Tag Archives: B.B. King

Weekly Vinyl – King in London

15 May

B. B. King in London
B.B. King
(1971)

SONY DSC

This is not an obituary, but it is a coincidence that I was reviewing B.B. Kings album the day before he passed away. I left the review as I wrote it before the news of his passing reached me.
He will be truly missed.
I saw B. B. years ago, early 1990s I believe, and it was a great show. But it was a little too well-rehearsed. Mr. King sat on his perch and played a great guitar and belted out wonderful tunes and his large backup band dutifully played in time. The audience dug it. My concert going companions, the Ukrainian rock band Braty Hadiukiny, Брати Гадюкiни, were enthralled.
The show was a little too slick for my liking. It lacked the rawness, the spontaneity that I imagined was one of the pillars of blues music. This show always coloured my view of B.B. King’s music.
This album, recorded about 20 years before I saw him, shattered my view of Mr. King. (I bought this album in those happy vinyl days where people were ditching their collections for CDs.) This album is raw and inspired. It snarls and sneers. It preaches and beseeches. It is powerful and subtle.
It is blues.
It is why he is the King and will always be the King.
Long live the King.