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The Chess Box [Box set]

Willie DixonVinyl
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 36 Songs, 1988 $18.99  
Audio CD, Box set, 1990 $24.47  
Vinyl, Box set, 1990 --  
Audio Cassette, 1990 --  

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Image of Willie Dixon


Willie Dixon's life and work was virtually an embodiment of the progress of the blues, from an accidental creation of the descendants of freed slaves to a recognized and vital part of America's musical heritage. That Dixon was one of the first professional blues songwriters to benefit in a serious, material way -- and that he had to fight to do it -- from his work also made him an ... Read more in Amazon's Willie Dixon Store

Visit Amazon's Willie Dixon Store
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (January 2, 1990)
  • 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: MCA
  • ASIN: B00004VOIF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #678,487 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. My Babe
2. Violent Love [#]
3. Third Degree
4. Seventh Son
5. Crazy for My Baby [#]
6. Pain in My Heart [#]
7. (I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man
8. Evil
9. Mellow Down Easy
10. When the Lights Go Out
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Spoonful
2. You Know My Love
3. You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover
4. I Ain't Superstitious
5. You Need Love [#]
6. Little Red Rooster
7. Back Door Man
8. Dead Presidents [#]
9. Hidden Charms
10. You Shook Me
See all 18 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dixon IS The Blues On The Essential 2CD "Chess Box" April 24, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Willie Dixon gave the blues (and, by proxy, rock and roll) much of its identity and personality. As a songwriter, he created some of music's most indelible images: the Back Door Man, Little Red Rooster, Hootchie Coochie Man, and Seventh Son. He not only gave British and Southern rock and roll much of its early repetoire, but his songs became their monikers ("Spoonful," "Pretty Thing"). He played bass on many seminal Chess Records sides (for Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry), and himself recorded several first-class singles.
Chess celebrates Dixon's legacy on the 2-disc "Chess Box," and hearing these original versions is a revelation after exposure for years to their classic rock covers. Hear Waters' "You Need Love," and "You Shook Me," Little Milton's "I Can't Quit You Baby," or Sonny Boy Williamson's "Bring It On Home." Led Zeppelin covered these over their first two LPs, but could only amplify the raw power of Dixon's original words and melodies.
Dixon's prowess also shows through his influential bass work and the sides he did solo and with his group, The Big Three. Highlights here include "Crazy For My Baby," the humorous "Walkin' The Blues," and the acoustic "Weak Brain, Narrow Mind."
So, applying Willie Dixon's place in music history to freshman logic class goes like this: Dixon once named an album, "I Am the Blues." He also said in the liner notes, "As long as American music survives, so will the blues." Therefore, as long as American music survives, so will the songs of Willie Dixon. "The Chess Box" proves that to be no boast.Essential.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting addition to the "Chess Box" series November 16, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Willie Dixon is the featured performer on only six of these thirty-six songs. But he is there on the rest as well, composing, producing, playing bass, and usually taking a back seat to stars like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter and Bo Diddley.

All of these songs are written and composed or co-composed by Willie Dixon, including classic blues hits like Little Walter's "My Babe", Bo Diddley's "Pretty Thing", Muddy Waters' "Hoochie Coochie Man", and Howlin' Wolf's magnificent "Hidden Charms" with its fiery guitar solo.

But there are many other superb songs here as well, including lesser-known tracks like the delightful jazzy number "Violent Love", performed by Dixon, guitarist Ollie Crawford, and pianist Leonard Caston, and Dixon's own performance of the catchy "29 Ways".
Eddie Boyd's "Third Degree" is here too, co-written by Dixon, and from Howlin' Wolf's incredible catalogue comes "Evil", along with "I Ain't Superstitious", and "Little Red Rooster".
Little Milton performs "I Can't Quit You Baby" (usually associated with Otis Rush), Willie Mabon contributes the excellent "Seventh Son", and Muddy Waters' "I Just Want To Make Love To You" ranks among the highlights as well, as do Little Walter's rendition of "Dead Presidents" and Jimmy Witherspoon's take on "When The Lights Go Out".
Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) usually composed his own songs, but he pops up as well, doing "Bring It On Home".

Willie Dixon's "Chess Box" is a great collection of 50s and 60s blues, proving if proof was needed that Dixon deserves his place alongside the greats of Chess Records, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters and Rice Miller.
Furthemore, the sound is impeccable, and this fine set includes a well-illustrated and annotated booklet.
4 1/2 stars - highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Songs of Chicago December 23, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Looking at the track listing for this album shows just what an impact Willie Dixon's songwriting had on Chicago Blues and popular music in general. The list of Chess artistes featured on this album speaks for itself. This is almost the "Best of Chess".
It's remarkable the number of songs on the album that were covered or "expanded on" by bands of the sixties and seventies: "I Just Want To Make Love To You" and "Little Red Rooster" - The Rolling Stones. "Spoonful" - Cream. "Back Door Man" - The Doors. "You Shook Me", "Bring It On Home", "I Can't Quit You Babe" and "You Need Love"(Whole Lotta Love) - Led Zeppelin. It's also worth noting that several songs we normally associated with Muddy Waters or Howlin' Wolf were in fact penned by Dixon.
"Third Degree" was covered by Eric Clapton in recent years. "Evil" is an excellent vehicle for Howlin' Wolf's voice. "Mellow Down Easy" has an unusual rhythm. "I Just Want To Make Love To You" is probably now better known for the Etta James version, rather than the Stones, thanks to TV. "I'm Ready" is one of my favourite Muddy Waters tracks. It's a perfect example of that unique Chess "sound". Little Walter's harp sound in the solo is unearthy.
Disc 2 features a series of classic Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters songs, with fine guitar from Hubert Sumlin on the Wolf tracks. There's a change of mood for the acoustic "Weak Brain, Narrow Mind", one of 5 tracks featuring lead vocals by Willie Dixon. He plays bass on many of the songs.
I would recommend this album to anyone you has enjoyed the covers of these songs, and is interested in hearing the originals. Or indeed to anyone who likes Dixon, Wolf, Muddy, or any of the artistes featured.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Willie Dixon is a master of the blues.
Willie Dixon is a master of the blues as a song writer, singer and as a brilliant musician. It is amazing what a prolific writer he was. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rick.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Blues
I love the old sound. I can't get enough of the old jazz & blues of the 50's & 60's
Published 10 months ago by Joy S Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Ulimate Blues
What can I say - a collection of blues masters together on 2 CDs. You con't go wrong with this set. I'm buying another one for my mate's birthday.
Published 11 months ago by GLAJMA
4.0 out of 5 stars A great bunch of music
Although few songs on this set are actually sung by Willie Dixon himself, this collection showcase's his talent as a writer as well as performer. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Peter A. Brazie
5.0 out of 5 stars CHESS SET
WILLIE DIXON-THE CHESS BOX: Two cds hardly constitute a "box"...perhaps CHESS SET would have been a more imaginative title, but there's certainly no denying the immense quality of... Read more
Published on December 18, 2011 by Jukebox Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Willie Dixon says all that's needed...
If you love the Blues AND you love Willie Dixon, this is one set ya' gotta have! After hearing Willie's "I Am The Blues" we wanted to hear more. Read more
Published on August 12, 2011 by LakeKids
3.0 out of 5 stars Box SET
Arrived on time and in excellent order but in a ridiculously large box with a couple of devils pillows to keep it company. Read more
Published on March 29, 2011 by Shaun
5.0 out of 5 stars Still great after so many years
He is a genius. Saw him about 43 years ago (does tha tell you my age?) and he just is so good
Published on May 27, 2010 by peter H. calcott
5.0 out of 5 stars blues lover
love the music but the only problem is I unknowingly bought a cassette instead of a cd. the way it is written makes it unclear. Read more
Published on November 19, 2009 by H. Purcell
5.0 out of 5 stars home of Chicago Blues
This guy made Chess records, and wrote many of the songs. He also took many of the artists to Europe, which led to the English Rock fascination with the blues.
Published on March 25, 2009 by Denver B. Cornett
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