The Chess Box : Muddy Waters Review

The best thing I can say about this Muddy Waters Chess box in this review is that it’s one of the best (and only) recordings I actually went out of my way to purchase in a store in this decade. If you don’t have this in your blues collection – then you don’t have blues!

Ratings: 5.0 from total of 20 ratings.
Price: $49.98
 

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For the completist, this three-CD, 72-song box remains the definitive collection of one of the leading lights of Chicago blues. The collection spans 25 years, beginning with rare early recordings with pianist Sunnyland Slim and moving through Waters’s peak ’50s period, which offered the legendary support of Jimmy Rogers, Little Walter, and Otis Spann. Luminaries including Pat Hare, James Cotton, Earl Hooker, Buddy Guy, and Pinetop Perkins all make valuable contributions to his ’60s work. Along with his original hits and his noteworthy Willie Dixon interpretations, Chess wisely includes his lesser-known covers of Big Bill Broonzy, Howlin’ Wolf, Guitar Slim, Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, and Sonny Boy Williamson. –Marc Greilsamer

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5 thoughts on “The Chess Box : Muddy Waters Review”

  1. McKinley Morganfield was born in Mississippi in 1913. He was given the name of Muddy Waters by his grandmother at an early age.

    Muddy Waters was one of the Blues musicians who was deftly able to make the transition from the cotton field, delta, acoustic blues, to the electric sound which has remained with us since. He not only made the transition, but set an example for others.

    Disc one of the box set covers the period 1947-1954. Disc two covers the hits of the 1950’s, many of which inspired English rockers who were preparing to hit the shores. And Disc three covers the latter period from 1960 through 1972. It should be noted that there are recordings before and after the time periods on this box, and as such, this box set could not be termed “all inclusive”. Not covered are the very early years of Muddy’s singing, as covered by The Complete Plantation Recordings. And the Blue Sky recordings (I’m Ready; Hard Again; King Bee) of the 1980’s cover the latter part of his career. This box set covers the meaty, main portion of his career and are definitely the set to get if you are going to get just one for your collection. The book that comes with this 3-CD set also gives a very nice overview of Muddy’s life and career, something that the mp3 downloads cannot do.

    Muddy Waters was one of the most influential blues singers of all time and influenced generations of singers who came after him. If you plan on getting only one collection of Muddy Waters, I would strongly recommend this 3-CD set. You can now buy the songs individually through Amazon, but it is strongly recommended to buy the box set en total.

    They get no bluer than this. Muddy was, and is, the real deal.

    Highly recommended. 5 Stars.

  2. I love all these songs. The only problem I have is, there are recordings of these songs that are much longer. Mannish boy, Long distance call, Got my mojo working, She’s 19 Years old, and many others have versions where the song is over 5 minutes. Unfortanately, these are all short versions.

  3. 72 tracks on this compilation, and not a single flaw.

    The Plantation Recordings from the early 40’s and his late 70’s albums produced by Johnny Winter are all fine, because again, he just couldn’t open his mouth and sing a BAD song.

    But leave these ones alone, and get The Chess Box (Everything he has done for Chess between 1947-1972). Just like other Chess artists (Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy) – the Chess years are his best by far, and the tracks put chronologically here serves you ear and historic sense great.

    The music here is absolutely astonishing – Muddy’s clear, throaty famous vocal and whining slide work, Little Walter’s/James Cotton’s weeping harmonicas, Otis Spann on piano and all the other members of this legendary blues band.

    5 stars without a doubt. Just get it.

  4. This is simply the best collection of blues recordings ever! If you like the real blues, you must add this set no matter the cost. It makes you long for music that can be felt and not just heard like most anything recorded in the last quarter century.

  5. This three CD box set covers the Chess Records recordings of Muddy Waters. Muddy was unquestionably one of the all time greatest blues singers, as the 72 songs included here amply prove. The earliest song here is from 1947 and the last song is from 1972. There are more songs from the early years than the later years, and rightly so, because most of his “classics” were recorded early in his career. The box does include all his classic songs, plus several rare and unreleased songs. This is a must get for any fan of the blues.

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