John Lee Hooker

The Complete, Vol. 5 - Detroit 1952-1953

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France's great Body & Soul label continues its exposition of the complete John Lee Hooker recordings with this two-CD set of master, alternate, and unreleased takes between the years 1951-1953 while Hooker was still in Detroit playing on Hastings Street. Though the first track here, "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?," is from a 1951 Battle session that was later sold to Gotham, the remaining 45 cuts were taped in 1952 and 1953. As is typical of Hooker, the label array is dazzling and includes Besman, Chess, Bihari, and Fortune. Some of the selections include "Rock Me Mama," "Walking the Boogie," "Bluebird," "That's Alright," "Key to the Highway," "It's the Right Time for Lovin'," and "Rock House Boogie." Sidemen include Eddie Kirkland and Boogie Woogie Red. This is the raw, in-your-face Hook, the stuff that made him a legend, and this series is dynamite. In addition to the music is a 16-page booklet with a liner essay by Neil Slaven.

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