Albert King – Blues For Elvis (Stax MPS-8504) (1981)

Not quite the post-Presley cash-in it might first appear, Albert King’s Elvis tribute was actually first issued in 1970 with the improbable title King Does The King’s Things. Around this time, major electric blues figures were radically re-imagining their sound for the rock market (cf. Muddy Waters’ Electric Mud and the notorious Howlin’ Wolf Album [the one with the “This is Howlin’ Wolf’s new album. He doesn’t like it.” cover]) with predictably controversial results. In contrast to the wah-wah’d guitar and loosey-goosey drumming heard on those Chess/Cadet Lps, the far more conservative and casual Blues For Elvis represents gentle tinkering: King’s stinging, un-effected lead lines share space with Stax-Volt horns while MGs anchor the rhythm section with typically tight flare and, given the material, sounding like the R&B of a decade earlier. Probably a minor record in the blues canon, but a good one to thrift.

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Published in: on April 24, 2012 at 10:16 am  Leave a Comment  

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