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King Bee Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, May 18, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00023GGI0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,179 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
This final document from the end of his storied career is a blend of studio tracks that were not quite finished for what would have been his third CD with Johnny Winter at the helm, plus a few additional tracks from the previous two years' sessions. While this did not garner the acclaim on its initial release that the other 2 CDs did, it may actually, in its remastered form, be the best of the bunch. Haunting in a way that Johnny Cash's last CD is, this is the sound of a man who knows he has come to the end of the crossroads, as it were.
From the previous sessions you have the full band at full throttle and the intensity is devastating. From the uncompleted sessions, the songs are more introspective, more intimate, perhaps truer to his cotton field roots than he had been in a very long time, and they are positively spiritual. But what trily sets this apart are the final two bonus cuts that somehow wrap and sum up the legacy of Muddy Waters: "I Can't Go On" amd "Clouds in My Eyes" are so upsetting because these are in fact his very last songs recorded. They are his best as well. Odd that inadvertenetly he would save the very best for last, but these two songs will haunt your soul much as Cash's rendition of "Hurt" does. Columbia and Johnny Winter and the remastering team have done the world of music a very great service in preserving and restoring these tracks.
Bob Margolin penned intimate and heartfelt liner notes for each of these reissues that are so to the point that they bring you inside the world that Muddy lived. For this last session, they all knew the end was near and somehow drew strength inspite of the oncoming sorrow from their leader's bravery and integrity and deep down grit.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD lacks the feel-good, party-time atmosphere of the rest of Muddy's Blue Sky period. According to Bob Margolin's liner notes, the somber atmosphere of these recordings were due to a discontent between Muddy and the band over money. Some of the tracks are actually outtakes from 1977 sessions to complete the album. The band quit, and Muddy carried on performing live until his death in 1983.
The two outtakes are excellent additions and worth upgrading this CD in your collection. But if you'd rather listen to a blues band having a great time in the studio, buy Hard Again or I'm Ready instead. They are both a better listen than King Bee.
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Format: Audio CD
"King Bee" is the last of the three late-seventies/early eighties-albums produced by Texas blues guitarist Johnny Winter, and it is also a slightly lesser record than its two excellent predecessors, "Hard Again" and "I'm Ready", mainly because the track list isn't quite as strong.
But that doesn't make it a bad album by any stretch of the imagination...66-year old Waters is backed by virtually the same band that he worked with on "Hard Again" and "I'm Ready", and the arrangements are superb, making even somewhat mediocre songs like the light-weight "Champagne And Reefer" and the generic "Too Young To Know" work quite well.
And the good songs certainly outnumber the mediocrities:
There's the classic, shuffling "Mean Old Frico Blues", Muddy Waters' fine take on Slim Harpo's "King Bee", the slow blues "Sad Sad Day", the supremely funky "(My Eyes) Keep Me In Trouble", and the acoustic masterpiece "I Feel Like Going Home" (superb Son House-inspired slide guitar playing by Johnny Winter).
3 3/4 stars...definitely recommended, although it probably shouldn't be your first Muddy Waters-purchase. But a good collection of solid, professionally executed blues music which will certainly appeal to Muddy-fans.
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Format: Audio CD
This is the last of the classic trilogy with Muddy working with Johnny Winter; the other two albums are Hard Again and I'm Ready.

The Chicago Blues Muddy played had not changed in thirty years. But Winter's production, particularly his micing the band back to get a ressonent sound, made Waters slam harder. Pure blues that sounded like hard rock.

Many of the players here are blues vetren's. The modern sound only increases the attack, depth and bite of this salt of the earth music.

Essential album of essental music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The more you know about modern blues,rock and electric guitar, the more you realise that it was Muddy that CREATED a sound,a drive and urgency that changed everything...literally bringing country blues up from the deep South and instantly synthasizing everthing that was happening in Chicago into a new sound to influence EVERYONE that followed.
Listen to this album and then look for Muddy in the work of Hendrix, Cream,Jeff Beck,Robbie Robertson,Mike Bloomberg,Duane Allman,Derek Trucks and on and on.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There are some very good reviews here, so I won't go into the particulars, but after reading them, I was balking on picking this up. I'm glad I did. It is of the same quality as Muddy's other Blue Sky recordings, Hard Again, I'm ready, & Muddy Mississippi Waters Live (Legacy Edition). All produced by Johny Winter. If you like those, you'll like this, the final studio recording from a master of the blues. I highly recommend them all.
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