Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Howlin' Wolf
"The Howlin' Wolf Album" (Vinyl)

The Rolling Stones were part of the British Invasion in 1964.  Among other things, the Stones brought with them a revival of interest in American Blues music.  Suddenly musicians like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf had people's ears in ways they hadn't in decades.

Chess Records decided to experiment with "contemporizing" the traditional blues sound with Hendrix-inspired psychadelic rock arrangements of the music of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.  Both blues legends were brought into the studio to re-record their popular tunes with a backing ensemble of musicians.
The stories persist that Howlin' Wolf strongly disliked the sound that was achieved with these "updates" of his music and didn't regard the music as the blues.

The album artwork has to rank high on the frank honesty scale.  It was a lesson in marketing: don't use negativity to sell.

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