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B.B. King: Take It Home

Album Notes

Personnel: B.B. King, Dean Parks, Paul M. Jackson Jr. (guitar); Wilton Felder (bass, saxophone); Dennis Quitman, Larry Williams (saxophone); Kim Hutchcroft (baritone saxophone); Steve Madaio, Gary Grant (trumpet); Jack Redmond, Charles Fendley (trombone); "Stix" Hooper, James Gadson (drums, percussion); Paulinho da Costa (percussion); Julia Tillman, Maxine Willard, Luther Waters, Oren Waters (background vocals).

Producers: Stewart Levine, Wilton Felder, "Stix" Hooper, Joe Sample.

All tracks have been digitally remastered.

The raw, real sound of B.B. King's blues was not exactly in vogue in 1979. The notion of "unplugged" would not come into fashion for another decade or so, and popular music was edging closer to a more-is-better approach to production. Perhaps in response to the prevailing aesthetic, King employed the substantial talents of Joe Sample and the Crusaders on TAKE IT HOME to make a record that would be accessible to more than just the blues aficionados of the world.

TAKE IT HOME covers many popular styles of the time: an '80s-style party groove on "A Story Everybody Knows," laid-back funk on "Tonight I'm Gonna Make You a Star" and smooth jazz on the title track. Of course, since it's a B.B. King record, there is blues, but it's a pumped-up blues. Traditional three-chord tunes like "Happy Birthday Blues" and "Second Hand Woman" are made gargantuan by big horn sections and prominent back-up vocals. Of the blues numbers, "I've Always Been Lonely" sounds the most timeless, with King's off-hand vocal eloquence and lovely fills and soloing proving that regardless of era or production, he can tear it up in inimitable fashion.


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