Monday, September 10, 2007

No. 141: Live At The Regal

Band: B.B. King
Album: Live At The Regal
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: With blues being one of the preeminent music genres that formed rock and roll, B.B. King is one of the first names everyone associates with the blues. As such, his great live record fits has some of his best songs ("Every Day I Have The Blues," "Worry, Worry," etc.).
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: While a fine album, it does not contain King's most famous song, "The Thrill Is Gone." Still, this is a fine placement.
Best song: "It's My Own Fault" is great.
Worst song: I like every song on the record, though I'm not really in love with them. They're all good, but few are great.
Is it awesome?: It's good, but I may not be the person to judge.

Despite my ambivalence towards it, "Live At The Regal" is wildly important. Like a lot of the blues artists, King wasn't well-known by white audiences until bands like the Rolling Stones brought blues to the mainstream.

Recorded in 1964 and released the following year, "Live At The Regal" was one of the records that put King into the public's consciousness. His slow-burn blues is considerably different that type of blues that Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson. Certainly, putting it in context of a guy like Johnson; "Live At The Regal" is a fully formed record. Having a horn section and a full band, King's guitar-playing isn't out to the focal point on a lot of songs.

Overall, it's a fine record. Because blues isn't my favorite music style and this particular type of blues isn't my favorite (I prefer Johnson's and Waters' style), a lot of the songs work well in the background, but are not my favorites.

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