Sunday, April 3, 2011

#499 - Albert King: Born Under a Bad Sign (1967)

*Disclaimer: I try my best to be as objective as possible when listening to these albums, but considering my 15 year obsession of of Albert King's music, it may be a little difficult to keep my personal bias out of this post.

I was so excited when I saw that I'd get to be listening to "Born Under a Bad Sign", although that excitement was somewhat dashed when I saw the ridiculously low ranking of this album coming in at #499.

To people who aren't versed in the blues, Albert King may not be a very familiar name, or you may just think the's B.B.'s cousin. To any fan of the blues , the name Albert King carries a weight, and has a gravitas that is nearly unmatched.

Rising to fame in the 60's, Albert King practically wrote every modern blues guitar riff, that nearly 50 years later are still being played, and often butchered in blues bars across the country. When Stevie Ray Vaughan had the opportunity to sit in and play with Albert King on stage he commented "How Can I share the guy with the stage with the guy, because everything I would play would be stuff I stole from him" (Paraphrased from Blues Folklore)

Released in 1967, Born Under a Bad Sign was Albert's first release on the Famed Stax Record label, and is now considered one of the most influential blues album.

The album starts off with the title single "Born Under a Bad Sign" , which is now one of the most commonly covered blues songs ever. After that the album continues with an amazing string of songs, most which are known

  • Bottom Line: The guitar playing on this album set the stage for the blues-rock explosion that would take place over the next decade. The lyrics are clever and filled with sexual innuendos that were the hallmark of the early Delta Blues singers....Considering the two extremes, this album was the bridge that paid homage to the Blues History and ushered in a new generation of players.
  • Highlights: Crosscut Saw, Kansas City
  • Low-Points: Absolutely None

Does it Deserve to be in the Top 500? Absolutely, while it's not album that is on everybody's shelf (i.e. The White Album) You could argue that based on the albums it influenced, it could easily be a Top 20 album.

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