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Howlin' Wolf: His Best (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection)

Howlin' WolfAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)

Price: $13.38 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 20 Songs, 2007 $7.99  
Audio CD, 1997 $13.38  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Moanin' At Midnight (Single Version) 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. How Many More Years (Single Version) 2:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Evil (Is Going On) (Single Version) 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Forty Four (Single Version) 2:46$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Smokestack Lightnin' (Single Version) 3:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I Asked For Water (Single Version) 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Who's Been Talking? (Single Version) 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Sitting On Top Of The World (1958 Single Version) 2:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Howlin' For My Darlin' (Single Version) 2:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Wang Dang Doodle (Single Version) 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Back Door Man (Single Version) 2:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. Spoonful (Single Version) 2:43$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Shake For Me (Single Version) 2:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. The Red Rooster (1961 Single Version) 2:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. I Ain't Superstitious (1961 Single Version) 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Goin' Down Slow (Single Version) 4:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Three Hundred Pounds Of Joy (Single Version) 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Hidden Charms (Single Version) 2:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Built For Comfort (Single Version) 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Killing Floor (1964 Single Version) 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Howlin' Wolf Store


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The blues has been a wellspring for rivers of pop, rock and R&B and there's nothing quite like returning to the source. In the mid-'60s, Chess Records released a series of legendary "best of" albums for Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin' Wolf. Under each artist's name, The Real Folk Blues was issued in 1966 and a More Real Folk Blues ... Read more in Amazon's Howlin' Wolf Store

Visit Amazon's Howlin' Wolf Store
for 97 albums, 5 photos, discussions, and more.

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Howlin' Wolf: His Best (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection) + His Best: The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection + His Best
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 8, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chess
  • ASIN: B000005KQM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,229 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews


Chester Burnett's ferocious growl was a staple of Chicago's electric-blues heyday. This 20-song compilation ranges from his 1951 debut "Moanin' at Midnight" with Willie Johnson on guitar to 1964's "Killing Floor" with Buddy Guy on guitar. His scratchy, sawed-off vocal approach and his energetic harmonica grace original classics such as "How Many More Years" and "Smokestack Lightnin'." By 1960, he became, along with Muddy Waters, the foremost interpreter of Willie Dixon's songs, lending his coarse voice to legendary Dixon cuts such as "Wang Dang Doodle," "Back Door Man," "Spoonful," "The Red Rooster," and "I Ain't Superstitious." Wolf's style was based on primal raw power, and he ranks among the genre's most distinctive performers. --Marc Greilsamer

Product Description

Nobody could howl like the Wolf, and his Chess sessions produced some of the best blues records ever made. And this is the best of the best, including How Many More Years; Smokestack Lightnin'; Killing Floor; Wang Dang Doodle; Back Door Man; The Red Rooster; I Ain't Superstitious; 300 Pounds of Joy; Evil; Sitting on Top of the World , and 10 more Howlin' Wolf classics as only he could do them.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
141 of 144 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is The Real Stuff! May 8, 2000
Format:Audio CD
The first thing you hear on this CD is Wolf's unearthly moaning/humming. It gradually increases in volume until it becomes huge, frightening, and distorted. The reason it's distorted is because his voice is overloading the mike. The sound you hear is the mike fixing to blow up. You're hearing the elements of the microphone being rattled by Wolf's gigantic voice. They didn't have equipment that could take the Wolf full-on. Similarly, no one CD is going to contain all of the Wolf; he was just too damn big. But this CD has all the stuff that sent people like Mike Bloomfield and Jimmy Page scuttling into their bedrooms to try and cop the licks. What they never could imitate was the raw pure attitude of the Wolf, a mighty, mighty man among men, "300 pounds of muscle and man" as he says on this very CD.
This CD has all the classic songs on it. If you know anything about blues you probably have this CD. If you're learning about the blues, GET THIS IMMEDIATELY. It makes nearly all modern "blues" artists sound completely pale and anemic. If you want a real laugh, drag out the Doors' first album and compare Jim Morrison's "Backdoor Man" with Howlin' Wolf's version on this CD. Then ask yourself who REALLY "ate more chicken than any man ever seen." I think the answer will be painfully obvious. This is everything the blues should be: raw, dangerous, edgy, filthy with distortion, snarling guitar from Hubert Sumlin and Pat Hare. Raw visceral blues that does not compromise and takes no prisoners. If blues was liquor, Howlin' Wolf would be straight whiskey. Buy this CD and get drunk.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Single Disc Compilation Available... September 6, 2004
Format:Audio CD
For someone on a budget who is interested in the music of this legendary artist, look no further than this single disc album. The sound and track selection here are excellent. Anyone interested in the blues needs to have at lest one Howlin' Wolf album in their collection and you can't go wrong here. For those interested in further exploring the Wolf's music (or if you have a few extra bucks around), I suggest the Howlin' Wolf Chess Box which contains 3 discs worth of material, but for about 4 times the cost.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This really rates ten stars... October 15, 2001
Format:Audio CD
...there just aren't that many available. When I first started listening to blues music - I had in my mind what a blues artist should sound like. I listened to Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, Buddy Guy, Elmore James, and they all are great - don't get me wrong. But when I heard Howlin' Wolf start up on "I Ain't Superstitious," I knew that was it. Wolf has the best voice in blues, and this is the best collection I've come across of his music. You can make a case for a number of tunes that should be here, but the sound quality and overall impact of the selections just can't be beaten. If you are a blues novice, or just need to hear what the blues should sound like - get it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Electric blues with soul May 31, 2006
Format:Audio CD
As great as they are, I feel like a lot of the bluesmen who went electric in the 40s and 50s -- even the great ones like Albert and B.B. King, Muddy Waters -- lost something in the switch. The soul of the old acoustic blues -- delta blues, country blues -- seemed to disappear, and be replaced with virtuosity and verbal wit. I could still enjoy the music, but it didn't stay with me the way Robert Johnson, Son House, and Skip James did; it felt more like pop music, less powerful, less true.

The only exception is Howlin' Wolf. This is the single electric disc that I feel has some of the old spirit, and it is telling that so many of the songs -- even though they are credited to Wolf -- have their roots in the old country blues. Smokestack Lightnin' and Sittin' On Top of the World are both Mississippi Sheiks tunes; I Asked For Water is a variation on an old Tommy Johnson song.

You can also see the best of both strands represented on the early Willie Dixon songs: Wang Dang Doodle, Back Door Man, and Spoonful. Then you can feel the quality start to slip, the Dixon songs becoming sillier and more commercial; the performances are still gripping, but there is something calculated and less authentic about "Three Hundred Pounds of Joy" and "Hidden Charms," as much energy as Wolf puts into them.

Finally, he realizes that he can do his own material better, and the disc ends with an incredible masterpiece - everything that is great about his music boiled down to the three minutes of Killing Floor: that huge voice, the slashing guitar, those fluid charging rhythms. It took him two days in the studio to get that one track right, but you will never hear anything that sounds more alive. Buy the CD. This is what music is for.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MOANIN AT MIDNIGHT! December 20, 2005
A Kid's Review
Format:Audio CD
this album is, again, great. yes, it's me again. i'm the kid who reviewed the chess box yesterday. i'm here to review every howlin' wolf album. they all have 5 stars. anyway, my favorite song on this is 'moanin at midnight.' i think it's one of my favorite songs ever. it's also on the chess box, but i think this version is better. the other good song on this is 'killing floor.' how can you not want to dance after hearing that?! i could hear those 2 songs over and over and never get tired of them. when i was a little kid i used to play the 'moanin at midnight' single over and over on my record player. but now i have it on CD!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Glad that you stocked it.
HowIin' Wolf is a favorite of mine. You were the only site that stocked him of the several that I visited. Glad you stocked him. Read more
Published 9 months ago by james johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to have one Howlin' Wolf
This man was the man. Raw power, bluesy, strong voice... just every thing you would imagine a master bluesman to be. Great compilation of the classics. Love it.
Published 10 months ago by Jorge Barbarosa
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock and Roll
If you love the music from the late 60s and early 70s then this needs to be in you music collection. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Robert Eddy
5.0 out of 5 stars Every song a classic
Blues is not my favorite genre, but I can't stop playing this CD. Volume 2 has one or two I like, but this one is one great song after another.
Published on February 24, 2012 by DG
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the Wolf
Every song is good but you have to love his voice. He really has a unique way of interpreting songs. Read more
Published on November 3, 2011 by Michael L. Sweet
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sound That Still Resonates
So very glad to have this CD. It's exactly what I expected when I ordered it. The sound quality is good, and the wolf's howl is wonderful. Read more
Published on November 18, 2010 by HARRIET KESSLER
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievably Good
We have been listening to this CD since receipt. As blues lovers, we are constantly searching for the best and this is definitely a must have for anyone who likes the blues. Mr. Read more
Published on August 23, 2010 by Rayna
5.0 out of 5 stars It was worth each star!
I have been waiting to review this CD, which says a great deal about the quality of the music. This was my introduction to Wolf's music, and it was a most memorable... Read more
Published on June 23, 2008 by Mitch
5.0 out of 5 stars More of the Hour of the Wolf
This review was used for Howlin' Wolf: The London Sessions. Except for the references to the Rolling Stones it applies here. Read more
Published on April 7, 2008 by Alfred Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Blame it on the sopranos
It was the use of "Goin' Down Slow" in an episode of The Sopranos' last season that finally prompted me to correct a long running omission: no Howlin' Wolf in my collection. Read more
Published on December 31, 2007 by Southern Man
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