Contains 12 original Muddy Waters singles, many not otherwise available on LP or CD.
Personnel includes: Muddy Waters (vocals, guitars); Jimmy Rogers, Pat Hare (guitar); Walter Horton, Little Walter, James Cotton (harmonica); J.T. Brown (tenor saxophone); Otis Spann (piano); Willie Dixon, Andrew Stephenson (bass); Francey Clay (drums).
Compilation producers: Don Snowden, Andie McKaie.
Includes liner notes by Don Snowden.
Digitally remastered by Doug Schwartz (MCA Studios, North Hollywood, California).
The prime architect of Chicago blues, Muddy Waters made musical history by moving from the Delta blues of his youth to a sound that utilized the galvanic power of the electric guitar. By the second half of the '50s, Muddy was in his prime, each recording a virtual textbook on how to play the Chicago blues. This singles collection represents the cream of Muddy's crop from that period. The sexual tension and carnal undertones implied in Muddy's earlier work had taken center stage by this point. On "Don't Go No Further," "Close To You," and "Rock Me," he is the larger-than-life Hoochie Coochie Man, his deep, authoritative voice fully convincing the listener that his sexual boasts are more than mere bragadoccio. The driving rhythm of his band serves to hammer this point home. Little Walter's pioneering harp work and Otis Spann's piano provide the perfect foil for Muddy's commanding vocal presence as Waters and his cohorts pound out some of the most passionate, visceral music of the 20th century.
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