Although some may argue whether they're the "greatest" blues artists or not, there's little arguing that all ten featured artists on Greatest Blues Legends are legendary to some extent or another. Problem is, not all of the songs here illustrate why these greats are legendary -- thankfully, the Rolling Stones named themselves after a Muddy Waters song other than "Funky Butt." Sadly, "Funky Butt" is the featured Muddy here, even though MCA Special Products presumably could have chosen anything from Waters' prodigious recordings for Chess. That problem also plagues the T-Bone Walker selection, who is represented by "Goin' to Funky Town," of all things. The Jimmy Reed ("Heartaches & Troubles"), B.B. King ("Ask Me No Questions") and Buddy Guy ("Stone Crazy") inclusions aren't nearly as bad, but they're nevertheless not the first songs you think of when you hear their names. The remainder of Greatest Blues Legends is considerably more reasonable -- Koko Taylor's "Wang Dang Doodle," Little Milton's "We're Gonna Make It," Elmore James' "Call It Stormy Monday" and Howlin' Wolf's "How Many More Years" are all classics -- and that is what makes it an acceptable, entertaining budget-price compilation, despite all of its flaws.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine