Rolling Stone (3/10/94, p.67) - "...Hearing it, it's easy to understand why Winter seemed such a sensation when he burst out of Texas in the late '60s..."
Personnel: Johnny Winter (vocals, guitars, harmonica, drums); Rick Derringer (vocals, guitar); Edgar Winter (vocals, saxophone); Randy Jo Hobbs (vocals, bass); Bob Margolin (electric guitar); Floyd Radford (guitar); James Cotton (harmonica); Jeremy Steig (flute); Stephen Ralph Sefsik (alto saxophone); A. Wynn Butler (tenor saxophone); Norman Ray (baritone saxophone); Karl Garin (trumpet); "Pine Top" Perkins, Dan Hartman (piano); Tom Shannon, Jon Paris (bass); Charles Calmese (electric bass); Randy Z, Richard Hughes, Chuck Ruff, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (drums); Bobby Caldwell, "Uncle" John Turner (percussion); Carrie Hossell, Peggy Bowers, Elsie Senter (background vocals).
Producers: Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, Edgar Winter.
Compilation producer: Lawrence Cohn.
Includes liner notes by Mark Humphrey.
Digitally remastered by David Mitson (Sony Music Studios, Los Angeles).
A well-chosen two-disc anthology of Johnny Winter's Columbia Records years, A ROCK 'N' ROLL COLLECTION is aptly named. Although rooted in the blues--and although his post-Columbia work is much more authentically blues-oriented--the albums Johnny Winter recorded for Columbia, from 1969's JOHNNY WINTER to 1977's NOTHIN' BUT THE BLUES were at heart rock & roll albums with bluesy tendencies.
Eschewing chronology, the 22 lengthy tracks--more than two hours total playing time--are instead arranged not unlike a really solid mix tape, in an ascending order of intensity. Disc One, for example, builds from the fiery original version of "Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo"--later a hit for its author, Rick Derringer, who plays second lead on this version from 1970's JOHNNY WINTER AND--to a scorching live version of the standard "Baby Whatcha Want Me to Do." There's nothing here a longtime fan won't already own, but it's a note-perfection introduction for the newly curious.