Smokestack Lightning: Complete Chess Masters


blues

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"When I heard Howlin' Wolf, I said, 'This is for me.' This is where the soul of man never dies."

–Sam Phillips Perhaps the most unique and powerful performer in the history of the blues, Chester Arthur Burnett, a/k/a Howlin' Wolf, created a remarkable catalog of music for Chess Records beginning 60 years ago, in 1951, right into the 1970s. The Mississippi native first brought his ferocious, attacking style to Sam Phillips's Memphis studio, and the legendary founder of Sun Records would then send the recordings to Chess in Chicago. Less than three years later, Wolf migrated to the Windy City and thereafter recorded directly for Leonard and Phil Chess. Within another year, Willie Dixon was brought in as studio bassist and contributing songwriter. The result of these musical interactions was Wolf creating a litany of masterworks throughout his first decade of recording, a stellar songbook that ranged from his great first Chess single, "Moanin' At Midnight" b/w "How Many More Years," through the last session presented on this box set featuring three classic Willie Dixon tunes: "Wang Dang Doodle," "Back Door Man" and "Spoonful." There's also "Evil," "Smokestack Lightnin'," "I Asked For Water," "Sittin' On Top Of The World" and so on. The 97 tracks here on these 4 CDs (including many rarities) are simply the recordings that established a legend –the crux of the reason The Wolf is celebrated by music fans of all stripes. Accompanying this music is a 45-page booklet filled with historic photos (many quite rare) and two sets of liner notes–one focusing on Sam Phillips and The Wolf by much heralded author Peter Guralnick, and a more general overview of Wolf's first decade of recording by noted blues expert and producer Dick Shurman.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 24, 2011)

    Original Release Date: 2011

  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format:
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we’ll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Hip-O Select
  • ASIN: B005JLN9V2
  • In-Print Editions:

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