Canned Heat

Very Best of Canned Heat [EMI]

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Formed by three avid blues record collectors, Canned Heat reformatted the sound of those beloved old 78s into ragged electric guitar boogies that fit the gestalt of the Woodstock generation. Guitarist and harmonica player Alan Wilson, singer Bob Hite, and guitarist Henry Vestine took their record collecting seriously, lifting the quill section from Texas songster Henry Thomas' 1920s recording of "Bull Doze Blues" note for note to form the intro to "Going Up the Country," one of Canned Heat's most enduring songs. "Going Up the Country" is included here, along with the band's other radio hits, "On the Road Again" and "Let's Work Together," and key album tracks, including the indulgent 20-minute epic "Parthenogenesis." At its best, Canned Heat translated an enthusiasm for old blues into a bright, radio-friendly history lesson, and at its worst, it collapsed into being just another white blues boogie band. Examples of both are found here.

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