#141 – Live At The Regal (B.B. King)

In 150-125, Top 150 on May 16, 2011 at 11:29 am

‘Live At The Regal’ is widely considered to be one of the best blues recordings of all-time, and you can understand why when you listen to B.B. King’s live performance at the Regal Theatre in Chicago. It was recorded on November 21, 1964 and released in 1965.

Album Art

Track Listing

  1. Everyday I Have The Blues
  2. Sweet Little Angel
  3. It’s My Own Fault
  4. How Blue Can You Get
  5. Please Love Me
  6. You Upset Me Baby
  7. Worry, Worry
  8. Woke Up This Mornin’
  9. You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now
  10. Help The Poor
The album flows seamlessly from track to track as the audience roars and B.B. ad-libs and his band vamps a few bars in transition. The album oozes with soul and passion, and the recording beautifully captures the feeling of the concert. Or at least, I think it does. I don’t really know. But it’s playful, interactive, and exciting to listen to. According to a few sources online, B.B. doesn’t think this is his best recording, despite all the accolades received, including the #141 spot on the Top 500 Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone. 
Comparing this album to others I’ve heard so far from the mid-60s, what’s interesting are the subtleties in B.B.’s guitar playing – the vibrato, the slides on the guitar. B.B. gives his guitar a full voice, as though its a singer in his band. And now, comparing it to current guitarists, I notice similarities between the sound of John Mayer and B.B. King. I’m not a guitar expert, but that’s who I immediately think of. They both play their guitars as though they are a countering vocalist, playing off each other’s silences. 
What do you think about this recording? Is it the best Blues recording of all time? If not, what album do you think is?

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