Howlin' Wolf was a force of nature, and the legend of the Wolf starts with the sessions that produced these tracks. Recorded in Memphis in 1951 and 1952 at Sun Studios with the legendary Sam Phillips producing, seven of these cuts were leased to Chess Records, leading to Howlin' Wolf's eventual move to Chicago and a productive tenure with Chess. The rest of the tracks went unreleased until the 1970s, and bootlegs have circulated for years. The music here is raw, even by Wolf's standards, and the sound isn't always the best, but the sheer power and energy of these performances gives them a ragged, intangible charm. His official Chess sessions are only a little more refined, but are probably the place to start to sample this amazing bluesman.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett