2LP released: Aug 13, 2013

Disc 1 : Let's Have A Natural Ball
1. Let's Have A Natural Ball
2. What Can I Do To Change Your Mind?
3. I Get Evil
4. Had You Told It Like It Was (It Wouldn't Be Like It Is)
5. This Morning (Instrumental)
6. I Walked All Night Long
7. Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong
8. Travelin' To California
9. I've Made Nights By Myself
10. This Funny Feeling
11. Ooh-ee Baby
12. Dyna Flow (Instrumental)
Disc 2 : Bad Luck Blues
1. Bad Luck Blues
2. Be On Your Merry Way
3. Why Are You So Mean To Me?
4. Ooh-ee Baby (Single Version)
5. Need You By My Side
6. The Time Has Come
7. Blues At Sunrise
8. Old Blue Ribbon
9. I Get Evil (Single Version)
10. What Can I Do To Change Your Mind?
Label: NOT NOW
Cat No: NOT2LP182
Barcode: 5060143491825
Packaging: 2LP Double Gatefold Sleeve

Pioneering electric bluesman Albert King not only influenced American guitarists like Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughan, with whom he played in later years, but made an indelible mark in Britain. Cream-era Eric Clapton, in particular, was an early devotee before Albert ever set foot on UK soil, while Gary Moore, who unashamedly took his cues from Clapton, later shared a stage with King in his 'Still Got The Blues' period. This double vinyl set combines debut album 'The Big Blues' from 1962 on its first disc with a collection of early single releases. King was born Albert Nelson in April 1923 on a cotton plantation in Indianola, Mississippi, one of thirteen children. His father played guitar while the family sang gospel songs at the local church in Forrest City, Arkansas, where he was raised. He taught himself how to play on an instrument made from a cigar box and initially accompanied gospel groups, most notably the Harmony Kings. Albert's musical epiphany came when he encountered the music of Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson; from then on, he was a bluesman. And every bluesman worth their salt needs a name to catch the public's imagination: King earned his, 'The Velvet Bulldozer', from driving for a plant-hire firm. In 1950, King moved to Osceola in Arkansas and, after meeting local club owner MC Reeder, was invited to join the house band, the In The Groove Boys, at the T-99 nightclub. He moved on to Gary, Indiana in 1953, joining an outfit that included Jimmy Reed and John Brim - but, with a surfeit of guitarists in the band, was relegated to the drum stool! Around this time he adopted the surname 'King' in honour of BB King. He also met Willie Dixon, and the legendary Chess Records musician/producer pulled some strings to get him an audition at Parrot Records in Chicago. King passed the audition and, though only two of the numbers he recorded for them - 'Be On Your Merry Way'/'Bad Luck Blues', both of which start our second disc - were released at the time, others have since turned up. The single was a minor regional hit, but didn't sell well enough to earn him another session at Parrot, so King returned to Osceola and the In The Groove Boys for the next two years. It was in 1959 that King first began playing the guitar that would be forever associated with him: the futuristically shaped Gibson Flying V, introduced the previous year. He named his instrument 'Lucy', probably in homage to BB King's 'Lucille'. The guitar in question was right-handed, but Albert played it left-handed with the strings set up as a right-hander would have had them. This Gibson was apparently lost in a dice game in the Sixties. This year of 1959 also brought another change of scene as Albert moved to St Louis, Missouri and won a recording contract. His recordings for Bobbin Records, with a pianist and a small horn section, sounded closer to jump blues than Delta or Chicago blues. One track, 'Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong', featuring Ike Turner on piano, sold so well locally that legendary R&B imprint King Records leased it and issued it nationally in late 1961. It reached a respectable Number 14 on the Billboard R&B charts, and led to King buying out his contract. Albert's debut album 'The Big Blues', released in 1962, is the first disc of our set. King got his big break four years later when he moved to Memphis and was signed to Stax Records. The tracks cut there, including 'Laundromat Blues', 'Crosscut Saw', 'Born Under A Bad Sign' and 'The Hunter', brought him rock credibility as a host of younger white musicians on both sides of the Atlantic discovered him. One, American Mike Bloomfield, said, 'Albert can take four notes and write a volume. He can say more with fewer notes than anyone I've ever known.' King continued recording and touring right up to his death in December 1992, a few months short of his 70th birthday. He left behind a legacy in the shape of countless guitarists who owe allegiance to the big man, often without knowing it. When he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2013, the citation read, in part: 'A huge man, weighing more than 250 pounds and standing six-feet-four, King was a commanding physical presence onstage... From Eric Clapton, Michael Bloomfield and Johnny Winter, to Joe Walsh, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Derek Trucks and beyond, the influence of Albert King's husky vocals and his signature Gibson Flying V guitar will live on forever.' Enjoy his earliest recordings as all his famous fans would have discovered them - on vinyl! Track Listing LP1 SIDE1 1. Let's Have A Natural Ball 2. What Can I Do To Change Your Mind? 3. I Get Evil 4. Had You Told It Like It Was (It Wouldn't Be Like It Is) 5. This Morning (Instrumental) 6. I Walked All Night Long LP1 SIDE2 1. Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong 2. Travelin' To California 3. I've Made Nights By Myself 4. This Funny Feeling 5. Ooh-ee Baby 6. Dyna Flow (Instrumental) LP2 SIDE1 1. Bad Luck Blues 2. Be On Your Merry Way 3. Why Are You So Mean To Me? 4. Ooh-ee Baby (Single Version) 5. Need You By My Side LP2 SIDE2 1. The Time Has Come 2. Blues At Sunrise 3. Old Blue Ribbon 4. I Get Evil (Single Version) 5. What Can I Do to Change Your Mind?

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