There's more than one B.B. King best-of out on the racks, but this 1998 issue, Greatest Hits [MCA], updates his chart achievements and puts them together in a modern, 16-track package for both the novice and casual modern blues listener. Kicking off with a pair of tunes from the influential Live at the Regal album ("Sweet Little Angel," "Everyday I Have the Blues"), the set moves through mid- to late-'60s breakthrough hits like "How Blue Can You Get?," "Paying the Cost to Be the Boss," "Why I Sing the Blues," "Don't Answer the Door," and his signature tune, "The Thrill Is Gone." The pop-blues fusions King experimented with in the '70s and '80s show up on "To Know You Is to Love You," "I Like to Live the Love," and "Hummingbird." The modern-day end of things is represented by duets with Robert Cray on "Playin' with My Friends," and rock group U2 on "When Love Comes to Town." Although missing all of his early-'50s hits, this is a good buy for the casual fan coming to his music for the first time, and for longtime aficionados looking for a quick-fix update.
AllMusic Review by Cub Koda
feat: Robert Cray