Albert King, Born Under A Bad Sign (1967)
I first knew about Albert King from seeing him perform with B.B King and hearing him guest with the likes of Gary Moore and Stevie Ray Vaughan. The influence on SRV was obvious. The album I hunted out straight away was this – a double-dose of magic given that that wonderful staple of the Stax sound, Booker T & The MG’s is the backing band here. That perfect backbeat of Al Jackson – you’ll only hear fills when you need to, not when he needs to – and imagine having Steve Cropper as your “second guitar” (as he’s credited here). Luxury. This was a CD and iPod favourite for many years before I found a brand new vinyl copy. Now it spins on the turntable – and sits comfortably between R’n’B, funk and blues. One of my favourite blues/soul records of all time. Every time. And what a bear of a man Albert King was; great to hear that gravelled voice and to imagine him wrestling with the guitar, wrangling it in to submission. From slow blues (As The Years Go Passing By) to funky R’n’B/pop (Crosscut Saw) to that smoking classic Oh, Pretty Woman…Gary Moore might have done his best to pay tribute, to show the influence, to introduce people – but you’re doing yourselves no favour until you hear this actual album. Killer.
Sample Track: Born Under A Bad Sign
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown