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The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection: His Best, 1947 to 1955

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iTunes Review

Though Muddy Waters continued making plenty of amazing music for many years after the period encompassed here, this collection represents the very core of his catalog, the tracks upon which his legend was founded. Capturing the best tunes from Muddy's first decade of recording for the Chess label, it reaches all the way back to the spare, Delta-influenced songs the Chicago blues king cut in the '40s when Chess Records was still called Aristocrat. But the most iconic cuts here are the ones Muddy crafted in the early '50s, once he'd begun to incorporate the Windy City's urban/industrial milieu into his music. You can envision the clanging of massive factory machinery on the monolithic stomp of "Still a Fool" and "Standing Around Crying," even as Muddy's magisterial tones and the wailing harp of Little Walter and Junior Wells, respectively, add pure human passion to the mix. And as many times as "Mannish Boy" and "I Just Want to Make Love to You" have been covered, the smoldering sensuality of the originals remains unmatchable.

Customer Reviews

The Godfather of Blues

This is the start of modern, urban blues. Muddy and Little Walter and the others wail on this one, and it's essential listening for anyone interested in modern American music. Peace.

Awesome, mandatory listening!

Pick this album up immediately, don't even think about it.


In short this a celabration of life. Not only one of the best blues albums but one of the best albums of all time. Anybody who makes music like this is flat out talented, that is just the bottom line. Overall, I think it is a five star album and fifve star muscian!


Born: April 4, 1915 in Rolling Fork, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

Muddy Waters was the single most important artist to emerge in post-war American blues. A peerless singer, a gifted songwriter, an able guitarist, and leader of one of the strongest bands in the genre (which became a proving ground for a number of musicians who would become legends in their own right), Waters absorbed the influences of rural blues from the Deep South and moved them uptown, injecting his music with a fierce, electric energy and helping pioneer the Chicago Blues style that would come...
Full Bio

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