Tuesday, 15 June 2010

“Taking Care Of Business 1956 – 1973” by FREDDIE KING. A Review of the 2009 Bear Family 7CD Box Set With Added 7”/LP Discographies Referencing The Box

"…I Swim The Deepest River…"

Bear Family box sets are famous for their sumptuousness, but I would venture to say that this absolute peach is one of the best tomes they've ever produced - and given their ludicrously high standards with content, sound and presentation - that's really saying something. I'm properly blown away - I really am.

"Taking Care Of Business 1956-1973" was released May 2009 on Bear Family BCD 16979 GK in Germany and contains 167 remastered tracks across 7 fully-featured CDs. Inside is a 106-page 12" x 12" HARDBACK BOOK which is shrink-wrapped for protection (a nice touch) and as you can imagine is a thing of beauty in itself. Rare photos, trade adverts, concert posters, singles on Federal and King, albums on Cotillion and Shelter punctuate a huge essay on King's life and music by noted expert BILL DAHL. The updated Discography by BILL DAHL and RICHARD WEIZE is presented in a far-clearer manner than before (even if there are a few mistakes and omissions) and there's also a track-by-track alphabetical list that follows it. The whole set reeks of care and affection.

Track Mixing and Remastering is by BILL INGLOT (of Rhino fame) and JURGEN CRASSER (of Bear Family) and the quality is GORGEOUS throughout - especially on the last three discs. Each jewel case carries a different photo-inlay and each label reflects the recording period - Federal on 1 to 3, King on 4, Cotillion on 5 and Shelter on 6 and 7. And as you can see from the list below, there's some eye-catching extended playing times...

Disc 1, 25 Tracks, 70:46 minutes
Disc 2, 26 Tracks, 77:15 minutes
Disc 3, 22 Tracks, 70:56 minutes
Disc 4, 32 Tracks, 87:16 minutes
Disc 5, 25 Tracks, 84:46 minutes
Disc 6, 17 Tracks, 77:35 minutes
Disc 7, 20 Tracks, 77:49 minutes

SINGLES:
"Taking Care Of Business" will also allow you to sequence the A&B sides of 36 x 7" singles - every one from his rare debut "Country Boy" in 1956 on El-Bee 157 right up to "Woman Across The River" on Leon Russell's Shelter label in 1973 (Shelter 7333). The six-tracks of his 1961 "Bossa Nova And Blues" EP on King KSS-7 821 are here too.

ALBUMS:
All of the following LPs are complete too (relevant tracks only on 3, 4, 8 and 15):

1. "Freddy King Sings" (King 762, Mono, 1961)
2. "Let's Hide Away And Dance Away With Freddy King" (King 773, Mono, 1961)
3. "Boy-Girl-Boy" (King 777, Mono, 1962)
[Credited to Freddy King, Lula Reed & Sonny Thompson with 4 tracks featuring Lula Reed with Freddy King]
4. A Carnival Of Songs" (King 819, 1963, A Various Artists compilation featuring 1 exclusive track - "Closed Door")
5. "Bossa Nova And Blues" (King 821, Mono, 1962)
6. "Freddy King...Gives You A Bonanza Of Instrumentals" (King 928, Mono, 1965)
7. "Freddy King Sings Again" (King 931, Mono, 1965, see LP Discography)
8. "All His Hits" (King 5012, 1965 Compilation LP featuring "Christmas Tears")
9. "24 Vocals And Instrumentals" (King 964, Mono, 1966)
10. "Freddie King Is A Blues Master" (Cotillion SD-9004, Stereo, 1969)
11. "My Feeling For The Blues" (Cotillion SD-9016, 1970)
12. "Getting Ready" (Shelter SHE-8905. 1971)
13. "Texas Cannonball" (Shelter SW-8913, 1972)
14. "Woman Across The River" (Shelter SW-8919, 1973)
15. "Ann Arbor Blues And Jazz Festival" (Atlantic SD2-502, 1973 2LP set featuring 1 exclusive track "Goin' Down")

MISTAKES/OMISSIONS:
The Discography forgets to mention the 7" single King 6264, which reissued the A-sides of his 2nd and 3rd singles "Have You Ever Seen A Woman" and "Hideaway" in 1969. On the album front the "24 Vocals And Instrumentals" album set on King 964 is 'pictured', but not referenced in the Discography - a big error. The "Freddy King Goes Surfin" album on King 856 is a reissue of the "Let's Hide away..." LP from 1961 (King 773) with crowd overdubs added on - but those versions are not featured here at all (probably considered too gimmicky for inclusion). His 6-track session work on the rare Smokey Smothers album from 1962 "Sings The Backporch Blues" on King 779 is not mentioned nor featured either - which is odd. And because the set ends at 1973, you don't get the last two albums he did for RSO before he died - "Burglar" (1974) and "Freddy King Larger Than Life" (1975) - nor do you get the session work he put in on the Jimmy Rogers "Gold Tailed Bird" LP on Shelter SW-8921 in 1973. In truth though, you'd have to look deep into the discography to see these things, but they're points worth making.

PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED/FEATURED ARTSTS/SOUND:
I'm thrilled to say that the outtakes are equal to - and in some cases surpass - the released material. "Ain't No Big Deal On You" on Disc 7 funks and rocks so cool (lyrics above) and the cover of Muddy Waters "I Just Want To Make Love To You" is slow and bluesy in all the right ways. There's loads more where they came from. King Curtis, Leon Russell and members of Booker T. & The M.G.'s are all over the Cotillion and Shelter albums to such great effect - and over and over - the sound quality across all the discs just hammers you with its muscle and clarity. I can't stop playing it.

This kind of quality and class doesn't come cheap though - there's little change out of one hundred and fifty sterling or three hundred dollars - but it is BEAUTIFUL.

Freddie King died 28 December 1976 aged only 42. But at least this truly stunning box set celebrates his musical legacy in real style.

Roll on Lightnin' Hopkins, Albert King, Big Joe Turner...

PS: for fans I've posted a USA 7" single and LP discography which references where to find the tracks on the box set - each is posted in a separate 'comment' attached to this review

PPS: I've also reviewed the following Bear Family box sets (with discographies) that may be of interest - Louis Jordan, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Roy Orbison and Nellie Lutcher

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FREDDIE KING – USA 7” SINGLE DISOGRAPHY
Referencing the 2009 “Taking Care Of Business 1956 – 1973”
7CD Box Set on Bear Family BCD 16979 GK

Entries 1 to 30 are credited to FREDDY KING, thereafter as FREDDIE KING

1/2 = Disc 1, Track 2
2/14 = Disc 2. Track 14 etc

1. Country Boy b/w That’s What You Think (El-Bee 157, 1956)
[1/1 and 1/2]
Note: “Country Boy” also features vocals by Eloise Whitfield

2. Have You Ever Loved A Woman b/w You’ve Got To Love Her With A Feeling (Federal 45-12384, December 1960)
[1/6 and 1/5]

3. Hide Away b/w I Love The Woman (Federal 45-12401, March 1961)
[1/7 and 1/8]
Note: the A-side is an Instrumental

4. Lonesome Whistle Blues b/w It’s Too Bad Things Are Going So Tough (Federal 45-12415, May 1961)
[1/9 and 1/11]

5. San-Ho-Zay b/w See See Baby (Federal 45-12428, 1August 1961)
[1/17 and 1/4]
Note: the A-side is an Instrumental

6. I’m Tore Down b/w Sen-Sa-Shun (Federal 45-12432, October 1961)
[1/ 12 and 1/14]
Note: the B-side is an Instrumental

7. Christmas Tears b/w I Hear Jingle Bells (Federal 45-12439, December 1961)
[2/3 and 2/7]

8. If You Believe (In What You Do) b/w Heads Up (Federal 45-12443, January 1962)
[1/10 and 2/2]
Note: the B-side is an Instrumental

9. Takin’ Care Of Business b/w The Stumble (Federal 45-12450, March 1962)
[2/5 and 1/16]
Note: the B-side is an Instrumental

10. Side Tracked b/w Sittin’ On The Boat Dock (Federal 45-12456, April 1962)
[1/15 and 2/17]
Note: the A-side is an Instrumental

11. Do The President Twist b/w Your Love Keeps A-Working On Me (Federal 45-12457, May 1962)
[2/19 and 3/1]
Note; the A-side is credited to LULU REED & FREDDY KING while the B-side is LULU REED (only) – her name should read ‘Lula’ Reed

12. What About Love b/w Texas Oil (Federal 45-12462, July 1962)
[3/2 and 2/12]
Note: the B-side is an Instrumental

13. Come On b/w Just Pickin’ (Federal 45-12470, September 1962)
[2/18 and 2/23]
Note: the B-side is an Instrumental

14. (Let Your Love) Watch Over Me b/w You Can’t Hide (Federal 45-12471, October 1962)
[2/20 and 2/21]
Note: both A&B credited to LULU REED and FREDDY KING

15. I’m On My Way To Atlanta b/w In The Open (Federal 45-12475, December 1962)
[2/14 and 2/8]
Note: the B-side is an Instrumental

16. It’s Easy, Child b/w Say Hey Pretty (Federal 45-12477, December 1962)
[2/22]
Note: The A-side is credited to LULU REED and FREDDY KING
The B-side is LULU REED and SONNY THOMPSON And His Orchestra
and is NOT on the box set because there’s no FK involvement

17. The Bossa Nova Watusi Twist b/w Look, Ma I’m Cryin’ (Federal 45-12482, February 1963)
[3/4 and 3/13]
Note: the A-side is an Instrumental

18. (I’d Love To) Make Love To You b/w One Hundred Years (Federal 45-12491, 1963)
[3/14 and 3/15]

19. (The Welfare) Turns Its Back On You b/w You’re Barkin’ Up The Wrong Tree (Federal 45-12499, 1963)
[3/11 and 3/9]

20. Monkey Donkey b/w Surf Monkey (Federal 45-12509, 1963)
[3/21 and 3/17]
Note: the B-side is an Instrumental

21. Meet Me At The Station b/w King-A-Ling (Federal 45-12515, 1964)
[4/1 and 4/3]
Note: the B-side is an Instrumental

22. Someday, After Awhile (You’ll Be Sorry) b/w Driving Sideways (Federal 45-12518, 1964)
[3/7 and 2/16]
Note: the B-side is an Instrumental

23. She Put The Whammy On Me b/w High Rise (Federal 45-12521, 1964)
[2/13 and 2/11]
Note: the B-side is an Instrumental and is also known as “Closed Door”

24. Now I’ve Got A Woman b/w Onion Rings (Federal 45-12529, 1964)
[3/16 and 1/13]
Note: the B-side is an Instrumental and is also known as “Butterscotch”

25. Some Other Day, Some Other Time b/w Manhole (Federal 45-12532, 1965)
[4/6 and 4/9]
Note: the B-side is an Instrumental

26. If You Have It b/w I Love You More Everyday (Federal 45-12535, 1965)
[3/18 and 4/4]

27. She’s The One b/w Full Time Love (Federal 45-12537, 1965)
[4/7 and 4/2]

28. Use What You’ve Got b/w Double Eyed Whammy (King 45-6057, 1966)
[4/19 and 4/18]

29. You’ve Got Me Licked b/w Girl From Kookamunga(King 45-6080, 1967)
[4/17 and 4/16]

30. Have You Ever Loved A Woman b/w Hideaway (King 45-6264, 1969)
[Reissue of the A of Entries 2 and 3]

31. Funky b/w Play It Cool (Cotillion 44015, 1969)
[4/26 and 4/28]
Note; the A-side is co-written with KING CURTIS

32. I Wonder Why b/w Yonder Wall (Cotillion 44058, 1970)
[5/6 and 5/5]
Note: The A-side is written by JOE JOSEA and B.B. KING
The B-side is an Elmore James cover version

33. Going Down b/w Tore Down (Shelter 7303, 1971)
[5/21 and 5/24]
Note: the A-side is a DON NIX song; the B-side is a SONNY THOMPSON song

34. Me And My Guitar b/w Lowdown In Lodi (Shelter 7320, 1972)
[7/2 and 6/16]
Note: the A-side is a JOHN FOGERTY song; the B-side is a LEON RUSSELL and CHARLES BLACKWELL song

35. I’d Rather Go Blind b/w Ain’t No Sunshine (Shelter 7323, 1972)
[7/3 and 6/10]
Note: the A-side is a LEON RUSSELL song; the B-side is a BILL WITHERS song

36. Woman Across The River b/w Help Me Through The Day (Shelter 7333, 1973)
[7/9 and 7/16]
Note: the A-side is a BETTYE CRUTCHER and ALLEN JONES, Jr. song; the B-side is a LEON RUSSELL song

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FREDDIE KING – USA LP DISCOGRAPHY
Referencing the 2009 “Taking Care Of Business 1956 – 1973”
7CD Box Set on Bear Family BCD 16979 GK

1. “Freddy King Sings”
1961, King Records 762 [Mono]

Side 1:
1. See See Baby [1/4]
2. Lonesome Whistle Blues [1/9]
3. Takin' Care Of Business [2/5]
4. Have You Ever Loved A Woman [1/6]
5. You Know That You Love Me (But You Never Tell Me So) [1/19]
6. I'm Tore Down [1/12]

Side 2:
1. I Love The Woman [1/8]
2. Let Me Be (Stay Away From Me) [2/4]
3. It's Too Bad (Things Are Going So Tough) [1/11]
4. You've Got To Love Her With A Feeling [1/5]
5. If You Believe (In What You Do) [1/10]
6. You Mean, Mean Woman (How Can Your Love Be True) [2/6]

2. “Let’s Hide Away And Dance Away With Freddy King”
1961, King Records 773 [Mono]
Note: ALL tracks are Instrumentals
See also King 856 – it is the King 773 LP reissued in 1963, but with overdubbed crowd noise

Side 1:
1. Hide Away [1/7]
2. Butterscotch [1/23]
3. Sen-Sa-Shun [1/14]
4. Side Tracked [1/15]
5. The Stumble [1/16]
6. Wash Out [1/18]

Side 2:
1. San-Ho-Zay [1/17]
2. Just Pickin’ [2/23]
3. Heads Up [2/2]
4. In The Open [2/8]
5. Out Front [2/9]
6. Swooshy [2/10]

3. “Boy – Girl – Boy”
1962, King Records 777 [Mono]
Credited to FREDDY KING, LULA REED, SONNY THOMPSON

Side 1:
1. Do The President Twist - Lulu Reed & Freddy King [2/19]
2. I Got A Notion - Lula Reed
3. Know What You're Doing - Lula Reed
4. You Can't Hide - Lula Reed and Freddy King [2/21]
5. Puddentane - Lula Reed

Side 2:
1. (Let Your Love) Watch Over Me - Lula Reed & Freddy King [2/20]
2. I'm A Woman (But I Don't Talk Too Much) - Lula Reed
3. Waste No More Tears - Lula Reed
4. It's Easy Child - Lula Reed and Freddy King [2/22]
5. I Know - Lula Reed
6. Why Don't You Come On Home - Lula Reed

4. “Smokey Smothers Sings The Backporch Blues”
1962, King Records 779 [Mono]
Note: one of the few (and rare) times Freddy King played session work – the album is by Chicago Bluesman OTIS “BIG SMOKEY” SMOTHERS and King is on the tracks marked [FK]

Side 1:
1. Crying Tears
2. Smokey's Love Sick Blues
3. I Ain't Gonna Be No Monkey Man No More [FK}
4. I've Been Drinking Muddy Water [FK]
5. You're Gonna Be Sorry [FK]
6. Midnight And Day

Side 2:
1. Blind And Dumb Man Blues
2. Honey I Ain't Teasin'
3. I Can't Judge Nobody [FK]
4. Give It Back (What I Done For You) [FK]
5. What Am I Going To Do
6. Come On Rock Little Girl [FK]

5. “A Carnival Of Songs”
1963, King Records 819 [Mono]
A Various Artists compilation LP with 1 Freddy King song that is exclusive – “Closed Door” [2/11]

6. “Bossa Nova And Blues
1963, King Records 821 [Mono]

Side 1:
1. (I'd Love to) Make Love To You [3/14]
2. You're Barkin' Up The Wrong Tree [3/9]
3. Look Ma I'm Cryin' [3/13]
4. It Hurts To Be In Love [3/12]
5. You Walked In [3/8]
6. The Bossa Nova Watusi Twist [3/4]

Side 2:
1. Is My Baby Mad At Me [3/10]
2. Someday After Awhile (You'll Be Sorry) [3/7]
3. One Hundred Years [3/15]
4. Bossa Nova Blues [3/3]
5. The Welfare (Turns It's Back On You) [3/11]
6. Walk Down That Aisle (Honey Chile) [3/6]

7. “Freddie King Goes Surfin’”
1963, King Records 856 [Mono]
Note: A reissue of King 773 with crowd overdubs [not referenced in the box]

8. “Freddy King…Gives You A Bonanza Of Instrumentals”
1965, King Records 928 [Mono]

Side 1:
1. Manhole [4/9]
2. Freeway 75 [3/5]
3. Low Tide [3/19] [aka Zoo Surfin’]
4. The Sad Nite Owl [4/13]
5. Funny Bone [4/11]
6. Nickel Plated [4/14]

Side 2:
1. King-A-Ling [4/3]
2. Surf Monkey [3/17]
3. Freddy's Midnite Dream [4/15]
4. Fish Fare [4/10]
5. Cloud Sailin' [4/12]
6. Remington Ride [3/20]

9. “Freddy King Sings Again”
1965, King Records 931 [Mono]
NOTE: Mystery surrounds this LP. There is no artwork available and no one appears to have ever seen any. As you can see from the tracks listed below – it is made up entirely of Federal 7” single sides – perhaps it was pulled not to kill their sales – but that is pure speculation.
The Bear Family booklet unfortunately doesn’t clarify anything about LP 931 - whether or not it was ever released (some sources now presume it wasn’t). But the discography DOES reference the following 12 tracks, so I’ve included them here for info purposes (in discography appearance order)…

1. Come On [2/18]
2. What About Love [3/2]
3. Now I’ve Got A Woman [3/16]
4. If You Have It [3/18]
5. Monkey Donkey [3/21]
6. Meet Me At The Station [4/1]
7. Full Time Love [4/2]
8. I Love You More Every Day [4/4]
9. Teardrops On Your Letter [4/5]
10. Some Other Day, Some Other Time [4/6]
11. She’s The One [4/7]
12. She’s That Kind [4/8]

10. “All His Hits”
1965, King Records 5012
Features “Christmas Tears” [2/3]

11. “24 Vocals And Instrumentals”
1966, King Records 964 [Mono]
NOTE: the Discography ‘pictures’ this album in between the text, but doesn’t actually reference LP 964 in any of the entries. I think this is probably a clerical mistake. For info purposes, I’ve given their box set reference as below…

Side 1:
1. Meet Me At The Station [4/1]
2. Manhole [4/9]
3. Sittin' On The Boat Dock [2/17]
4. Texas Oil [2/12]
5. She's The Kind [aka “She’s That Kind”] [4/8]
6. High Rise [aka “Closed Door”] [2/11]
7. Some Other Day, Some Other Time [4/6]
8. King-A-Ling [4/3]
9. Surf Monkey [3/17]
10. She Put The Whammy On Me (Part 1) [2/13]
11. She Put The Whammy On Me (Part 2) [2/13]
12. Nickleplated [4/14]

Side 2:
1. Sen-Sa-Shun [1/14]
2. It's Easy Child [2/22]
3. Just Pickin' [2/1]
4. Now I've Got A Woman [3/16]
5. The Sad Nite Owl [4/13]
6. I'm On My Way To Atlanta [2/14]
7. Freeway 75 [3/5]
8. If You Have It [3/18]
9. Cloud Sailin' (Don’t Move) [4/12]
10. I Love You More Every Day [4/4]
11. Freddy's Midnite Dream [4/15]
12. Monkey Donkey [3/21]

12. “Hideaway”
1969, King Records KS-1059 [Mono]/KSD-1059 [Stereo]
A compilation – it is NOT referenced in the Box Set’s Discography
However, the mono versions can be sequenced from previous entries

Side 1:
1. Hideaway
2. I'm Tore Down
3. Washout
4. Have You Ever Loved A Woman
5. Low Tide

Side 2:
1. The Stumble
2. See See Baby
3. Side Tracked
4. I Love The Woman
5. Remington Ride

13. “Freddie King Is A Blues Master”
1969, Cotillion SD-9004 [Stereo]
Note: the album is Produced by and Features KING CURTIS

Side 1:
1. Play It Cool [4/28]
2. That Will Never Do [4/29]
3. It’s Too Late, She’s Gone [4/30]
4. Blue Shadows [4/27]
5. Today I Sing The Blues [5/4]
6. Get Out Of My Life Woman [4/32]

Side 2:
1. Hideaway [4/25]
2. Funky [4/26]
3. Hot Tomato [5/1]
4. Wide Open [5/2]
5. Sweet Thing [4/31]
6. Let Me Down Easy [5/3]

14. “My Feeling For The Blues”
1970, Cotillion SD-9016 [Stereo]
Note: the album is Produced by and Features KING CURTIS

Side 1:
1. Yonder Wall [5/5]
2. The Stumble [5/9]
3. I Wonder Why [5/6]
4. Stormy Monday [5/10]
5. I Don't Know [5/7]

Side 2:
1. What'd I Say [5/11]
2. Ain't Nobody's Business What We Do [5/12]
3. You Don't Have To Go [5/13]
4. Woke Up This Morning [5/14]
5. The Things I Used To Do [5/15]
6. My Feeling For The Blues [5/8]

15. “Getting Ready”
1971, Shelter Records SHE-8905 (USA) and A&M Records AMLS 65004 (UK)
Note: the album is Produced by and Features LEON RUSSELL

Side 1:
1. Same Old Blues [5/16]
2. Dust My Broom [5/17]
3. Worried Life Blues [aka “Worry My Life No More”] [5/18]
4. Five Long Years [5/19]
5. Key To The Highway [5/20]

Side 2:
1. Going Down [5/21]
2. Living On The Highway [5/22]
3. Walking My Myself [5/23]
4. Tore Down [5/24]
5. Palace Of The King [5/25]

16. “Texas Cannonball”
1972, Shelter SW-8913 [Stereo]
Note: the album is Produced by and Features LEON RUSSELL

Side 1:
1. Lowdown In Lodi [6/16]
2. Reconsider Baby [6/17]
3. Big Legged Woman [7/1]
4. Me And My Guitar [7/2]
5. I'd Rather Be Blind [7/3]

Side 2:
1. Can't Trust Your Neighbor [6/7]
2. You Was Wrong [6/8]
3. How Many More Years [6/9]
4. Ain't No Sunshine [6/10]
5. The Sky Is Crying [6/11]

17. “Woman Across The River”
1973, Shelter SW-8919 [Stereo]
Note: the album is Produced by and Features LEON RUSSELL

Side 1:
1. Woman Across The River [7/9]
2. I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man [7/10]
3. The Danger Zone [7/11]
4. Boogie Man [7/12]
5. Leave My Woman Alone [7/13]

Side 2:
1. Just A Little Bit [7/14]
2. Yonder Wall [7/15]
3. Help Me Through The Day [7/16]
4. I'm Ready [7/17]
5. Trouble In Mind [7/18]
6. You Don't Have To Go [7/19]

18. “Ann Arbor Blues And Jazz Festival”
1973, Atlantic SD2-502 [2LP set featuring 1 exclusive Freddy King track “Goin’ Down” [7/20]

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

INDEX - Artists, Albums, Record Labels, CD Remaster Engineers, Liner Notes Authors, Links etc