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  • Howlin Wolf: The Chess Box
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Howlin Wolf: The Chess Box Box set

29 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, November 12, 1991
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$51.14 & FREE Shipping. Details Temporarily out of stock. Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Howlin Wolf: The Chess Box + The Chess Box [2 CD Box Set]
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

71 of the rawest Chicago blues ever recorded! Wolf's greatest sides from 1951-1973, including two previously unreleased acoustic tracks and never-before-heard interviews, and unreleased stereo versions of such classics as Spoonful and I Ain't Superstitious . Two sets of liner notes, too!

Amazon.com

This is probably the best Wolf compilation there is in terms of comprehensiveness and digestibility. The problem with collecting the works of prolific artists is that there's so much material; fortunately, Chess made some good selections. Chronicling Howlin' Wolf's career from Memphis, through Chicago, and on into his later years. There are snippets of interviews, as well as the classic tracks you'd expect: "All Night Boogie", "Howlin' For My Darling", "Evil", "Forty Four", "Spoonful", and "I'd Better Go Now." This box set is a bit much to swallow if you're not already a fan of the Wolf, but if you are, this is a great way to get his best work in one place. --Genevieve Williams

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

  • Audio CD (November 12, 1991)
  • Original Release Date: November 26, 1991
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Chess
  • ASIN: B000002OBL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #56,406 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 67 people found the following review helpful By chris meesey Food Czar on October 2, 2003
Format: Audio CD
If life were a college course in Blues Appreciation, at least three aural textbooks would be required listening: the Complete Recordings of Robert Johnson and the Chess Boxes of Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf. Just purchasing a CD or two of any of the other blues masters will suffice (for awhile anyway), but these three giants produced so much listenable and danceable music that nothing less than complete box sets will do. Even at 71 tracks, this set still feels incomplete; where is Wolf's fabulous live recording of "Highway 49" from the Newport Folk Festival? Or "Do the Do" from London Howlin Wolf Sessions, featuring Eric Clapton and Hubert Sumlin's fantastic guitar figures? But these are minor quibbles. How can you argue with an album that starts with a lonesome Wolf moan ("Moanin at Midnight") and ends (well, one track from the end, anyway) with a frail Wolf teaching a roomful of top blues acolytes (Clapton, Steve Winwood, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts) how to play acoustic guitar on "Little Red Rooster" the way Charlie Patton himself taught Wolf some 40-50 years ago? What an experience! His powerful, gargling-battery-acid voice (only Blind Willie Johnson and Captain Beefheart had more abused throats) now a shadow of it's former self, his commanding presence still moves the assembled royalty of British blues-rock to "get on it" and produce a memorable take. In between are too many highlights to mention, including "Killing Floor" (probably the only song set in an animal slaughterhouse), "Back Door Man" (later covered memorably by the Doors), "I Ain't Superstitious" (also covered well by Jeff Beck Group and Savoy Brown), and most memorably, his signature song "Smokestack Lightning.Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Anyone into the BLUES should have this comprehensive set. Although the early music on the first disc is interesting, the 2nd is really ON TOP OF THE WORLD. Hubert Sumlin is one of the great unsung guitarists of his time (and he's still playing although as a solo) and Eric Clapton paid tribute to him by requesting Sumlin's presence on the LONDON SESSIONS which this set includes some cuts but not enough. His scratchy, wild playing influenced many and some may not believe a lot of this stuff was recorded before Clapton became famous. These 3 CD's are worth checking out for seeing how well Sumlin and Wolf complimented each other.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Alfred Johnson on June 20, 2008
Format: Audio CD
One of my first exposures to the world of Chicago-style blues, after a steady diet of country-style Delta blues, was the Rolling Stones' version of the Willie Dixon classic Little Red Rooster back in the early 1960's. I thought that was a song to beat all songs and it had nothing to do its allegorical nature, you know, about sex. What, moreover, capped it for me the fact that it was originally banned in Boston- from the radio airwaves of the times. Naturally that made this teenager want to hear it even more.

All this is by way of saying-yes; the Stones did a great version of that song but if you really want it heard then you must go to the master- Howlin' Wolf. That big gravelly-voiced man who, in still pictures that I have seen of him as well as film seems to be inhaling the microphone, lets it all hang out as he struts his stuff on that number. In Do the Do, Little Red Rooster, Killing Floor and on and on the Wolf sweats, bleeds, sucks up the whiskey, has another one for good measure and gets down on his knees, sometimes literally, to belt out the blues.

You buy this CD set to get your little hands on Rooster but that is hardly the end of the story. This set contains every classic Wolf song that you could want under one roof, and some interesting Wolf talk in between. What are the ones you want to make sure you hear (and hear over and over again). Well, here is a by no means inclusive short list. Spoonful, The Natchez Burning, Killing Floor, Dust My Broom, I Am The Wolf, Back Door Man, Wang Dang Doodle... hey, wait a minute let's make it easier just get the set, take a few hours off and listen-you won't want to turn the damn thing off.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Nelson - Highway 49 on May 5, 2003
Format: Vinyl
Anyone remotely appreciative of Howlin' Wolf will love this box. A number of tracks feature Wolf's dialogue which is a joy to hear. However its his music that features and this is a sensational place to begin your Wolf library (if you haven't started it already. This box is simply a 'must-have' for any serious fans of Howlin' Wolf - you will not be disappointed.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 5, 1998
Format: Audio CD
If you like your blues hard, rough, and howlin' then this is what you need. His voice means business- when the Wolf speaks people listen. Everytime that I play this set people want to know who it is.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Heering on March 15, 2009
Format: Audio CD
This three CD box set collects the "best" recordings from Howlin' Wolf's long association with Chess Records. Wolf was one of the greatest blues singers of all time, and the vast majority of his recordings were with Chess. He did recorded a number of great tracks for another record label early in his career, which are collected on Moanin' at Midnight: The Memphis Recordings. But even without those recordings this is an essential overview of the career of one of the greatest bluesmen.
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