1967, 1969, Music

King of the Blues Guitar (1969) by Alberta King

This is a reissue of Born Under a Bad Sign (released only two years before), with the addition of a few more tracks. (At least the version I am listening to, which has 17 tracks compared to the 11 listed for the original LP.) Born Under a Bad Sign was itself a compilation, this time of singles King had recorded when he moved to Stax. One of the reasons this record is so well regarded is because so many blues albums back then apparently lacked strong material.

Born Under a Bad Sign is considered by some to be the first “modern” blues album, the album when the blues emerged from its tradition to embrace other musical genres. I understand why that’s important but I can’t say that I absolutely love the sound. Some of the expansion of this sound – into soul and R&B – feels dated and like a transparent attempt to sell more records. It also feels like it’s the beginning of the terrible attempts to make The Blues more poppy that emerged in the ’80s.

But, putting that aside, the material is mostly very strong and King is a hugely influential guitar player.

I know too many of these songs as covers, so that was another barrier.


  1. Laundromat Blues (Sandie Jones) 3:19
  2. Overall Junction (Albert King) 2:19
  3. Oh, Pretty Woman (A.C. Williams) 2:45
  4. Funk-Shun (Albert King) 2:30
  5. Crosscut Saw (R.G. Ford) 2:31
  6. Down Don’t Bother Me (Albert King) 2:13
  7. Born Under a Bad Sign (William Bell / Booker T. Jones) 2:45
  8. Personal Manager (Albert King / David Porter) 4:28
  9. Kansas City (Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller) 2:29
  10. The Very Thought of You (Ray Noble) 3:45
  11. The Hunter (Steve Cropper / Donald “Duck” Dunn / Booker T. Jones / Al Jackson, Jr.) 2:43
  12. I Almost Lost My Mind (Ivory Joe Hunter) 3:25
  13. As the Years Go Passing By (Deadric Malone) 3:43
  14. Cold Feet (Al Jackson, Jr. / Albert King) 2:43
  15. You Sure Drive a Hard Bargain (Bettye Crutcher / Allen Jones) 2:55
  16. (I Love) Lucy (William Bell / Booker T. Jones) 2:45
  17. You’re Gonna Need Me (Albert King) 2:45
  • Albert King – lead guitars, vocals
  • Steve Cropper – rhythm guitar
  • Donald “Duck” Dunn – bass guitar
  • Wayne Jackson – trumpet
  • Booker T. Jones – organ, piano
  • Andrew Love – tenor saxophone
  • Al Jackson Jr. – drums

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