B.B. King

Early Blues Boy Years, Vol. 2: 1952-54

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This 20-song collection continues B.B. King's mid-'50s history on the Bihari brothers' various labels (Modern, Kent etc.), including his "big band" work, including "When My Heart Beats like a Hammer," "Woke Up This Morning," and "I Love You." There's lots of fiery guitar on this volume, opening with "You Upset Me Baby" and "Blind Love." The material is all first rate, from rollicking rave-ups like "Boogie Woogie Woman" to moody, mournful blues numbers like "Past Day." Unlike the first volume, however, there are no musician or session credits included, partly because they may not exist for much of his work during this period. The sound is quite good through, with lots of bite to the brass and a sense that his guitar and voice could be in the same room with you. Many of these cuts have been issued by Flair/Virgin, but this is still the best comprehensive collection.

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