B.B. King

The Thrill Is Gone

Composed by Rick Darnell / Roy Hawkins

Song Review by

B.B. King's biggest chart success in the pop arena, "The Thrill Is Gone," provided him with a long overdue crossover hit in 1970. Using a blues-rock basis for the main melody, King casts the entire song in a very heavy jazz feel and flavor, attacking each verse with a world-weary vocal and some radical and sinewy guitar arpeggios. The feeling of breaking free from a possessive lover is the main basis for the lyrics, and King's use of blues imagery is perfect for the song, which indeed provided real release. But its the song's overall groove that is the star here, giving the overall piece a definitive atmosphere. This is, in fact, the lesson that he had been teaching all of his students from Michael Bloomfield to Eric Clapton in the '60s, and although many of their records preceded his on the charts, it was this exquisite piece at the dawn of the '70s that defined the blues movement. The single version is a necessity, but the extended live version on Live at San Quentin is extremely potent, and gives the listener the same feel in a bigger, more grandiose package.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Live at the Regal 1965
Completely Well 1969 MCA 5:25
Live in Japan 1971 MCA 5:36
The Best of B.B. King [1973 MCA] 1973 MCA
Now Appearing at Ole Miss 1980 MCA
No Image 1986 Charly Records
No Image 1987 A*Vision Entertainment
Stormy Monday 1988
Original Soundtrack
Virgin 5:05
Live at the Apollo 1990 GRP 3:33
The Best of the Blues [MCA Special Products] 1990
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 5:33
Live at San Quentin 1991 MCA 6:24
No Image 1991 Image Entertainment
Ain't Nobody Home!: The Very Best of B.B. King 1991 MCA 5:28
No Image 1991
Various Artists
Warner Reprise Video
No Image 1992 MCA
Why I Sing the Blues 1992 MCA 5:28
No Image 1992
Various Artists
MCA
Feelin' the Blues [GRP] 1993
Various Artists
GRP 5:24
Blues Brother Soul Sister, Vol. 2 1994
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment 4:58
The Very Best of B.B. King [1994 MCA] 1994 MCA 5:25
Soul Patrol, Vol. 1 1994
Various Artists
Ripete Records 5:24
Live in Kansas City 1994 Blues Factory 5:04
The R&B Box: 30 Years of Rhythm & Blues 1994
Various Artists
Rhino / Rhino/Warner Bros.
Born Under a Bad Sign [Alex] 1995
Various Artists
Alex 4:55
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Virgin
Billboard Hot Soul Hits: 1970 1995
Various Artists
Rhino 4:02
Blues Summit Concert [Video/DVD] 1995 MCA
Heaven's Prisoners 1995
Original Soundtrack
Code Blue
B.B. King & Friends [Allegro] 1995 Cleopatra 4:54
Blues Story, Vol. 1 1996
Various Artists
ITC Masters / Intercontinental Records 4:53
No Image 1996 GRP
Rock On 1970 1996
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 5:28
World of Blues [ZYX] 1996
Various Artists
ZYX Music
How Blue Can You Get? Classic Live Performances 1964 to 1994 1996 MCA 5:50
Blues Classics [MCA] 1996
Various Artists
MCA 5:26
ABC's of Soul, Vol. 1: Classics from the ABC Records Catalog 1961-1969 1996
Various Artists
Hip-O
Blues Collection: 100 Blues Hits 1996
Various Artists
Madacy 2:19
Paying the Cost to Be the Boss 1997 Laserlight 4:54
Legends of Blues [Intercontinental] 1997
Various Artists
Intercontinental Records 4:51
Rock On: 1970-1974 1997
Various Artists
Madacy 5:25
70's Rock [Madacy 1997] 1997
Various Artists
Madacy 4:58
Blues Collection 1997 Galaxy Music 5:10
Essential Blues Guitar 1997
Various Artists
House Of Blues 5:26
New York Undercover: A Night at Natalie's 1998
Original TV Soundtrack
MCA 5:04
Soul Classics: Timeless 1998
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 4:55
Live in Africa 1998 Pioneer
Generations of Blues, Vol. 1 1998
Various Artists
Vanguard 5:23
Greatest Hits [MCA] 1998 Geffen / MCA 5:28
Blues: Gold Collection 1998
Various Artists
Fine Tune 5:13
Esquire Soul Classics 1998
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 5:24
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Hard Rock Records (Rhino)
Solid Gold Soul: Soul Gems 1998
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:04
Back 2 Back [Intercontinental/Masters] 1998 Masters 5:00
Twin Best 1998 Universal/MCA
Spirit of Blues 1998
Various Artists
Spirit Of (UK) 5:03
The Blues Box [Excelsior] 1998
Various Artists
Excelsior Recordings 4:50
Whole Lotta Blues: Masters 1999
Various Artists
BCI-Eclipse Distribution / Eclipse Music Group 5:26
Soul Hits, Vol. 2 [Universal Special Products] 1999
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 5:26
Basic Blues, Vol. 3 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 5:30
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of B.B. King 1999 MCA 5:27
Born on the Blues 1999
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / MCA 5:33
Home of the Blues [MCA] 1999
Various Artists
MCA 5:24
His Definitive Greatest Hits 1999 Polygram 5:26
The Ultimate Grammy Box: From the Recording Academy's Collection 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 5:25
Living the Blues: Blues Legends 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
No Image 1999
Various Artists
Image Entertainment
Best of Blues [Legacy 12] 2000
Various Artists
Legacy 5:04
Millennium Blues 2000
Various Artists
Jamey Aebersold
Solid Gold Soul: Deep Soul 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 4:06
Every Day I Have the Blues [Goldies Box] 2000
Various Artists
Goldies 4:59
Universal Masters Collection 2000 Universal Distribution / Universal/Polygram 5:27
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Delta Distribution
High Profile 2000 Direct Source 4:53
All Over Again 2000 Fruit Tree 4:59
Shine on Blues 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 4:54
Simply Blues 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 4:54
Shades of Blue [Direct Source] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 4:55
Birth of the Blues [Box Set] 2000
Various Artists
Direct Source 4:56
Axe Men: The Greatest Guitar Stars of All Time 2000
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 5:03
Blues for a Stormy Monday 2000
Various Artists
Bellmark Records / Bellmark 4:58
20 Golden Classics 2000 Cleopatra / Golden Music 4:52
New Millennium Blues Party 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 4:04
Music Men 2000
Various Artists
WEA
Best of Blues, Vol. 2 [Madacy] 2000
Various Artists
Madacy 5:06
Black and White Box of Jazz [Box Set] 2001
Various Artists
Pulse 5:00
Forever Gold: Great Blues Masters 2001
Various Artists
St. Clair 5:00
Pure Blues 2001
Various Artists
UTV 4:01
The Signature Series 2001 Direct Source 5:00
King of the Blues [Dressed to Kill] 2001 Dressed To Kill 5:01
The History of Rock 2001
Various Artists
Dressed To Kill 5:02
Gold Collection [Fine Tune] 2001 Fine Tune 5:01
Blues Legendes 2001
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Sweet Little Angel [Blue Moon] 2001 Blue Moon 4:59
American Roots Music [Highlights] 2001
Various Artists
Palm 5:24
Got the Blues [Catfish] 2001 ZYX Music 4:52
B.B. King [Dressed To Kill] 2001 Dressed To Kill 5:01
The Best of B.B. King [Blues Forever] 2002 Blues Forever 5:06
B.B. King [Delta] 2002 Madacy 5:26
Luminescence [Meteor] 2002
Various Artists
Meteor (UK) 5:00
Blues & Soul Masters 2002
Various Artists
WEA International 5:00
Natural Blues, Vol. 2 2002
Various Artists
Wrasse 5:08
Black & Proud 2002
Various Artists
Golden Stars
Forever Gold: Guitar Greats 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 4:59
Forever Gold: Gold Collection: Blues Anthology 2002
Various Artists
St. Clair 5:00
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Platinum Disc
The Best Of Blues Classics 20th Century Masters The Millennium Collection 2003
Various Artists
MCA 5:26
No Image 2003
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 5:26
Greatest Hits Live 2003 King Biscuit Entertainment 6:54
Black Jack 21 Essential Classics 2003 Cleopatra / Stardust Records 4:52
Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: The Best of the Blues 2003
Various Artists
UTV 5:25
Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey 2003
Original Soundtrack
Hip-O 4:03
The Blues - The Electric Blues Experience 2003
Various Artists
St. Clair 4:56
Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues 2003
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
The Blue Box of Blues 2003
Various Artists
Millenia Records / Millennia Records 5:18
B.B. King and His Orchestra Live 2003 Acrobat
Shoutin' the Blues [Direct Source] 2003
Various Artists
Direct Source 5:00
No Image 2003 Universal Distribution
Guitar Heroes [Goldies Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Goldies
Completely Well/Live in Cook County Jail 2004 Beat Goes On 5:28
Most Famous Hits - Live 2004 Import
A Tribute to Jonny Lang 2004
Various Artists
Big Eye Music 4:54
Anthology: Sound+Vision [2 CD & DVD] 2004 MCA / Geffen
Modern Jazz from Bebop to Fusion: Gold Collection 2004
Various Artists
Retro Music 5:00
Midnight Blues [Time Life] 2004
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 5:27
In the Mood for Blues [Universal] 2004
Various Artists
Universal International 4:59
Remember the 70's: Greatest Hits Live 2004
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
Timeless Classics 2004 St. Clair 5:00
The Anthology 1962-1998 [Bonus DVD] 2004 Master Classics 4:52
The Best of B.B. King: Live 2004 Essential Records 4:59
Essential Collection 2004 Universal Distribution
Mr. Blues [United Audio] 2004 United Audio Entertainment 5:00
Golden Legends Live 2004 St. Clair 4:59
Great Blues Masters 2004
Various Artists
St. Clair / Essential Records 4:58
Best of the Blues [2005 Madacy] 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 5:00
B.B. King [Platinum Disc] 2005 Platinum Disc 4:58
Guitar Legends: Rock This Town 2005
Various Artists
Double Pleasure 5:00
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Legacy 5:14
The Ultimate Collection 2005 Geffen 5:25
Beginner's Guide to the Blues 2005
Various Artists
Demon Records / Nascente 4:58
Chronicles: Live at the Regal/Blues Is King/Live in Cook County Jail 2005 MCA 6:18
Legends: B.B. King 2005 Direct Source Special 5:02
Night of Blistering Blues 2005 Immortal
Move to the Groove 2005 Baricum
80 2005
80
Universal Distribution
A Celebration of Black Music 2005
Various Artists
Direct Source 4:50
Classic 70s Soul: The Definitive Rhythm And Blues Collection [KRB] 2006
Various Artists
KRB Music 4:44
Blues: Gold 2006
Various Artists
Hip-O 5:25
Golden Legends: Great Blues Masters 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 5:01
The Giant of Blues 2006 Creative Sounds 4:59
Gold 2006 Geffen 5:25
Bits and Pieces About B.B. King 2006 DeLta Musi 3:56
Blues Kings [Direct Source] 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 4:50
Guitar Heroes, Vol. 1 2006
Various Artists
Music Avenue 5:00
King of Blues [Golden Stars] 2006 Golden Stars
No Image 2006 Synergie 4:59
The Soul Story, Vol. 4 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 5:26
Superstars of Black Music 2007
Various Artists
Direct Source 4:50
Blues Deluxe [KRB] 2007
Various Artists
4:44
Everyday I Have the Blues [2007] 2007 Phantom Import Distribution / Double Pleasure
Music from Scorseses Movies 2007
Various Artists
Golden Stars 4:59
Soul Story Infomercial Set 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 5:26
Colour Collection 2007 MCA 5:26
Blues Classics [St. Clair] 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 5:00
Forever Gold 2007 St. Clair 5:00
Grammy Awards: 50th Anniversary Collection 2008
Various Artists
Shout! Factory
Live [Geffen DVD] 2008 Geffen
Live at the BBC 2008 Geffen / Hip-O / Island 4:28
Songs from the Invisible Republic 2008
Various Artists
Repertoire
Playlist Plus 2008 Geffen 5:25
Playlist Your Way 2008 Geffen 5:26
Favorites 2008 Geffen 5:24
Best of Blues [Greatest Collection] 2008
Various Artists
Greatest Collection 4:51
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 5:24
Live at Montreux 1993 [DVD] 2009 Eagle Rock
No Image 2009 Geffen 5:40
Blues Power [Zyx 2] 2009
Various Artists
Zyx 4:50
All About the Blues
Various Artists
Phantom Records (England)
No Image The Collection
No Image
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
No Image
Various Artists
Universal Distribution
Live in Europe Music Avenue 5:02
Mob Life: 16 Great Tracks from the Films of Martin Scorsese
Various Artists
Uncut Music
No Image
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment
Ultimate Blues Collection
Various Artists
Phantom Import Distribution
Vol. 2-Play Me the Blues
Various Artists
Wesgram
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