B. B. King

B. B. King

Greatest Hits

MCA

OK. It’s B. B. King, so there’s no questioning whether or not the artist is worthy. To most people, B. B. King IS the blues. He certainly is its greatest ambassador. The only issue open to debate is the selection of tracks. Since he has really only had a couple songs that were mainstream hits, MCA has selected 16 representative tracks, beginning in the early ’60s when B. B. first started to achieve some commercial success. Of course, his best-known tunes, like “How Blue Can You Get” and “The Thrill is Gone,” are here, as well as a couple off the classic Live at the Regal. The tracks from the late ’60s and early ’70s show B. B. flexing the genre into the new electric blues, and highlight what I’ve always felt was his greatest asset — his broad and beautiful voice. Of course, the guitar work is pretty good, too. In the ’80s and ’90s, B. B. was involved in a multitude of collaborations, and the toughest task had to be choosing these selections. The selected tracks, “Playing With My Friends” (with Robert Cray) and “When Love Comes to Town” (with U2), are consistent with the overall theme of this collection, and in fact, B. B. King’s life — to deliver his blues to as many people as possible. This anthology is a testimony to his success. MCA Records, 70 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

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