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I'm a Man: The Chess Masters, 1955-1958

Bo Diddley

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

This collects the first four years of studio sessions for the legendary Bo Diddley. From his first session on March 2, 1955, Diddley is already a fully-formed performer bashing out his “Bo Diddley” rhythm, and early takes of his first single “Bo Diddley” provide an essential glimpse into his approach. Diddley was a raw, boisterous musician who, along with Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Buddy Holly and a few others, wrote the early textbook for rock n’ roll music. He did so by keeping his sound tough, even as he added additional rhythmic players and explored enhanced guitar tones (including his trademark watery tremolo). His songwriting was sharp and filled with clever wit that he shared with his worthy foil, maracas player Jerome Green (who penned “Bring It To Jerome”). “Love is Strange” (later a hit for Mickey and Sylvia), “Diddley Daddy,” “Who Do You Love,” “Diddy Wah Diddy,” the absolutely haunting “Mona” that the Rolling Stones brought to a new audience, “Before You Accuse Me,” Diddley had the material at the onset and continued to shine into the early 1960s, just past the reach of this collection. See The Chess Box for a more complete overview, but don’t discount the importance and exceptional quality of these tracks and the extra outtakes.

Customer Reviews

"Just 22 An' I Don't Mind Dyin!"

.."Bo Diddley Caught A Nanny Goat!"..Oh; Yes!-Those Hypnotic; Throbbing; Primal Rhythms launched the careers of so many young guitar slingers: Buddy Holly; Keith Richards; John Fogarty & George Thorogood; To rattle off a few!-That unique sound that started out as "Shave & A Haircut; Two Bits!" ended up being coined as "That Bo Diddley Beat!"-Bo had a long & productive career & Collaborated with many kindred spirits on musical projects!-A true "Rock & Roll Originator!"-Yeah; "Who Do You Love?" Grimmbo.


Born: December 30, 1928 in McComb, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

He only had a few hits in the 1950s and early '60s, but as Bo Diddley sang, "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover." You can't judge an artist by his chart success, either, and Diddley produced greater and more influential music than all but a handful of the best early rockers. The Bo Diddley beat — bomp, ba-bomp-bomp, bomp-bomp — is one of rock & roll's bedrock rhythms, showing up in the work of Buddy Holly, the Rolling Stones, and even pop-garage knock-offs like the Strangeloves'...
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