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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Elvin Bishop

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Album Review

After starting out with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the mid-'60s, Elvin Bishop recorded solo for the short-lived Fillmore label (later controlled by Sony) in the late '60s and early '70s, and he made several albums for the independent Alligator Records in the '80s and '90s. But he gained his greatest commercial recognition on Capricorn Records (the early catalog of which is now controlled by Universal) in the mid- to late '70s, and it is this portion of his career that is represented on this midline-priced best-of, which has been assigned to Universal's Mercury imprint. Bishop modified his basic blues-rock style for each of his affiliations: With Butterfield he played Chicago blues, on Fillmore he took on something of the San Francisco acid rock style, and on Capricorn he absorbed some of the Southern rock of labelmates like the Allman Brothers Band. Four of his five Hot 100 chart entries are found here (the missing one is the least successful, "Spend Some Time"), among them "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," the Top Five hit that has always been an anomaly for him, not only because Mickey Thomas is featured on lead vocals, but also because, even though Bishop wrote it, it sounds much more pop-oriented than one expects from him. More consistent with his style is the minor chart entry "Travelin' Shoes," which boasts a lot of Allmans-like slide guitar work, especially in the seven-minute-plus workout heard here (the single was a three-minute edit), and some politically incorrect lyrics about beating a woman with a baseball bat that probably didn't sound as objectionable back in 1974. But then, the country blues never boasted the most enlightened lyrics, and Bishop also cheerfully admits to "Stealin' Watermelons." At a reasonable price, this collection effectively summarizes his six Capricorn albums.

Customer Reviews

fooled around

i love fooled around and fell in love amazing song. amazing voice. amazing lyrics. amazing music.


ah, yes.... fooled around and fell in love... reminds me of bein' 21 again and buzzing around in my VW Beetle....

Fooled Around and Fell in Love

So glad to find this. Bishop's guitar solo and Mickey Thomas's over-the-top vocal puts this in my all-time top-ten! Re-writing this review - gave it too few stars. Not to mention giving vocal credit to the wrong individual. This is an all time great for any library.


Born: October 21, 1942 in Glendale, CA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A veteran guitarist who fused the blues with gospel, R&B, and country traditions, Elvin Bishop was born in Glendale, California, on October 21, 1942. He grew up on a farm in Iowa with no electricity or running water, and eventually moved to Oklahoma with his family when he was ten. Raised in an all-white community, his only exposure to African-American traditions was the radio, which introduced him to the sounds of blues stations in Shreveport, Louisiana. The piercing sound of Jimmy Reed's harmonica...
Full Bio

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