499 # Born Under a Bad Sign – Albert King

Albert King? Who the hell is Albert King?

Wow….How did I miss Albert King? Known as one of the “Three Kings of Blues” (along

with B.B. King and Freddie King) he was an outstanding guitarist (rated #13 on Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarist list.)

And my apologies to Mr. King’s family for not knowing this awesome guitarist…

He was left handed guitarist and instead of restringing his guitar, he simply played it the way it was. This allowed him to do some insane bends (brilliantly demonstrated on the song Personal Manager) When asked who his influences were he said “Nobody. Everything I do is wrong.”

Well, this album is very right. Produced in 1967, it is a collection of tracks that Stax had and complied into an album. The title track, Born Under a Bad Sign, is the most famous on the album and arguable his most famous song in his entire career.

The last song on the album, The Very Thought of You, which has been covered by, oh, everyone is a possible one of my favorites and kind of stands alone on the album as less, um, bluesy (?) But that’s good…I’m glad the fine folks at Stax records included it as it really highlights Albert King’s vocal range.

 

And finally one song that I keep coming back to is Laundromat Blues.  When I see the title I keep thinking it is a “throwaway song” used to fill the album up (as the entire album is only 35 minutes long) but then halfway into it I realize this is an awesome track.  Bumped up to five stars in iTunes so I don’t keep forgetting how good this song is.