Various Artists

Stoned Alchemy

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Here's an interesting idea for a collection: the original versions of 27 R&B songs that were covered by the Rolling Stones in the studio or on stage. This is more than just a clever gimmick for a compilation, however. In addition to providing insight into the development of the Rolling Stones' music, this is also a first-rate collection of classic blues, soul, and early rock & roll. Highlights include "The Red Rooster," a slow blues number featuring Howlin' Wolf's legendary guttural moan; Gene Allison's soul ballad "You Can Make It If You Try"; and Bo Diddley's "Pretty Thing," which inspired British guitarist Dick Taylor to form the Pretty Things. Note that a couple selections are not the actual original versions of the songs, including Muddy Waters' "Got My Mojo Working" (first recorded by Ann Cole) and Bobby Womack's "It's All Over Now" (a re-recording of a song he wrote).

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