John Lee Hooker

The Hook: 20 Years of Hits & Hot Boogie

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John Lee Hooker's excellent Vee-Jay material of the 1950s and '60s has been reissued time and time again, both in the U.S. and in Europe. The Hook is a 16-song CD that Chameleon released in 1989 for its Vee-Jay Hall of Fame series. As was the case with other Chameleon reissues of Vee-Jay material, The Hook's liner notes are inadequate -- neither personnel nor recording dates are listed. But the disc's sound quality and content are nothing to complain about. Many of his essential Vee-Jay recordings are here (including "Boom Boom," "Whiskey and Women," "Dimples," "Crawling Kingsnake," and one of his many remakes of "Boogie Chillen"), along with rare versions of "House Rent Boogie," "Nightmare" and "Big Legs, Tight Skirt." Because hits and rarities are combined, The Hook isn't really a best-of collection -- and, in fact, Chameleon also reissued a CD titled The Best of John Lee Hooker.

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