Howlin' Wolf

Rarities Edition: The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions

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Rarities Edition: The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions Review

by Thom Jurek

While Universal Music makes no attempt to hide it, it’s important for the informed consumer to look closely at the single-disc Rarities Edition series. These CDs are usually the bonus discs packaged inside the double-disc slipcased Deluxe Editions of the albums they represent; they do not contain the original album even though the cover art is the same. This disc is a bit of an anomaly in this series in that it contains all 12 tracks from the London Howlin’ Wolf Sessions Deluxe Edition bonus disc -- made up of alternate takes, rehearsals, and different mixes of session tracks. That said, preceding these are three more songs compiled from a 1974 follow-up album on Chess with Muddy Waters (who also did a London session) called London Revisited. These three songs, versions of Howlin' Wolf standards “Goin’ Down Slow,” “Killing Floor,” and “I Want to Have a Word with You,” feature the second day’s musicians Eric Clapton, Hubert Sumlin, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, and Jeffrey M. Carp. For those who already purchased the Deluxe Edition, buying this for an additional three cuts might seem a bit heady, but it does finally complete the legendary two-day recording sessions represented by the original albums.

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