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Completely Well (1998 Reissue)

B.B. King

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Album Review

Completely Well was B.B. King's breakthrough album in 1969, which finally got him the long-deserved acclaim that was no less than his due. It contained his signature number, "The Thrill Is Gone," and eight other tunes, six of them emanating from King's pen, usually in a co-writing situation. Hardliners point to the horn charts and the overdubbed strings as the beginning of the end of King's old style that so identifiably earmarked his early sides for the Bihari Brothers and his later tracks for ABC, but this is truly the album that made the world sit up and take notice of B.B. King. The plus points include loose arrangements and a small combo behind him that never dwarfs the proceedings or gets in the way. King, for his part, sounds like he's having a ball, playing and singing at peak power. This is certainly not the place to start your B.B. King collection, but it's a nice stop along the way before you finish it.

Customer Reviews

# 9

Someone at i tunes knows their stuff, of all the versions of THE THRILL IS GONE this one is the hands down best! and you must buy the album to get it. its worth it too. The KING is on top with this record. It's genius really.

The Thrill Is Not All Gone

The album is still good. Besides, you can get The Thrill is Gone on another CD. But anyway this album is still pretty good.

Completely great

I had been listening to 'Live at the Regal' for a couple of years when this album first came out. Now I STILL would say that Regal is an absolutely stunning recording - no other live blues record I've ever heard can touch it for sheer concentrated power and authority - but the studio LPs he had been putting out since moving to ABC in the mid 60s were, shall we say, a little dry for my taste ('Lucille' for example). So I was totally blown away when I put the needle in the first track of 'Completely Well' and heard that incredible studio band (featuring the inimitable Jerry 'Fingers' Jemmott on bass) driving him. This was more like it! While "Thrill Is Gone" is a total classic, the song I keep going back to over and over is 'Confessin' the Blues'. This is a shuffle for the ages. The band is wonderfully loose and tight at the same time, and cooks like a, well, you know, and B. B.'s got this incredible, swaggering tone going on in his trademark punchy leads. I read in his autobiography that he'd always wanted to do this tune and it certainly shows; he's totally into the performance. I would give the album five stars just for this one track.


Born: September 16, 1925 in Indianola, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Universally hailed as the reigning king of the blues, the legendary B.B. King is without a doubt the single most important electric guitarist of the last half century. His bent notes and staccato picking style have influenced legions of contemporary bluesmen, while his gritty and confident voice — capable of wringing every nuance from any lyric — provides a worthy match for his passionate playing. Between 1951 and 1985, King notched an impressive 74 entries on Billboard's R&B charts,...
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