King- Live at Ole Miss
August 27, 1991
Original Release Date: 1980
1. Intro- B.B. King Blues Theme
3. Blues Medley: Don't Answer The Door/You Done Lost Your
Good Thing Now/I Need Love So Bad...
4. Hold On
5. I Got Some Outside Help (I Don't Really Need)
6. Darlin' You Know I Love You
1. When I'm Wrong
2. The Thrill Is Gone
3. Never Make A Move Too Soon
4. Three O'Clock In The Morning
5. Rock Me Baby
6. Guess Who
7. I Just Can't Leave Your Love Alone
one of the pillars of Uptown Urban Blues, B.B. King is someone
who needs no introduction. I really couldn't tell you how
many recordings he released. If you ask him, he probably couldn't
tell you either. B.B. has been invited to the White House.
He has won more awards than any living musician. He is the
first Bluesman to bring "respectability"
to the Blues, if respectability is the word. B.B.'s music
isn't exactly the down-and-out, loan-me-a-dime kind of thing.
He has a horn section, wears a suit and a bow tie, with the
whole backing band in tuxedo. "Grand"
is the word. His music sells across the board; he is the ambassador
of the Blues. Black, White, Yellow, he appeals to all. In
more than one way, B.B. popularized or commercialized the
Blues, spreading the music to the far corners of America and
has remained consistent throughout the years: He has never
really done a bad record. His sickly sweet voice, his equally
sickly sweet guitar finger work on the major pentatonic scale
appeals to a much wider non-Blues listening audience than
any other Blues artist. B.B.'s music is comfortable, unobtrusive,
innocuous, just like an AAA grade movie, fit for the whole
family, young and old. But I find that his music sometimes
lacking in punch, too sweet at times and too soft-centered.
What his music lacks in punch, however, he made it up with
sheer emotion and feel. He is the Blues, he means what he
sings and plays what he means. In B.B. you really understand
you don't have to play very much to be effective, just three
or four notes in the right place and that's it. He has been
basically playing the same licks over and over again on all
his recordings and live shows. But you have to be B.B. to
get away with it. In all appearance, B.B. seems to be saint
without fault, always sweet and almost innocent. That appearance
ends when you turn the first page of his autobiography Blues
All Around Me. He is after all human. Get this
book and you will encounter a piece of first hand Blues history
that is absolutely fascinating.
early recordings under the Flair label and ABC label were
interesting, but he did not quite master his act in those
years. In those years, his voice sounded immature and his
guitar was often edgy and had yet to acquire the trademark
sound and sweetness of his later recordings. How good B.B.
performs often depends on his company, how strong the backing
band is. Of course, B.B. delivers the goods every time, but
with a great backing band, he is simply brilliant and unmatchable.
This is what happened when he played and recorded his shows
at the Mississippi University in 1980 released under the name
of "Live At Ole Miss". It really takes a live recording to
bring you all the intensity and emotion of the man on stage.
The backing band was tight and had a great groove. The versions
of The Thrill Is Gone, Three O'clock
In The Morning, Guess Who are absolutely mesmerizing.
B.B. King is certainly one of the Kings of the Blues. His
personality, his feel comes right across thick and fast and
with the horn section blowing away in the background, he is
just unbeatable. His kind of music has been called the "Memphis
Blues." To me, B.B.
King is a school in itself
- the rich man's Blues institute, if anything.
you want to hear B.B. at his absolute best, his definitive
live recording, you have to get hold of a copy of "B.B.
King & Sons" recorded live at Nakano Plaza, Japan
on 9th August 1990. This CD was released by Victor Music Industries,
Inc., Tokyo serial number VICL-103. The backing band included
Mitsuyoshi Azuma, a six-piece
horn section. Special guests included June Yamagishi, Malta,
Issei Noro, who are some of the cream of the Japanese musicians.
This is B.B.'s absolute best. I don't think you can get this
CD outside Japan and I am not even sure if it is still available
in Japan. I have a copy, a gift from one of my Japanese friends.
The backing band and the horn section swings like crazy, the
grove was so thick you can cut it with a plastic knife. Beg,
borrow or steal, get a copy of this gem. You won't hear a
better live recording than this by B.B. The guitar exchange
with Azuma, Issei Noro and Yamagishi were out of this world.
The show recorded here is what you would call the perfect
show. Absolutely impeccable, jammed packed with emotion, artistry
and passion. The rendition of The
Thrill Is Gone, Guess Who, Caledonia
and the rest of it all, phew!!! You are just not going
to believe it. This live recording, to me ear, is much better
than B.B.'s "Live
At Cook County Jail," "Live
At The Regal" and even "Live
At Ole Miss."