Tuesday, February 23, 2010
B.B. KING - Kansas City [Blues Nº1] 1972
This is pure blues, in 1972 B. B. King was in great shape and this is the recording of a memorable concert. It kind of feels like you're there, in Kansas City while you're listening to this record; King talks to the public, he introduces, joking, his great musicians and plays wonderfully his guitar Lucille. A record that no blues lover should be without.
This album is a masterpiece and deserves much greater acclamation. It captures B.B. King's guitar playing at its finest and cements his position as a guitaring legend to anyone in doubt. The sensational playing in this album defines the concept of 'soulful' playing.
To my disappoint, I usually find that B.B. King's albums are drowning in backing orchestration, with too much percussion and too many brass instruments. The arrangements in this album however, are much simpler and the lack of backing instruments allows B.B. King's guitar playing and epic singing to dominate. A simplified approach gives a record a much more soulful feel, which is much more suiting than the usual jovial big-band sound which I find inappropriate for the genre (unfortunately there are still 2 or 3 songs on the album where this style is used, including the introduction - so don't be put off straight away). Every track on this album is great and features something unique.
I believe that this is one of the most underrated albums of all time and I am shocked that this is its first review. I would rank it in my top five. B.B. King himself said that he thought 'Live at the Regal' was not his best work, despite its major success. I wonder if he had 'Live in Kansas' in mind when he said that. (I personally think that the only track of any worth on Regal is 'Worry, Worry')
If you are a fan of B.B King or an aficionado of soulful Blues in general, then you must undoubtedly buy this album.
01. Introduction 3:29
02. The Thrill Is Gone 5:04
03. Sweet Little Angel 5:11
04. Nobody Loves Me But My Mother 4:50
05. Guess Who 3:51
06. King's Shuffle 3:17
07. Outside Help 7:38
08. I've Got A Mind To Give Up Living 5:31
09. Ain't Nobody Home 7:23