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Your Favorite 5 Blues Albums


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Name your 5 favorite blues (any kind of blues, blues rock, jazz blues, texan blues etc.) albums. Don't choose two albums from the same artist/band and try to avoid "Best of" or "Greatest hits" albums.

I'll start:

Albert King - Born Under A Bad Sign

John Mayall - Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood

BB King - Blues on the Bayou

Eric Clapton - From the cradle

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I'm actually disappointed with my own list, given my love of the blues. I've heard some great ones, but forget the titles, and tended to buy more power blues or psychedelic blues over the years. This list does not reflect what a purist would say, but anyway:

Cream - Disreali Gears

Eric Clapton - Layla Sessions

Hot Tuna - Hot Tuna (live acoustic)

Allman Bothers - Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil

Grateful Dead - Europe 72

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(no order)

1. John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton

2. BB King - Live at the Regal

3. Robert Johnson - The Masters

4. Howlin' Wolf - Howlin' Wolf/Moanin' in the Moonlight

5. Cream - Wheels of Fire

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I have a fairly small selection of blues records on both CD and vinyl but the vast majority of them are compilations. It's also worth noting that it was the first few Zeppelin albums that sent me in search of the original versions of the blues recordings. The same could be said of ZZ Top, Skynyrd, Foghat, Cream, etc. but it was Zeppelin's appropriation of the blues that really piqued my interest. Several years later, Plant's Honeydrippers project would have the same effect on me as far as seeking out early rock n' roll and rockabilly records that sent me searching through my parents' record collection for vintage sides from Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, Chubby Checker, etc.

Nevertheless, here are some of my faves:

Slim Harpo Tip On In

Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers

Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf Muddy & the Wolf (I also have the Deluxe edition of this on CD called The Howlin' Wolf London Sessions)

Howlin' Wolf (some best of on Chess Records who's name escapes me)

Various Artists Alligator Records 20th Anniversary Collection

I don't have access to my vinyl and CD collections at the present time but it wasn't until just now that I realized how much it could be expanded (same for my reggae collection, especially on CD). Of course I have plenty of stuff by Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Allmans, etc. but when it comes to lists like these I tend to go with with the originators such as the Wolf, Muddy, Robert Johnson, etc.

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These are my favorites, and are certainly not the best 5 Blues albums ever made:

1. Led Zeppelin - TSRTS because of "SIBLY"




5. Jeff Beck - WIRED

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I don't consider many classic rock era bands to be blues, certainly not bands like Zep who only dabbled in blues. The guitar playing may have blues roots and much of it was 12 bar stuff but it's pretty far from purer blues\rock bands like Canned Heat or Butterfield.

For me it'd be.

Shakedown-Collins\Copeland and Cray

West Side Soul-Magic Sam

Ice Pickin'-Albert Collins

The Best of Muddy Waters Chess Singles-Muddy Waters

Complete Recorded Works-Bo Carter

It's tough for me to make a fave list of blues albums since many of the artists I like died or quit recording long before the advent of albums. All of what is out there for those artists is complilation albums and one really isn't better than the the other since there is only so many way to package the handful of sides those people cut.

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Riding with the King - B.B. King & Eric Clapton

eric clapton unplugged - Eric Clapton

Stevie Ray Vaughan & double trouble - Stevie Ray Vaughan (Two CDs)

Morrison Hotel - The Doors

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Might seem "too mainstream," but I've got to go with what I know and what I love.

1. Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues

2. "Mississippi" John Hurt - The Complete Studio Recordings

3. Muddy Waters - At Newport 1960

4. Son House - Live at Gaslight Cafe 1965

5. John Lee Hooker - Burning Hell

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Son House - Death Letter (1965)


Howlin Wolf - Same title/The Rockin' Chair Album (1962)

Howlin' Wolf's first album was a compilation of singles he recorded in the 50's.


Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac - Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac (1968)


Elmore James - Blues After Hours (1960)

As with Howlin' Wolf's first album, James' first album was made of singles released in the 50's.


Blind Willie Johnson - Praise God I'm Satisfied (1977)

14 tracks recorded in the 30's.


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gotta haves:

muddy waters: the chess box

....gotta have muddy, for the tone and the moan. the true king. this box is way worth the investment-includes pinetop, little walter, james cotton, hubert, willie, all of 'em.

bob dylan: bob dylan (1st album)

....bob sings and plays almost all blues, sounds 30 years older than the 19 that he was, and this album has both 'fixin to die' and 'in my time of dying', which he played slide using his girlfriend's lipstickcase.

junior wells with buddy guy: hoodoo man blues

....you get these two together, that's your ass!

stevie ray vaughan and double trouble: texas flood

....what can i say. the 1st one and the best one.

john lee hooker: serves you right to suffer

....hooker re-recorded so manysongs under so many different names, that if you collect blues on LP's, he will give you a headache trying to track 'em down. then pop this album on and not only will it go away, but it will cure your asthma, too.

howlin wolf: the chess box

...get it all on this one. co-starring hubert sumlin (one of the true greats) and a blues cast of hundreds. only one voice, though....

son house: complete library of congress sessions

...the epitome of son's slide playing. i love elmore, too but for attack and voodoo, get with son. any albums after '65 he had to relearn how to play many songs, so look for the fount.

did i go over?


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gotta haves:

did i go over?


Yeh - if there's one thing I can't tolerate, it's someone listing too many great blues albums. What are you trying to do - make me get into a car accident, racing to the music store?

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Nevertheless, here are some of my faves:

Slim Harpo Tip On In

jah- as usual, your essentials are the essentials. nice list. and anyone who doesn't have any slim harpo needs to fix that as soon as possible....anything that has 'shake your hips' and 'i got love if you want it', especially....

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