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  • The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions
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The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, March 4, 2003
$36.96 $8.28

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Many have wondered how Wolf interacted with young Eric Clapton, Stevie Winwood, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman when they recorded The London Sessions in 1970. This fascinating deluxe edition contains the original LP, three cuts from London Revisited , 12 unissued tracks from the sessions and lengthy studio dialogue.

Shipping sixtysomething blues icon Howlin' Wolf to England in May 1970, accompanied by his guitarist Hubert Sumlin, was a crapshoot. Wolf’s health was poor and he hadn’t recorded outside of Chicago since 1954. Not surprisingly, Wolf’s London excursion remains a mixed bag. Certainly, the participants’ hearts were in their music--with the notable exception perhaps of Wolf's--but the result never quite gelled. When the Brit rockers such as Eric Clapton the Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts dug into his songs, they collided with the ornery bluesman. Producer Norman Dayron later overdubbed Steve Winwood and Lafayette Leake’s keyboards (along with horns on a few tracks) to salvage the sessions. Of all the classic Chess albums, this is an odd choice to expand with a second disc of outtakes, none of which are particularly revelatory. Still, Clapton is fiery throughout, and Wolf, although not in prime form, is never less than convincing. Though often criticized, most notably by Clapton himself, Howlin' Wolf's London Sessions offers a worthy--though not essential--snapshot of the legend in his waning years. -Hal Horowitz

Disc: 1
1. Rockin' Daddy
2. I Ain't Superstitious
3. Sitting on Top of the World
4. Worried About My Baby
5. What a Woman!
6. Poor Boy
7. Built for Comfort
8. Who's Been Talking?
9. Red Rooster
10. Do the Do
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Worried About My Baby (Rehearsal Take)
2. The Red Rooster (Alternate Mix)
3. What A Woman (Alternate Take)
4. Who's Been Talking (Alternate Take)
5. Worried About My baby (Alternate Take)
6. I Ain't Superstitious (Alternate Take)
7. Highway 49 (Alternate Take)
8. Do The Do (Alternate Take)
9. Poor Boy (Alternate Take)
10. I Ain't Superstitious (Alternate Take)
See all 12 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 4, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 1971
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Chess
  • ASIN: B00006LLOB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,304 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

I can tell you the likes of that!
Kenny b Natural
Aside from those fairly minor gripes, there's not really anything to dislike about this album if you enjoy listening to great musicians play great music.
Amazon Customer
London Howlin Wolf Sessions from 1969 is this album.
Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Greg Tallent on September 29, 2002
Format: Audio CD
When you take Howlin' Wolf-one of the greatest Chicago bluesmen ever-and put him together with Eric Clapton, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts and Steve Winwood, what do you get? You get one exciting blues album. I read somewhere that blues purists don't like this album, but I know from listening to it that this is pure, electric, energetic, rockin' blues.
The album starts off strong; the first thing you hear is Clapton's beautiful slide guitar riff on "Rockin' Daddy." On this track, we have Phil Upchurch on bass, Winwood on piano, The Wolf's long time lead guitarist Hubert Sumlin on rhythm guitar, Charlie Watts on drums, and The Wolf himself singing the vocals in his famous growling stlyle. We hear a wonderful solo from Clapton, who plays off the melody of the tune beautifully.
Ringo plays drums on "I Ain't Superstitious" and the results are awesome. With a horn section (Joe Miller, Jordan Sandke, Dennis Lansing) holding the roots of the chords, and Clapton playing a slide riff to back The Wolf's vocals, we get a truly great jam.
The rest of the album is as exciting has the first two songs. We hear Jeffrey M. Carp's soulful harp on "Sittin' On Top Of The World," and The Wolf's vocals are just as astounding. Clapton adds another creative solo, again playing off the beautiful melody of the song. Later in the album, we hear the amusing Willie Dixon tune "Built For Comfort" in which the horn section mentioned before adds its unique touch. "Highway 49" is one of the highlights of the album, with classic guitar riffs and The Wolf's soulful, bluesy singing. You get the feeling that no one could sing this song like The Wolf. Basically, when buying blues, you can't go wrong with Howlin' Wolf. Overall, this album is excellent. It is a beautiful display of classic blues performed by an all-star cast.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Todd and In Charge VINE VOICE on March 16, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Given the drubbing over the years by purists and other blues snobs who never liked the idea of impressionable rock-star Brits recording with their American blues legend masters, I expected this disc to sound as bad as other entries in this genre, such as the Chuck Berry London sessions. Surprise!! It's a lot better than expected.

Pinned by Wolf's regular guitarist and joined by an on-fire Eric Clapton, these recordings are spirited, enjoyable, and go down real easy. Stevie Winwood contributes solid organ/piano lines,and the bass and drum support of Stones engines Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman is effortless and in the pocket.

Why the criticism? I think it's mostly intellectual, rather than visceral. Yes, Wolf has sounded better, and the concept is a bit cute, but the results speak for themselves and stand the test of time. This is a comfort album, more for kicking back and enjoying the groove, rather than for someone looking for the definitive performance by any of the participants.

One point mentioned by a fellow reviewer with which I totally agree: The "bonus" disk is a shameless attempt to charge double the normal price for this re-release. There's nothing in it worth paying for. The best part of the rehearsal sessions is actually on the original release, where a cranky Wolf shows Clapton how to properly play the slide guitar....priceless, memorable, and one of the small charms of this album.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Johnny Heering on September 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
After the success of Muddy Waters' Fathers and Sons album, Chess Records decided to do something similar with Howlin' Wolf. So, they got young rock stars like Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts to record with Wolf. The results were good, although not as good as Wolf's older recordings. Practically all of these songs had been recorded by Wolf before, in better versions. Wolf's voice was not quite as strong as it once was, and the younger musicians didn't quite mesh with Wolf as well as the old bluesmen he usually worked with did. But this is still an enjoyable album that blues fans should enjoy.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Michael Strom on July 18, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Howlin' Wolf sings his classic songs. The Rolling Stones rhythm section of Wyman & Watts. Clapton plays lead guitar & Stevie Winwood handles the keyboards. Really, is there any way this could have gone wrong? Well, it didn't. The band never would have forgiven themselves if they'd screwed it up.
If you had taken Wolf out of the equation, these guys probably could not have fit their swollen heads & bloated egos into the same room. But they did it for Wolf, & they did it the right way.
Clapton's lead lines, fills & solos were creative without getting showy -- he worked to make every song better without making it the Eric Clapton show. Wyman & Watts had it the easiest, since they always checked their egos at the door w/the Stones while pushing the beat. Winwood contented himself to just be a sideman for an entire album, which may have been the biggest surprise of all.
So, is this a Blues album or a Rock album? Either or both. In fact, it is the best evidence available of how little difference there could be between the two, properly approached. OK, it may be just the teensiest bit too antiseptic to be a genuine Blues album. That having been said, it is perfect for what it is. The acolytes giving props to the elder master, helping him to a late career payday that he surely needed, and the master acknowledging that (as we say on the South Side these days) the kids could play. All concerned acquitted themselves honorably.
It sounded great in the '70's, & still does.
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