1. I Just Want To Make Love To You
2. Long Distance Call
3. Hoochie Coochie Man
4. Honey Bee
5. I'm Ready
6. Trouble No More
7. Mannish Boy
8. Rock Me
9. Sugar Sweet
10. Forty Days And Forty Nights
The CD starts with "I Just Want To Make Love To You;" Muddy sings his heart out as he plays his electric guitar to perfection. Muddy sings of how he wants nothing more in life than to spend romantic time alone with his woman. The bluesy beat emanates from his southern roots; but the beat also hints at a very embryonic rock and roll style that was to evolve with time. The harmonica bolsters the number to make it more powerful, too. Great! "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" was a signature song for Muddy; and he sings this passionately with excellent diction. The song rocks slowly but very well; the musical arrangement for "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" uses the harmonica and guitars well.
"I'm Ready" starts with some great drum playing at the very beginning; and by the time Muddy comes in you just know you're about to get another stunning performance. The song has a rock and roll flavor that works well with the bluesy feel added by the harmonica. Awesome! I also like the backup female chorus helping Muddy out on "Mannish Boy." "Mannish Boy" celebrates a young man's freedom now that he is 21 years old.
"Rock Me" from late 1956 clearly shows the increasing effect urban rock and roll was having on Muddy's music. The number rocks really well; although the harmonica is great the guitar and other instruments now dominate the arrangement to produce a distinct early rock flavor.
The CD ends with another Muddy Waters signature song entitled "Got My Mojo Working." The song rocks harder than all the others; and the beat along with the lyrics make "Got My Mojo Working" a strong ending to the album.
The liner notes have an essay about Muddy Waters by Joseph F. Laredo; and there are great photos of Muddy as well. The song credits are provided, too.
Overall, this is not the most complete Muddy Waters collection out there; and people are right to be annoyed with 20th Century Masters for not putting more music from Muddy on this CD. However, I would still recommend this CD--as a great introduction to Muddy's work for people just getting to know him. If you like this CD, then I would recommend other Muddy Waters CDs including the two CD set entitled The Anthology: 1947-1972 and the live recording called Muddy "Mississippi" Waters Live.
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