This collector’s edition contains Howlin’ Wolf ’s eponymous second album for Chess Records, Howlin’ Wolf (released in January 1962). The long play, which has come to be known as “The Rockin’ Chair Album”, was originally released as a collection of singles (totalling nine tracks) taped and released individually between 1960 and 1961 (with the exception of the songs “Who’s Been Talkin’” and “Tell Me”, cut in 1957). The album also contained three previously unreleased songs, recorded between May and December 1961. The music presented here is a testament to Wolf’s unearthly, mighty force.
One of his best loved LPs, Howlin’ Wolf is widely recognized as one of the all-time cornerstones of Chicago Blues (it was also named the third greatest guitar album of all time by Mojo magazine in 2004). The first side features iconic singles like “The Red Rooster”, and “Wang-Dang- Doodle”. However it’s on the second side that Wolf really steps into the light and delivers his dynamic and unique voice like never before. As was common practice in the early Sixties, the music contained on this album was not originally taped with the intention of presenting it on the longplay format. Instead, it featured a selection of hit singles and B-sides cut at different sessions that took place over several years. (Wolf ’s evolution as a musician is particularly evident when listening to the two opening tunes, “Shake for Me” and “The Red Rooster”.) Based on the fact that this is more of a “best of” type album, one might ask why it is considered to be one of Howlin Wolf ’s finest if it was just a collection of singles? The answer to this is in the quality of the B-sides, which are every bit as good as the better-known A-sides. From the signature “Spoonful” down to the closer “Tell Me,” Howlin’ Wolf is at his absolute best.
1.Shake For Me 2. The Red Rooster 3. You’ll Be Mine 4. Who’s Been Talkin’ 5. Wang-Dang-Doodle 6. Little Baby 7. Spoonful 8. Going Down Slow 9. Down In The Bottom 10. Back Door Man 11. Howlin’ For My Baby 12. Tell Me 13. I Didn’t Know 14. Poor Boy 15. Rockin’ Daddy 16. My Life 17. Don’t Mess With My Baby 18. Mr. Highway Man 19. I’ve Been Abused 20. Change My Way 21. So Glad 22. You Can’t Be Beat