Freddie King

Blues Hero

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AllMusic Review by

This has 24 sides that King did for Federal in the early 1960s, all but two of them from 1961 and 1962, and all but one released on singles. Half of this appears on Rhino's King retrospective Hide Away: The Best of Freddy King, which has a slightly more astute track selection, so if you have that and feel like that's sufficient Freddy King for your library, you'll probably give this a pass. If, however, you want more King from his best period, this is certainly worth checking out. Included is a moderate 1961 R&B hit, "Christmas Tears," that doesn't appear on the Rhino comp, and is slower and more piano-based than much of his output during the era. As for the other items on the disc that are on the obscure side, they tend to be more derivative of non-blues R&B trends, like black vocal groups and New Orleans rock & roll, than King's best and most smoking sides were. On the other hand, cuts like "Takin' Care of Business" and the instrumental "Side Tracked" deliver the stinging King guitar licks that were his best assets, and his blues guitar is in fact present to some degree on everything. "(The Welfare) Turns Its Back on You" is an unusual stride into socially conscious material, and after listening to King's high vocal phrasing on "What About Love," it wouldn't be at all surprising to learn that it might have influenced the young Stevie Winwood.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:37
2 2:56
3 2:38
4 2:40
5 2:18
6 2:48
7 3:16
8 3:08
9 2:21
10 2:50
11 3:07
12 2:55
13 3:02
14 2:47
15 3:14
16 2:58
17 3:08
18
2:31
19
3:04
20 2:34
21 3:41
22 2:35
23 2:43
24 2:57
blue highlight denotes track pick