M Sotomayor
5.0 out of 5 stars Great transaction. Hidden classic that was above what I ...
Product arrived as advertised. Great transaction. Hidden classic that was above what I was expecting musically.
Published 1 month ago by Gere J. Minnick
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent experience!
..Great price, great service, highly recommended! A++++
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are into chicago blues this is an essential ...
If you are into chicago blues this is an essential album. These guys and early Stones were at the forefront of blues revivalism (honors to Mayall with Peter Greene). Read more
Published 4 months ago by Hesse
5.0 out of 5 stars Good album. Good sound
The headline says it all for me. I put it in the player, sit back and listen. Definitely from a certain era but well done.
Published 4 months ago by AEP
5.0 out of 5 stars smokin album
Mind boggling fine playing on this album. Mike bloomfield was as good as anybody in his day its to bad he didnt get the credit he so richly diserved.
Published 4 months ago by jim beasley jr
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable music
This was an album I purchased because many have thought it is a good record. To my surprise, the music was excellent and very enjoyable to listen to. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Brian J. Zercher
4.0 out of 5 stars Hybrid SACD Version
I have had this album my whole life and wanted to get the SACD version more as an experiment for the SACD, as I don't own that many SACD's. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mark D Powers
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