B.B. King

His RPM Hits 1951-1957

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His RPM Hits 1951-1957 is a first-rate summary of the cream of the first few years of B.B. King's career, the 26 songs all taken from 1951-1957 singles on the RPM label. Though relatively few of these have survived down the years to become famous standards or oldies, they were incredibly successful in their time; 18 of them were R&B hits, and another couple scraped into the bottom of the pop charts. "Three O'Clock Blues" and "Sweet Little Angel" are a couple of King's most famous tunes, but there are plenty of other ballads and shuffles here that made their mark in their day, like "You Know I Love You," "Woke Up This Morning" (how's that for titling a hit after one of the most overused blues clich├ęs?), "Please Hurry Home," and "You Upset Me Baby." These are quite fully produced R&B arrangements for the era, with roadhouse piano and fat horns rounding out the punch. King's stinging guitar and vocals, both less prone to drawn-out phrasing than his crossover soul-blues work of the '60s and '70s, are at the forefront. It's true these tracks have been around the block a few times on other reissues, but these have been remastered, often from newly discovered masters, to yield a quality of sound you won't always find on reissues of '50s blues and R&B. [This U.K. import is not available for sale in North America.]

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:02
2 2:51
3 3:06
4 2:58
5 2:58
6 2:45
7 2:54
8 3:03
9 3:10
10 2:50
11 3:02
12 2:48
13 3:00
14 2:51
15 3:14
16 2:56
17 2:57
18 2:50
19 2:52
20 2:34
21 2:56
22 2:52
23 2:42
24 2:35
25 3:02
26 2:54
blue highlight denotes track pick