Howlin' Wolf

Memphis Days: Definitive Edition, Vol. 1

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These are Howlin' Wolf's earliest and rarest sides recorded at the Sun studios, as raw and explosive as blues records come. Much of this was issued on various European albums during the '70s, always transferred off of muffled-sounding copy tapes. These 21 tracks (all but two of them off the master tapes) feature the amp-on-11 guitar work of Willie Johnson and the cave-man drumming of Willie Steele; they're loose and somewhat chaotic, with Wolf sounding utterly demonic. The real bonus on this volume is the first-time inclusion of both sides of the only known acetate of Wolf's first session at Sam Phillips' 706 Union Avenue studio from 1951. With only Johnson and Steele in support (no bass, no piano), these early versions of "How Many More Years" and "Baby Ride with Me (Riding in the Moonlight)" are Wolf at his most primitive.

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