John Lee Hooker

The Best of John Lee Hooker [JCI]

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This was hardly the first collection titled The Best of John Lee Hooker, and it certainly wouldn't be the last. JCI released this particular CD in 1990 as part of its Masters of the Blues series, and the collection shows just how poorly executed the series was. The liner notes are embarrassing -- neither personnel nor recording dates are listed, and there is no mention of the labels the material was recorded for (which included Vee-Jay and Chess). JCI does both CD buyers and Hooker a disservice by not being more informative. The label does offer a generous helping of material. Eighteen songs are provided, including celebrated versions of "Boom Boom," "Whiskey and Women" and "Baby Lee." The digital remastering isn't terrible, but it could have been better. Consumers would do better to look for a best-of that isn't so carelessly assembled.

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