I proclaimed this album as Album of the day last August, and a few weeks ago I picked up the CD and started it on car rotation and have been listening to it a lot lately. Now El Fisho Jr. is all big up into this excellent example of one of the "Three Kings" (B.B., Albert and Freddie). ALBUM OF THE DAY: BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN: ALBERT KI...
I might have to make this CD/Album/itunes etc. the album of the year. In listening to it lately, I've heard lots of things I had never heard before in this all too short live concert album. Really, it might be a delusive hope, but it'd be very cool if somewhere in someone's tape vault lay some boxes with the master tapes of this disc as well as the rolls of tape that didn't make the cut for the album.
Stranger things have happened, but unfortunately it's just as likely that someone threw the box out for storage space or they got caught up in business dealings or just plain got lost and people died and the knowledge of what happened to those tapes just vanished.
So this time around I've become absolutely enamored with the Lieber and Stoller standard "KANSAS CITY". I never gave that song a fair shake until this recent extended listening session. I used to just fast forward through it.
What a great treatment of this tune. It's a short version and I could stand for it to be twice as long. Maybe that might dull the magic on the track. You've got Albert singing about the pretty girls in Kansas City, with Steve Cropper and Albert playing guitars, bassist Donald "Duck" Dunne, the late drumming virtuoso Al Jackson, Booker T. on keys, and last but not least the legendary Memphis Horns.
I like the pushes in the music when the musicians do a push. All are predictable except the first push when the horns come in, and that first push is a bit early and that really does take some listening and feel for these cats to catch that push just right.
As I said in the previous linked post, you've got Albert King at the top of his game, playing to receptive pop audiences previously out of his reach. He's got what is at the time one of the hottest bands around, and probably the only cats back then who could've have given Booker T. and the M.G.'s a run for their money as Albert's band MIGHT have been the WRECKING CREW from Hollywood or those fellows from Motown. I think the Motown guys could've pulled it off, but I have doubts about the Wrecking Crew. The Wrecking Crew, musicians extraordinaire all, just might not have that same swing that you get with the late Al Jackson on drums and Dunne on bass.
In any event, it's Albert King at his finest.