Muddy Waters

The Chess Box

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AllMusic Review by

The Chess Box does not contain all the great music Muddy Waters made. His talent and legacy are too large to be captured in a mere three discs, even one that spans from 1947 to 1972. This means, of course, that his legendary plantation recordings with Alan Lomax are not here, nor is his dynamic late-'70s comeback, Hard Again. But, truth be told, it doesn't feel like they're missing, since Waters' legend was built on the music that he made for Chess, and much of the greatest of that is here. Few box sets have chronicled an artist's best work as effectively as this; even the handful of rare, previously unreleased recordings sit perfectly next to the essential singles (this is particularly true of alternate takes of Fathers and Sons material). Sure, there are great Chess sides that aren't here, but those are great sides that the serious listener and aficionado need to seek out. For everybody else, this is a monumental chronicle of Waters at his best, illustrating his influence while providing rich, endlessly fascinating music.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:32 SpotifyAmazon
2 02:41 SpotifyAmazon
3 02:33 SpotifyAmazon
4 02:40 SpotifyAmazon
5 03:07 SpotifyAmazon
6 02:45 Amazon
7 02:15 Amazon
8 03:16 SpotifyAmazon
9 02:45 Amazon
10 02:57 SpotifyAmazon
11 03:05 Amazon
12 02:55 SpotifyAmazon
13 02:32 Amazon
14 02:10
15 02:38 SpotifyAmazon
16 03:19 SpotifyAmazon
17 02:55 Amazon
18 03:16 Amazon
19 02:47 SpotifyAmazon
20 03:20 Amazon
21 02:38 SpotifyAmazon
22 03:15 SpotifyAmazon
23 03:09 Amazon
24 02:44 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:50 Amazon
2 03:02 Amazon
3 03:06 SpotifyAmazon
4 02:59 Amazon
5 02:55 Amazon
6 02:39 Amazon
7 02:50 Amazon
8 03:13 Amazon
9 02:54 Amazon
10 02:24 Amazon
11 02:48 SpotifyAmazon
12 03:10 Amazon
13 02:21 Amazon
14 02:50 Amazon
15 02:47 Amazon
16 02:17 Amazon
17 03:16 Amazon
18 03:04 Amazon
19 02:44 Amazon
20 03:51 Amazon
21 03:02 SpotifyAmazon
22 03:50 Amazon
23 02:44 SpotifyAmazon
24 02:53 SpotifyAmazon
25 02:45 SpotifyAmazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 02:56
2 02:44 SpotifyAmazon
3 02:41 SpotifyAmazon
4 02:30 SpotifyAmazon
5 03:03 Amazon
6 02:52 SpotifyAmazon
7 02:43 SpotifyAmazon
8 02:49 Spotify
9 03:12 SpotifyAmazon
10 03:58 SpotifyAmazon
11 03:12 SpotifyAmazon
12 02:43 Amazon
13 02:55 SpotifyAmazon
14 02:47 SpotifyAmazon
15 02:36 SpotifyAmazon
16 03:17 Amazon
17 02:53 SpotifyAmazon
18 04:48 Spotify
19 02:16 Amazon
20 02:38 Amazon
21 04:07 Amazon
22 05:05 Amazon
23 02:45 SpotifyAmazon
blue highlight denotes track pick