Jimmy Reed

Lost in the Shuffle

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It's hard to screw up a Jimmy Reed anthology, and that's exactly why there are so many of them floating around. Generally, these compilations include most or all of Reed's Vee-Jay hits from the early '50s to the early '60s, and the ones packaged with a little more tender loving care (like Lost in the Shuffle) will undoubtedly point out that the drummer on Reed's 1953 hit "You Don't Have to Go" was none other than Albert King. 32 Jazz has a respectable track record when it comes to blues reissues, and the label doesn't disappoint here; producer Joel Dorn compiles all of Reed's familiar, often-covered hits ("Big Boss Man," "Bright Lights Big City," "Honest I Do," et al.) and recruits Living Blues writer Bill Dahl to pen some colorful liner notes. Purists may lament the absence of the quirky instrumental "Odds and Ends," but Lost in the Shuffle still ranks as a comprehensive overview of Reed's hit-making tenure with Vee-Jay.

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