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King of the Blues Guitar

Albert KingAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

Price: $10.70 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 17 Songs, 2005 $9.49  
Audio CD, Import, 2012 $20.43  
Audio CD, 1989 $10.70  
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Albert King is truly a "King of the Blues," although he doesn't hold that title (B.B. does). Along with B.B. and Freddie King, Albert King is one of the major influences on blues and rock guitar players. Without him, modern guitar music would not sound as it does -- his style has influenced both black and white blues players from Otis Rush and Robert Cray to Eric Clapton and ... Read more in Amazon's Albert King Store

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Frequently Bought Together

King of the Blues Guitar + Born Under a Bad Sign + In Session [Deluxe Edition CD/DVD]
Price for all three: $30.46

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 18, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000002I7H
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,717 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Laundromat Blues
2. Overall Junction
3. Oh, Pretty Woman
4. Funk-Shun
5. Crosscut Saw
6. Down Don't Bother Me
7. Born Under A Bad Sign
8. Personal Manager
9. Kansas City
10. The Very Thought Of You
11. The Hunter
12. I Almost Lost My Mind
13. As The Years Go Passing By
14. Cold Feet
15. You Sure Druve A Hard Bargain
16. I Love Lucy
17. You're Gonna Need Me

Editorial Reviews


These 17 tunes come from King's most fertile period, his 1966-68 tenure at Memphis's Stax Records. Stax chief Jim Stewart had been reluctant to sign blues artists because he felt straight blues wouldn't mesh with Stax's patented Memphis soul. Ironically, the fusion of King's sharp guitar wails with the dynamic rhythms of Booker T. & the MGs--the Stax house band--was what set King apart from other bluesmen. The unique blend produced classic after classic: Booker T. Jones' rolling piano propels "Laundromat Blues." Al Jackson's drum shuffle supports "Crosscut Saw." The driving horns of Andrew Love, Wayne Jackson, and Joe Arnold accent "Born Under a Bad Sign." King's ripe and mellow vocals are a perfect match for the soul-drenched music while his dramatic string bends leap out. --Marc Greilsamer

Product Description

The cream of the crop of the blues legend's acclaimed '60s Stax work. Includes "Born Under A Bad Sign."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This was my very first Albert King LP. It was released as the height of the 1960s Blues Mania and so did very well with white listeners. However, the album is really a re-release of several singles and additonal session material that was done at Stax during 1966-1968. The real story is that Atlantic stole the whole Stax catalogue under a clever distribution agreement. This lead eventually to Stax's total demise in the Mid-1970s.

The album is a great overview of King's early period with Stax. Actually, it is a double album- the seminal album "Born Under A Bad Sign", with additonal cuts. All bonus tracks are originally from that Stax classic album-the most influential Black Blues LP of the late sixties.

The tunes include his classics such as "Laundromat Blues" Albert's first Stax release with his soulful double string bends, "Overall Junction" a mono instrumental masterpiece, that unlike Albert Collins or Freddie King tunes has no primary melody "or head". He offers "Born Under A Bad Sign" a tune he recorded in one take as an overdub to the MG's backing track, "I Love Lucy" is a great example of his talking blues abilities (he was one of the best) and the guitar is super raw with superb bends! "Cold Feet" a tune written with drummer Al Jackson, Jr (who also helped him on "Night Stomp" and produced his famous "Live Wire" set) it is a great talking blues with a catalogue of King licks-it was his second highest charting single. "You Sure Drive A Hard Bargain and You're Gonna Need Me" are later cuts that were added on the release of the original LP. "Bargain" was a cover a another R&B tune with a great Memphis Horns chart and "Need Me" is a self-penned Albert Classic that became the basis for Otis Rush's "Right Place, Wrong Time".
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Composite LP!! October 23, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This disc is a composite of 2 of Albert King's late 1960s studio albums: "Born Under A Bad Sign" (on Stax), and the Atlantic "King Of The Blues Guitar" LP. So many good tunes here, like "The Hunter", "Born Under A Bad Sign", "Oh Pretty Woman", "Kansas City", etc. I wish Atlantic had reissued this with it's original Stax cover art, but that's a minor gripe. One of the best blues guitarists ever, this disc is his complete output for Stax/Atlantic. Don't miss it, it's a classic!!
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues with a big sound August 7, 2000
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A physically imposing man, Albert King produced blues of uncommon vitality and power. His sound is well represented in this strong sampling of his work on Stax.
Every blues singer, male or female, living or dead, of any note developed a unique vocal style, and Albert is no exception. His drawl-like phrasings and frequent spoken asides (as on "Cold Feet") place a strong personal stamp on these tunes. My personal vocal favorites are "Landromat Blues," the aforementioned "Cold Feet," the often-recorded "Oh, Pretty Woman," and "You Sure Drive a Hard Bargain."
Then there's "I Love Lucy," his ode to his guitar. While you might be tempted to dismiss it as a copy cat version of B.B. King's "Lucille," don't make that mistake. Naming guitars is a long-time tradition, and Albert's tune is as different from B.B.'s as the two great bluesmen's guitar and vocal styles are. Both men can make their guitars cry, but the sound of tears and laughter come from two different women.
Oddly enough, I downgrade the CD version slightly from the original vinyl -- not enough to change my overall assessment of the release, but the added material could be stronger. Of the six bonus tracks, I consider only the mournful "As the Years Go Passing By" a significant addition to the package. Stax would have been very well advised, I think, to leave off, in particular, "The Very Thought of You," a great tune, obviously, but not one that is up Albert's alley.
Nonetheless, you'll have a great time with "King of the Blues Guitar." Albert will get a lot of argument about that assessment, but there's no question that he's a member of blues royalty.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the best Albert King stuff April 30, 2006
By Denis
Format:Audio CD
Agreed - this is some of the best songs I heard Albert play on record. Truly an excellent collection. You'll hear not only Albert's awesome soulful singing but also a LOT of intense blues guitar, which is truly "King". The sound quality leaves more to be desired, but it is acceptable. Material more than makes up for it. I played this record to someone who's never heard Albert King's material before and they were shocked. I'm a fan of Albert King, and this is a valuable disc in my collection.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King of the Blues Guitar February 25, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is my absolute favorite recording by Albert King. I had the album for years and literally wore it out playing it. I finally got the CD to replace my album and was pleasantly surprised to find it included some additional material not on the LP. Any collection of blues material is not complete without this.

Albert King's "Personal Manager" is one of the best examples of why he was such a genious. The soft, syncopated piano, the delayed introduction of horns, the gradual build of energy in his voice and the blazing guitar lead send chills up my spine. I love this CD.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Albert King's Stax recordings from the 1960s.
This 17-track compilation offers an excellent overview of Albert King's Stax recordings of the 1960s. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Justo Roteta
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Album
Although i wish i would have purchased his other Greatest hits album. Either way this is a good record to have.
Published 8 months ago by Donald Rodgers Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Album
All around great album from one of the great Kings of the blues. Some of the recordings are better than others and there are one or two songs where the vocals seem to fade out,... Read more
Published 10 months ago by R. Sterba
2.0 out of 5 stars Still waiting
This is my second order with this company on England. My first time I had to contact seller, after receiving only 1 cd out of 2 I ordered. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Robert Elwin Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Gotta love Albert
I bought this CD to replace my worn out LP. Nothing new here, just classic Albert King. If you are not a fan of the blues then Albert is the place to start. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Bluesman
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars
I was introduced to Albert King through the album In Session with SRV. Love the music on this one, only docked it a star for the recording quality. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Andrew
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues King
Apart from B.B. King, I guess Albert King will always be the king of the Blues, especially with this album being a witness to King's Blues.
Published on April 11, 2011 by Sky High
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive Albert King
This is the CD that has the music for which Albert King is best known. Great choice if all you want is one Albert King CD with the music for which he's known and that you're most... Read more
Published on April 6, 2011 by Clark Kent
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues Guitar at its finest.
Albert King plays a great guitar. Wonderful to listen to. Each note is full of bluesy emotion. Can't go wrong with this purchase.
Published on June 10, 2010 by R. Lau
5.0 out of 5 stars Hakara
Maybe not the most intense representation of Albert King but a good example of his versatility. Highly recommend!
Published on September 8, 2009 by James Hakara
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