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Blues - Released January 1, 1965 | Geffen*

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
B.B. King hasn't made many better pop-flavored albums than this. Besides making Leon Russell's "Hummingbird" sound like his own composition, King showed that you can put the blues into any situation and make it work. Joining King here were Leon Russell, Joe Walsh and Carole King; several pop luminaries who did more than just hang on for the ride. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 1997 | Geffen*

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
B.B. King is not only a timeless singer and guitarist, he's also a natural-born entertainer, and on Live at the Regal the listener is treated to an exhibition of all three of his talents. Over percolating horn hits and rolling shuffles, King treats an enthusiastic audience (at some points, they shriek after he delivers each line) to a collection of some of his greatest hits. The backing band is razor-sharp, picking up the leader's cues with almost telepathic accuracy. King's voice is rarely in this fine of form, shifting effortlessly between his falsetto and his regular range, hitting the microphone hard for gritty emphasis and backing off in moments of almost intimate tenderness. Nowhere is this more evident than at the climax of "How Blue Can You Get," where the Chicago venue threatens to explode at King's prompting. Of course, the master's guitar is all over this record, and his playing here is among the best in his long career. Displaying a jazz sensibility, King's lines are sophisticated without losing their grit. More than anything else, Live at the Regal is a textbook example of how to set up a live performance. Talking to the crowd, setting up the tunes with a vignette, King is the consummate entertainer. Live at the Regal is an absolutely necessary acquisition for fans of B.B. King or blues music in general. A high point, perhaps even the high point, for uptown blues. © Daniel Gioffre /TiVo
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Blues - Released November 4, 1997 | Geffen

In theory, a B.B. King album featuring 13 duets with a variety of different artists could be spectacular, but Deuces Wild feels like it was conceived with the bottom line in mind. Instead of choosing artists who would complement B.B., the producers assembled a lineup that would appeal to a broad audience, from old blues fans and rockers to contemporary country, urban R&B, and hip-hop fans. Not surprisingly, the end result is quite uneven, ranging from the sublime to the terribly awkward. It also comes as no surprise that the veterans acquit themselves the best -- Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt, Dr. John, Joe Cocker, and Willie Nelson all sound terrific, while the Rolling Stones' support on "Paying the Cost to Be the Boss" positively smokes -- while Tracy Chapman sounds surprisingly soulful on "The Thrill Is Gone." However, the teamings with Simply Red's Mick Hucknall, D'Angelo, Marty Stuart, and rapper Heavy D are simply clumsy, with neither party sounding particularly comfortable. There are enough good moments on Deuces Wild to make it worthwhile for hardcore B.B. fans, but when they're placed in context with the bad cuts, the overwhelming impression is that the album is a bit of a wasted opportunity. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 1968 | Geffen

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A decent but short (nine songs) late '60s set, with somewhat sparser production than he'd employ with the beefier arrangements of the "Thrill Is Gone" era. Brass and stinging guitar plays a part on all of the songs, leading off with the eight-minute title track, a spoken narrative about his famous guitar. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 1970 | Geffen

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B.B. King is not only a timeless singer and guitarist, he's also a natural-born entertainer, and on Live at the Regal the listener is treated to an exhibition of all three of his talents. Over percolating horn hits and rolling shuffles, King treats an enthusiastic audience (at some points, they shriek after he delivers each line) to a collection of some of his greatest hits. The backing band is razor-sharp, picking up the leader's cues with almost telepathic accuracy. King's voice is rarely in this fine of form, shifting effortlessly between his falsetto and his regular range, hitting the microphone hard for gritty emphasis and backing off in moments of almost intimate tenderness. Nowhere is this more evident than at the climax of "How Blue Can You Get," where the Chicago venue threatens to explode at King's prompting. Of course, the master's guitar is all over this record, and his playing here is among the best in his long career. Displaying a jazz sensibility, King's lines are sophisticated without losing their grit. More than anything else, Live at the Regal is a textbook example of how to set up a live performance. Talking to the crowd, setting up the tunes with a vignette, King is the consummate entertainer. Live at the Regal is an absolutely necessary acquisition for fans of B.B. King or blues music in general. A high point, perhaps even the high point, for uptown blues. © Daniel Gioffre /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 1979 | Geffen

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Blues - Released January 1, 1998 | Geffen*

B.B. King made his debut as producer with Blues on the Bayou, released in October 1998. He employs the most basic of ideas for this project: record an album of B.B. King tunes, with B.B. King's regular road band, under B.B. King's supervision. Keeping it loose, relaxed, and focused, King cut this album in four days down at a secluded studio in Louisiana and came up with one of his strongest, modern-day albums in many years. No duets, no special guests, just King and his road warrior band, playing his songs with him producing the results -- no overdubs, just simple, no-nonsense blues done like he would do them on-stage. The result is a no-frills, straight-ahead session that shows that King might be have been 73 at the time of this date, but he still had plenty of gas left in the tank. Tracks like "I'll Survive," and the jumping "Shake It Up and Go," "Darlin' What Happened," the minor keyed "Blues Boy Tune," the instrumental "Blues We Like," and the closing "If That's It I Quit" show him stretching out in a way he has seldom done in a studio environment, and the result is one of his best albums in recent memory. © Cub Koda /TiVo
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Blues - Released September 25, 2000 | Geffen*

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Blues - Released April 12, 1999 | Geffen

B.B. King was the most successful and celebrated blues artist of his generation, a musician who came from humble roots in Mississippi and ended up taking his music to some of the most prestigious venues on Earth, giving the blues a level of respect and acceptance it had never enjoyed before. While King scored his first hits in the early '50s, it was in the mid-'60s that he first crossed over to the pop audience, and he cut his signature hit, "The Thrill Is Gone," in 1969. His Definitive Greatest Hits is a two-disc collection that brings together some of the best and most popular sides King recorded from the '60s onward, including "I Like to Live the Love," "Why I Sing the Blues," "Every Day I Have the Blues," "Into the Night," "My Lucille," "The Thrill Is Gone," and many more. The set also includes guest appearances by Robert Cray, Bobby Blue Bland, Gary Moore, and U2. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 1968 | Geffen

A decent but short (nine songs) late '60s set, with somewhat sparser production than he'd employ with the beefier arrangements of the "Thrill Is Gone" era. Brass and stinging guitar plays a part on all of the songs, leading off with the eight-minute title track, a spoken narrative about his famous guitar. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Blues - Released June 10, 2003 | Geffen*

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B.B. King was 77 years old when Reflections was released, which perhaps entitled him to reflect back on the song standards the album contained. Despite advancing age, King had already been unusually busy on the recording front for a septuagenarian, turning out the gold-selling duets album Deuces Wild in 1997, Blues on the Bayou in 1998, Let the Good Times Roll: The Music of Louis Jordan in 1999, the double-platinum Riding With the King with Eric Clapton and Makin' Love Is Good for You in 2000, and the seasonal recording A Christmas Celebration of Hope in 2002. For Reflections, he again worked with Simon Climie, who produced Riding With the King, and collaborated with a session band including such notables as Joe Sample, Nathan East, and Doyle Bramhall II. The songs ranged from pop evergreens like "I'll String Along With You" and "For Sentimental Reasons" to blues favorites such as Lonnie Johnson's "Tomorrow Night," with oddities like "Always on My Mind" thrown in and even a couple of remakes of the earlier King songs "Word of Honor" and "Neighborhood Affair." The arrangements, which included horn and string parts, left room for King's distinctive blues guitar work, but really supported his always expressive voice. The result was a confident, easygoing album that stylistically could have been made in 1953 as easily as 2003. Blues purists and aficionados of blues guitar would find it only partially satisfying, but it reflected the breadth of musical taste of an artist who always played the blues but never restricted himself only to blues music or blues fans. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 1969 | Geffen

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Completely Well was B.B. King's breakthrough album in 1969, which finally got him the long-deserved acclaim that was no less than his due. It contained his signature number, "The Thrill Is Gone," and eight other tunes, six of them emanating from King's pen, usually in a co-writing situation. Hardliners point to the horn charts and the overdubbed strings as the beginning of the end of King's old style that so identifiably earmarked his early sides for the Bihari Brothers and his later tracks for ABC, but this is truly the album that made the world sit up and take notice of B.B. King. The plus points include loose arrangements and a small combo behind him that never dwarfs the proceedings or gets in the way. King, for his part, sounds like he's having a ball, playing and singing at peak power. This is certainly not the place to start your B.B. King collection, but it's a nice stop along the way before you finish it. © Cub Koda /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 1971 | Geffen*

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Ambient/New Age - Released January 1, 2001 | Geffen*

It took B.B. King a long time to get around to his first Christmas album, which didn't appear until about half a century into his recording career. It's an adequate, good-humored reprisal of various holiday chestnuts, among them some material with blues/R&B origins, like "Merry Christmas Baby." King wrote just one new song for the album, the instrumental "Christmas Love," though he did originally record another of the tracks, "Christmas Celebration," back in 1960. Wisely he plays "Auld Lang Syne" as a funky instrumental instead of vocalizing the singalong lyrics. In addition to periodic bursts of King's trademark guitar, there is plenty of brass and organ in the peppy arrangements. The Nashville String Machine adds its strings to just three tracks, which cuts down on over-produced excess (which is only a problem on "Please Come Home for Christmas"). It's hardly the first King you'll pull off your shelf, and not the first R&B Christmas album you'll turn to either, but you could do worse in the holiday season. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 1965 | Geffen

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B.B. King hasn't made many better pop-flavored albums than this. Besides making Leon Russell's "Hummingbird" sound like his own composition, King showed that you can put the blues into any situation and make it work. Joining King here were Leon Russell, Joe Walsh and Carole King; several pop luminaries who did more than just hang on for the ride. © Ron Wynn /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 1970 | Geffen*

B.B. King is not only a timeless singer and guitarist, he's also a natural-born entertainer, and on Live at the Regal the listener is treated to an exhibition of all three of his talents. Over percolating horn hits and rolling shuffles, King treats an enthusiastic audience (at some points, they shriek after he delivers each line) to a collection of some of his greatest hits. The backing band is razor-sharp, picking up the leader's cues with almost telepathic accuracy. King's voice is rarely in this fine of form, shifting effortlessly between his falsetto and his regular range, hitting the microphone hard for gritty emphasis and backing off in moments of almost intimate tenderness. Nowhere is this more evident than at the climax of "How Blue Can You Get," where the Chicago venue threatens to explode at King's prompting. Of course, the master's guitar is all over this record, and his playing here is among the best in his long career. Displaying a jazz sensibility, King's lines are sophisticated without losing their grit. More than anything else, Live at the Regal is a textbook example of how to set up a live performance. Talking to the crowd, setting up the tunes with a vignette, King is the consummate entertainer. Live at the Regal is an absolutely necessary acquisition for fans of B.B. King or blues music in general. A high point, perhaps even the high point, for uptown blues. © Daniel Gioffre /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 1978 | Geffen

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Blues - Released January 1, 1968 | Geffen

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This isn't his most well-known stuff, but it's a very solid late '60s set. Featuring brassy arrangements by Johnny Pate (who also worked with many prominent Chicago soul acts during the '60s), it presents King's sound at its fullest without sacrificing any of his grit or sophisticated swing. No famous classics here, but the material is very strong throughout. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Blues - Released January 1, 1974 | Geffen*

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Although the duo of Bobby Blue Bland and B.B. King was one of the most popular touring acts of the '70s and '80s, their first duet album -- appropriately titled Together for the First Time ... Live -- doesn't quite live up to expectations. Both musicians are in fine form, but rarely do any sparks fly. Occasionally, King turns out a good solo and Bland sings with passion, but usually the vibe of the record is too relaxed to be truly engaging. It's a pleasant record, just not the essential listening that it should have been. © Thom Owens /TiVo
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Blues - Released December 16, 2019 | Nostalgic Melody Music Production