Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sunday Morning Blues - Howlin' Wolf (part 1 of 2)

Howlin' Wolf
Moanin' In The Moonlight / Howlin' Wolf
Label: MCA Records (Chess Records)
Released: 1986 (Compilation) 1959 (Moanin' In The Moonlight)
Genre: Blues

I picked up a compilation with two complete Howlin' Wolf albums on it, so I think I'll take them one at a time for two weeks. The albums are Howlin' Wolf and Moanin' In The Moonlight. Moanin' was released first, but comes second on the album. We'll start there.

This is touted as Howlin' Wolf's first studio album, it's really a collection of singles released as far back as 1951. A good solid dose of Chicago Blues. It's also regularly cited as the album that contains the first use of a distorted power chord on guitar - in the song How Many More Years. Which is as Rock N' Roll as the blues gets before switching genres.

The songs are tracked more or less by their original chronology, at least as far as I can tell. The album is powerful enough, and good enough that even a reissue of it in 1987 managed to win an album of the year award. If you want to get into Chicago Blues, you do need to include Howlin' Wolf in your collection, and this album (or more to the point this whole collection) is a good one to add.

Next week I'll look at the other half of this release, the second Howlin' Wolf album.

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