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Rock - Released January 1, 1968 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Blues - Released January 1, 2005 | Capitol Records

With the glut of Canned Heat compilations available, what makes this 19-song Capitol/EMI release better than the rest? For starters, the previously unreleased track "Henry's Shuffle," featuring guitarist Henry Vestine and recorded in 1968, which was undoubtedly the zenith year for the band; the inclusion of "Low Down (And High Up)"; the rare Liberty B-side "Time Was," and the rollicking 1970 date with Little Richard, "Rockin' With the King." Also included are several tracks that both the novice and die-hard fan alike would find essential -- three live cuts from the Monterey Pop Festival, a nod to the 1971 collaborative effort with John Lee Hooker on "Whiskey and Wimmen'," and two Woodstock era classics culled from the Boogie with Canned Heat album, "Amphetamine Annie" and "Fried Hockey Boogie." And, of course, what would a Canned Heat compilation be without the bona fide hippie hits: "On the Road Again," "Goin' Up the Country" and "Let's Work Together." These are the original versions, digitally remastered and sounding great, so ignore the glut, this really is the Very Best of Canned Heat. © Al Campbell /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1969 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Rock - Released January 1, 1989 | Capitol Records

This 15-track single-disc collection was culled from Canned Heat (1967), Boogie With Canned Heat (1968), Living the Blues (1968), Hallelujah (1969), and Future Blues (1970). Arguably, Canned Heat Cookbook (1969) -- a hits package in its own right -- could be lumped in since it was the first full-length platter with "Going Up the Country," which was initially only issued on a 45-rpm single. During this era, the Heat was inhabited by Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson (guitar/vocals), Larry "The Mole" Taylor (bass), Henry "Sunflower" Vestine (guitar), and Bob "The Bear" Hite (vocals). Frank Cook (drums) contributed to the band's self-titled debut prior to being replaced by Aldolfo "Fito" de la Parra (drums), who remained as the combo's sole purveyor into the 1990s. One of the things separating the material on this title is the integration of the extended musical memoir "Fried Hockey Boogie," featuring Hite front and center as he introduces each of his mates prior to their respective solos. This culminates into a full-blown jam, concluding with the Bear's decree "Don't forget to boogie!" The other lengthy groove is the psychedelic sojourn "Parthenogenesis," incorporating the stretched-out moxie of concurrent Bay Area acts the Grateful Dead or Quicksilver Messenger Service with their own distinct rootsy blend of electric rock with authentic R&B. For the most part, however, On the Road is a plentiful compilation that finds room for Canned Heat's best-remembered numbers, such as the funky good-time update of Wilbert Harrison's "Let's Work Together," the darkly guilded original "On the Road Again," and the cautionary tale of speed freaks on "Amphetamine Annie." Equally copious is the secondary layer of album cuts, including covers of classics such as the traditional "Bullfrog Blues," Muddy Waters' "Rollin' and Tumblin'," and Robert Johnson's "Dust My Broom." While those with a cursory interest in Canned Heat will be more than adequately served by this set, some may find it a bit too comprehensive. Conversely, parties seeking a more in-depth anthology should take note of the two-disc Uncanned! The Best of Canned Heat (1994). © Lindsay Planer /TiVo

Blues - Released March 27, 2020 | Friday Rights Management, LLC

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Rock - Released January 1, 1967 | Capitol Records

This debut long-player from Canned Heat was issued shortly after their appearance at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival. That performance, for all intents and purposes, was not only the combo's entrée into the burgeoning underground rock & roll scene, but was also among the first high-profile showcases to garner national and international attention. The quartet featured on Canned Heat (1967) includes the unique personnel of Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson (guitar/vocals), Larry "The Mole" Taylor (bass), Henry "Sunflower" Vestine (guitar), Bob "The Bear" Hite (vocals), and Frank Cook (drums). Cook's tenure with the Heat would be exceedingly brief, however, as he was replaced by Aldolfo "Fido" Dela Parra (drums) a few months later. Although their blues might have suggested that the aggregate hailed from the likes of Chicago or Memphis, Canned Heat actually formed in the Los Angeles suburb of Topanga Canyon, where they were contemporaries of other up-and-coming rockers Spirit and Kaleidoscope. Wilson and Hite's almost scholarly approach created a unique synthesis when blended with the band's amplified rock & roll. After their initial studio sessions in April of 1967 produced favorable demos, they returned several weeks later to begin work in earnest on this platter. The dearth of original material on Canned Heat was less of a result of any songwriting deficiencies, but rather exemplifies their authentic renderings of traditionals such as the open-throttled boogie of "Rollin' and Tumblin'" -- which is rightfully recognized as having been derived from the Muddy Waters arrangement. Similarly, a rousing reading of Robert Johnson's "Dust My Broom" is co-credited to Elmore James. Blues aficionados will undoubtedly notice references to a pair of Howlin' Wolf classics -- "Smokestack Lightning" as well as "I Asked for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)" -- as part of the rambling "Road Song." While decidedly more obscure to the casual listener, Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones "Story of My Life" is both a high point on this recording, as well as one of the fiercest renditions ever committed to tape. Until a thorough overhaul of Canned Heat's catalog materializes, this title can be found on the Canned Heat/Boogie With Canned Heat (2003) two-fer that couples this title with their 1968 follow-up. © Lindsay Planer /TiVo
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Rock - Released August 3, 1970 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

The final Canned Heat album to feature co-founder Alan Wilson, Future Blues was also one of their best, surprisingly restrained as a studio creation by the band, the whole thing clocking in at under 36 minutes, as long as some single jams on their live discs. It was also one of their most stylistically diverse efforts. Most of what's here is very concise and accessible, even the one group-composed jam -- Alan Wilson's "Shake It and Break It" and his prophetically titled "My Time Ain't Long" (he would be dead the year this record was issued), which also sounds a lot like a follow-up to "Going up the Country" until its final, very heavy, and up-close guitar coda. Other songs are a little self-consciously heavy, especially their version of Arthur Crudup's "That's All Right, Mama." Dr. John appears, playing piano on the dark, ominous "London Blues," and arranges the horns on "Skat," which tries for a completely different kind of sound -- late-'40s-style jump blues -- than that for which the group was usually known. And the band also turns in a powerhouse heavy guitar version of Wilbert Harrison's "Let's Work Together." © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Blues - Released August 7, 2015 | Ruf Records GmbH

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Rock - Released July 8, 1969 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

With Bob Hite and Alan Wilson switching off on vocals, Canned Heat delivered as consistent a blues product as George Thorogood, only with more diversity and subtle musical nuances keeping the listener involved. "Same All Over" breaks no new ground, opening up the Hallelujah disc, but the enthusiasm and reverence the band has for the genre is special. Al Wilson's distinctive voice -- heard on two Top 20 hit records in 1968 -- is enhanced with his eerie whistling on "Change My Ways" and the wonderfully ragged instrumentation. The way the keys bubble up under the guitars, it would have been a natural for these guys to groove their way into a Grateful Dead-style jam band thing, but two vocalists dying within an 11-year span is a bit much for any ensemble. The name Canned Heat is so cool that it becomes the title of the third song. "Canned Heat" is a pretty accurate description of what they play, and the bluesy, slow Bob Hite vocal works wonders over the incessant Henry Vestine/Alan Wilson guitar work. Nice stuff. Jim Newsom calls "Sic 'Em Pigs" "an entertaining era-specific goof." The slide guitars herald the anti-police anthem, featuring drummer Fito de la Parra, Alan Wilson, and Henry Vestine making the pig noises, with a public service announcement for the Los Angeles Sheriff's Dept. thrown in for good measure. Skip Taylor's production work is just fine, a muddy blend of instrumentation making for a cohesive sound wall on "I'm Her Man" and Wilson's "Time Was." Hallelujah was the group's fourth release for Liberty Records and it is a slice of Americana by a relatively young band with a very pure grasp of the music they love. The liner notes are a tip of the hat to the people of the plains, "the midsection of America," where man finds nothing but "himself, the land, and the sun." "Do Not Enter" opens side two with experimental blues and Alan Wilson's haunting voice, something akin to pop singer Chris Montez performing a dirge. Hite's very appropriate adaptation of "Big Fat" explodes with his own harp work and the band egging him on, an ode to his being overweight -- something that no doubt did him in a decade later. "Huautla" changes directions totally, Mike Pacheco's bongos and congas adding a Latin feel to the harp-soaked instrumental. The two longest songs on the album conclude side two, a unique "Get off My Back" with musical twists and an intensely plodding "Down in the Gutter, but Free" with everyone in the group contributing to the "songwriting" of the jam, including bassist Henry Vestine and guitarist Larry Taylor. Though there was no specific hit on Hallelujah, this enjoyable album shows Canned Heat's innovation, which would inspire groups like Duke & the Drivers down the road, fans so obsessed with the subject matter that they crossed over to the professional arena. © Joe Viglione /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 1987 | Parlophone Catalogue

Disky's Best of Canned Heat collection combines all original material taken from their most popular late- '60s Liberty albums: Boogie With Canned Heat, Future Blues, and Canned Heat. The most obvious of their well-loved hippie blues tracks are here, including "On the Road Again," "Going Up the Country," "Fried Hockey Boogie," and "Let's Work Together." If your collection is lacking a decent budget-priced Canned Heat disc, pick this one up. © Al Campbell /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2008 | Purple Pyramid

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Blues - Released April 22, 2016 | Essential Media Group

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Blues - Released September 20, 1999 | RUF Records

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Rock - Released December 14, 1971 | EMI Catalogue

Adding Joel Scott Hill to the band, Canned Heat was infused with a bit of much-needed new blood. While nothing here found favor with AM radio, FM saw fit to include such cuts as "Cherokee Dance," "Utah," and the Heat's collaboration with Little Richard, "Rockin' with the King." Full of the usual boogie, Historical Figures and Ancient Heads still comes off as a rather pale reminder of just how bluesy this band once was. New blood or not, this disc didn't do much in the way of revitalizing Canned Heat's faltering career -- they appear to have become old before their time. © James Chrispell /TiVo

Rock - Released September 27, 2019 | Friday Rights Management, LLC

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Rock - Released June 1, 1970 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

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Rock - Released March 9, 1973 | EMI Catalogue

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Rock - Released January 1, 1968 | CAPITOL CATALOG MKT (C92)

Canned Heat's second long-player, Boogie with Canned Heat (1968), pretty well sums up the bona fide blend of amplified late-'60s electric rhythm and blues, with an expressed emphasis on loose and limber boogie-woogie. The quintet -- consisting of Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson (guitar/harmonica/vocals), Larry "The Mole" Taylor (bass), Henry "Sunflower" Vestine (guitar), Aldolfo "Fido" Dela Parra (drums), and Bob "The Bear" Hite (vocals) -- follow up their debut effort with another batch of authentic interpretations, augmented by their own exceptional instrumentation. One development is their incorporation of strong original compositions. "On the Road Again" -- which became the combo's first, and arguably, most significant hit -- as well as the Albert King inspired anti-speed anthem, "Amphetamine Annie," were not only programmed on the then-burgeoning underground FM radio waves, but also on the more adventuresome AM Top 40 stations. Their love of authentic R&B informs "World in a Jug," the dark "Turpentine Blues," and Hite's update of Tommy McClennan's "Whiskey Headed Woman." The Creole anthem "Marie Laveau" is nothing like the more familiar cut by Bobby Bare, although similarities in content are most likely derived from a common source. The side, as rendered here, is arguably most notable for the driving interaction between guitarists Wilson and Vestine as they wail and moan over Hite's imposing leads. Saving the best for last, the Heat are at the height of their prowess during the lengthy audio biography on "Fried Hockey Boogie." Each member is introduced by Hite and given a chance to solo before they kick out the jams, culminating in Hite's crescendo of " ... Don't forget to boogie!" In 1999 the French label, Magic Records, issued an expanded edition of Boogie with Canned Heat supplemented by half-a-dozen sides, such as the 45 RPM edits of "On the Road Again," "Boogie Music" and "Goin' Up the Country." Also included are the once difficult-to-locate 45-only "One Kind Favor," as well as the seasonal offering "Christmas Blues" and "The Chipmunk Song" -- with guest shots from none other than Alvin, Simon, Theodore, and David Seville of the one and only Chipmunks. For enthusiasts as well as listeners curious about the oft-overlooked combo, this is an essential, if not compulsory platter. © Lindsay Planer /TiVo
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Rock - Released July 1, 1970 | Purple Pyramid Records

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R&B - Released February 8, 2005 | Rhino Atlantic