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Riding With the King

504 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 13, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

When it comes to the greatest rockin' bluesmen in history, at the top of the electrified traditional list is B.B. King; at the top of the contemporary list is Eric Clapton. Riding with The King brings the two living legends together for an entire album for the first time. When it comes to rockin' blues, Riding With The King is as great as it will ever get. Certified Multi-Platinum (2 times)by the RIAA. (2/01)

It sounds like the beginning of a story: "So, Slowhand and the King of the Blues were riding in a car ..." If this is a musical journey, it's the kind that rolls down long, empty stretches of country highway at 80 miles an hour, with the top down and the stereo blasting. Clapton and King may be more city than country, but this collection has the relaxed, laid-back feel that only comes from a pair of veterans doing what they do best. What they do here is cover 12 classic blues songs, many of them staples of King's repertoire, so the title of this album makes sense. Whether it's the rollicking rock & roll of the title track, or the acoustic shuffle of "Key to the Highway," or the sweet notes of "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer," a real sense of pleasure comes through on this album, the kind of pleasure one gets from jamming late at night with a good friend. --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.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Riding With The KingEric Clapton & B.B. King 4:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Ten Long YearsEric Clapton / B.B. King 4:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. Key To The HighwayEric Clapton / B.B. King 3:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Marry YouEric Clapton / B.B. King 4:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Three O'Clock BluesEric Clapton / B.B. King 8:36$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Help The PoorEric Clapton / B.B. King 5:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. I Wanna BeEric Clapton / B.B. King 4:45$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Worried Life BluesEric Clapton / B.B. King 4:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. Days Of OldEric Clapton / B.B. King 3:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. When My Heart Beats Like A HammerEric Clapton / B.B. King 7:09$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. Hold On I'm ComingEric Clapton / B.B. King 6:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
12. Come Rain Or Come ShineEric Clapton / B.B. King 4:11$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 13, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: June 13, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B00004THAY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (504 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,410 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

159 of 169 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Forget any apprehensions you may have had about this pairing of blues legend B.B. King and guitar god Eric Clapton. This CD should satisfy fans of King, Clapton and blues purists alike. Unlike the sometimes strained vocals on Clapton's 1994 blues album From The Cradle, there is nothing forced about this collaboration.
Some of these songs are reworkings of some of King's earliest sides like 1951's "Three O'Clock Blues," where King's single-note leads are balanced against Clapton's more fluid runs. And Joe Sample's piano playing is stellar throughout. Or the slow blues of 1954's "Heart Beats Like a Hammer" and 1955's shuffling "Ten Long Years," where Clapton steps back from the mic and lets King's vocal carry the song. (Although with Clapton now in his mid-fifties, he's nearly twice as old as King was when he first recorded these songs and has earned the right and acquired the ability to sing the blues with authority as he does on the rest of the tracks on this CD.)
Whether they're playing the acoustic blues of Big Bill Broonzy's "Key To The Highway," a funky version of the Sam and Dave classic "Hold On I'm Coming" or the electrifying "Days Of Old," these two artists play the blues with conviction. And the supporting cast is superb, including guitarists Andy Fairweather Low and Texas blues sensation Doyle Bramhall II. (In fact, two of Bramhalls's songs from last year's Jellycream--"Marry You" and "I Wanna Be"--are included here.)
The only song that at first glance seemed out of place was John Hiatt's title track, but once I hit the play button any misgivings I had immediately disappeared. There is not a false note on this album.
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193 of 210 people found the following review helpful By John Kamer on June 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Ok, I'm a tad biased as I'm a huge Clapton fan (heck, he's still "god" in my book). The disc shows how to giants in the guitar world can show restraint and taste by sharing guitar and vocals. Clapton's tone is so sweet, pure strat and BB, well, he's the best at those short, jabs and staccoto licks. The playing is never over the top, which is a good thing, but adding the true bite or smooth emotion each song deserves. This album combines old blues gems like "Ten Long Years" & "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer", with Derek and the Dominoes "Key to the Highway" (done acoustic, a real treat) along with a few contemporary R&B covers penned by Doyle Bramhill II "Marry You" and "I Wanna Be" (Doyle also plays rhythm guitar on this disc...he's gotta be smiling !).
Texas blues great Jimmie Vaughan adds a few biting solos to "Help the Poor". The backing band is also very tight and some of the finest around...Andy F. Low (guitars, EC's sideman) Nathan East (bass), Steve Gadd (drums), Joe Sample (piano) and Tim Carmon (B3 Organ.
The overall feel of this is "good time" blues, bouncing rhythms and the two blues guitar masters having fun. It's not the heavy sound of EC's "From the Cradle", but more like BB's "Blues on the Bayou".
A great cd that will no doubt win a Grammy and delight millions of blues fans (not to mention guitar players, like me).
Super summer driving tunes like the title track or "Marry You" will have their melodies locked into you head for days.
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70 of 74 people found the following review helpful By R. Graham on June 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
You can read other reviews here that comment on the excellent playing and signing by both blues greats.
I would like to comment on the way this album was mixed - EC's vocals and playing come from the left channel and BB from the right. All other sounds seem to be well balanced between right and left.
I really enjoyed this effect - it gives the performances an almost live sound. With a decent home system (some digital sound fields) you can almost see EC & BB smiling back and forth as they play in a classic blues small venue.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The other reviews say it all, from one perspective to another, the consensus is this album is a winner! One reviewer remarked that it would be a Grammy contender. That was my thought exactly on my second listen through. When Eric stated 5 years ago that he was going to go the "Blues" route, I hoped he meant it. Not that I did not like Pilgrim, I do, but you have to appreciate it with its Curtis Mayfield flavor. Riding with the King is the direction Clapton has to go in. He can do more for himself and other Blues greats by making the rounds and playing on disc or live with as many as he can. This not only continues the work begun with From the Cradle, but takes it to an entirely new level. Bravo EC and BB!
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By TomC on August 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I live in Memphis.One perk of this unfortunate geographic challenge is the legal dispute that forces BB King to perform at his original club on Beale Street on rare occasions. The performance dates are not advertised far in advance, so we locals have a chance to see a show. I watched BB from 6 feet away last year. This album recapitulated some of that incredible experience. It is hard to overestimate the impact of BB King on todays music.
I have always been a Clapton fan (although he is not terribly gifted in the vocal arena). In his words "BB is my hero". This is obvious on the CD, even the cover is a tribute- BB relaxed in the back of the convertible with Lucille, Clapton is driving and having a great time.
Despite Eric's prodigious talent, he is overshawdowed by the relaxed yet vibrant delivery of the master. Track 10 "When my Heart.. ." Showcases BB's mastery, track 11 "Hold on ..." allows a side-by-side comparison of the respective abilities.
Nevertheless, this is now one of my favorite Clapton albums. I admire him for putting this together. There may never be another album that links the Delta Blues to modern rock with such style, grace, enthusiasm, and honesty.
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