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Hard Again Extra tracks, Original recording remastered

4.9 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Hard Again
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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, May 18, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

2004 REISSUE,REMASTERED WITH ONE BONUS TRACK.YOU CAN HEAR PRODUCER JOHNNY WINTER COLLABORATING THROUGHOUT THE ALBUMS 10 TRACKS.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 2004)
  • Original Release Date: May 18, 2004
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 49 minutes
  • ASIN: B00023GGGW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #152,397 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
June 29, 2004

Title: Hard Again

Title: I'm Ready

Title: King Bee

Artist: Muddy Waters

Rate: Great

When it rains it pours...

Telling someone with even a modest interest in "GREAT" music to check out a Muddy Waters album is like telling a baseball fan the New York Yankees have had some good players. In an honest discussion Muddy Waters was the foundation that defined popular music in the 20th century.

If there is any question, allow me to erase it now, Muddy Waters, more than Elvis or Chuck Berry or ANYONE ELSE birthed the sound of rock n' roll. Oh yeah, Elvis made it sexy and Chuck gave it lyrics but Muddy birthed it and nurtured it. When the Beatles rolled off the boat in the early `60's all the great blues artists and many of the (white) rock artists got rudely shoved aside. When Johnny Winter got signed in the late `60's he was rumoured to have been the first "rock" solo artist to have received a million dollar recording contract. Go figure! Anyway, within a decade Winter was at the recording helm breathing new life into the great Muddy Waters recording career with these three albums.

In 1977 Johnny and Muddy would release the critically acclaimed album, Hard Again. It was on this album that Waters would re-record his older hits using a `modern' recording studio with one of his great bands including; Pinetop Perkins (piano), James Cotton (harp), Willie `Big Eyes' Smith (drums), `Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin (guitar) and Charles Calmese (bass). I can remember the buzz on this album being so strong that, as a high school senior, going in to purchase the brand new (and only) Sex Pistols album AND the Hard Again...which harkens me back to the time when it was the music that mattered!
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Format: Audio CD
If you are a fan of the blues, and more importantly, Muddy Waters, this is the beginning of an essential triad that marked the grand finale of a long and storied career of the seminal blues figure of American music. For all the talk about Robert Johnson and Charlie Payton, the blues would never have evolved without Muddy Waters. There are any number of great CDs available from his career, but none as protean as the final three he did with Johnny Winter, plus the MUDDY MISSISIPPI WATERS LIVE CD and THE WOODSTOCK ALBUM guided by Levon Helm. These are the very last of his efforts and they are precious documents of the man who plugged the guitar in. Think about that just for a moment.
The remastered LIVE CD is an honest and uncompromising document of the Waters band in full flight, and while what was the official release suffers from Winters' presence, the second disc of the set is just so amazing that words fail to convey its power. While I am no fan of Johnny Winters, his work at the controls and in the studio with Waters through the course of these recordings is truly genius. This particular disc is as raw and as primal as the blues gets. It features Muddy's band, including Pinetop Perkins, Bob Margolin, Willie Smith, Calvin Jones Luther Johnson in a fired up, red hot, incendiary mood, and they simply burn through the catalog. This version of "Mannish Boy" is the most feral you'll ever hear. "Deep Down in Florida" steams like the Everglades in August. "The Blues had a Baby" rocks with a hip grinding intensity. "I can't Be Satisfied" threatens all sorts of promiscuity, and "Crosseyed Cat" is as quintessentially a part of African American humour (which is also a key element of the blues) as it gets. A bonus track is added from the sessions.
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Format: Audio CD
As a dumb teenager of 13 years, I first encountered Muddy Waters on the RISKY BUSINESS soundtrack, where buried between Jeff Beck and Bob Seger was "Mannish Boy" (the version found here, on HARD AGAIN). At that braindead age, I jumped the needle to get to "Old Time Rock&Roll". Man, was I dumb.

A few years later, I found that album and listened to the song I was skipping. I was blown away. I had to have more and bought HARD AGAIN. Best money ever spent, period. From the opening of "Mannish Boy" to the National Steel on "I Can't Be Satisfied" to the ultra funky "Cross-eyed Cat", this is the shizzle. Muddy's voice is ultra powerful, Johhny Winter and Bob Margolis interplay their guitars seamlessly and Pinetop Prking just about steals the show. Add Jerry Portnoy's harmonica and you get the most fantastic blues album ever.

If you like music, you must buy this.
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Format: Audio CD
There's not really anything about this album not to like.

Muddy Waters? Forceful, energized, professional, singing with the same incomparable power and vigor he possessed in the 50s, and which he had struggled to recapture in the decade preceding this album. Moreover, he sounds like he's having the time of his life. The phrase "infectious enthusiasm" is very apropos here.

Johnny Winter? All he does is handle the equally demanding jobs of lead guitarist and producer, and does both flawlessly.

Bob Margolin, James Cotton, Willie Smith, Charles Calmese, Pinetop Perkins? All play in an inspired fashion, driving the songs like a freight train and pushing each other to new heights seemingly by the minute. Cotton's harp screams like no harp before or since, while Smith lays down the kind of pocket that guitarists and bass players dream about at night. Calmese's playing has just enough of a funky '70s edge to make the material sound contemporary and relevant while not detracting from its Chicago roots. Margolin plays with a tastefulness and restraint which belies his young age at the time, and Pinetop is...well, Pinetop.

Old songs? This isn't a popular sort of thing to say, but the reworkings of Muddy's '50s classics presented here (particularly "Mannish Boy" and "Walkin' Through the Park") sound as good or better than their original Chess counterparts. That's not an insult to Jimmy Rogers or Little Walter, it's just the way it is.

New songs? "Crosseyed Cat," "Jealous Hearted Man," and "The Blues Had a Baby" are as good as any blues music ever recorded. Ever.

In summation, if you don't already own this album, stop wasting your time with this silly review and buy the damn thing. Right now.
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