Best of Johnny Winter [Columbia/Legacy]

Best of Johnny Winter [Columbia/Legacy]

by Johnny Winter
     
 

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With nearly three dozen recordings currently available, Johnny Winter has staying power in the blues-rock arena. Culling one CD of Winter’s best from this 40-plus-year career would be an impossible task, so producer Lawrence Cohn limited his search mainly to the guitarist and singer’s late-‘60s and early-‘70s catalogue in compiling The Best of Johnny Winter. It

Overview

With nearly three dozen recordings currently available, Johnny Winter has staying power in the blues-rock arena. Culling one CD of Winter’s best from this 40-plus-year career would be an impossible task, so producer Lawrence Cohn limited his search mainly to the guitarist and singer’s late-‘60s and early-‘70s catalogue in compiling The Best of Johnny Winter. It was during this era that Winter rock ‘n’ rolled right out of Texas and into the national limelight. His signature tune from those days, “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” (written by Winter’s longtime bandmate and sometimes producer Rick Derringer) opens the CD, reminding the listener that arena shows used to really rock. In this same vein are “Johnny B. Goode,” “Still Alive and Well,” and “Hustled Down in Texas,” which features brother Edgar on keyboards and saxophone. But Winter always balanced his rockers with a bit of gutbucket, as illustrated in the live version of B. B. King’s “It’s My Own Fault.” While the sound quality isn’t the greatest, Winter’s fast finger-picking is pristine. There are also less frenetic tunes with leaner bands. “Come on in My Kitchen” finds Winter cooking, with only Jeremy Steig’s flute as accompaniment. For a solo version of his own “Dallas,” a stinging tune about the blues life in Texas, Winter plays some slide guitar that is dirtier than any cattle ranch in the state. Heralding the soulful sounds he would use later in his career is “I’ll Drown in My Tears.” Put this collection next to the also recently released compilation of his Alligator Records material, Deluxe Edition, and you get the closest thing to an overview of Winter’s career to date.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Columbia/Legacy's 2002 release The Best of Johnny Winter concentrates solely on the guitarist's early recordings for Columbia, which are often (and deservedly) considered his best work. Nearly all of the 16 selections here were recorded between 1969 and 1971 -- there's a stray cut from 1973, plus two cuts from 1979, dating from his time on Blue Sky -- and all of them showcase Winter at his best, not just as a fiery blues-rock guitarist, but as a band leader. While there are a few items that may be relatively rare here, there is no unreleased material, just selections from Winter at his prime, and this collection does a very good job of summarizing that peak succinctly and enjoyably.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/29/2002
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998592629
catalogNumber:
85926

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Johnny Winter   Primary Artist,Guitar,Mandolin,Harp,Vocals,Slide Guitar
Rick Derringer   Guitar,Vocals
Jeremy Steig   Flute
Peggy Bowers   Background Vocals
Albert Wynn Butler   Tenor Saxophone
Edgar Winter   Organ,Piano,Harpsichord,Alto Saxophone
Karl Garin   Trumpet
Randy Jo Hobbs   Bass,Vocals
Carrie Hossell   Background Vocals
Norman Ray   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone
Jon Paris   Bass,Guitar
Elsie Senter   Background Vocals
Tommy Shannon   Bass
Bobby Torello   Drums
"Uncle" John Turner   Percussion
Bobby Caldwell   Percussion
Randy Z.   Drums
Richard Hughes   Drums

Technical Credits

John Lee Hooker   Composer
Percy Mayfield   Composer
Rick Derringer   Producer
Johnny Winter   Producer
Lawrence Cohn   Liner Notes
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Fong Y. Lee   Packaging Manager
R. King   Composer

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