Chess Box

The Chess Box

4.0 2
by Muddy Waters
The Chess Box does not contain all the great music Muddy Waters made. His talent and legacy are too large to be captured in a mere three discs, even one that spans from 1947 to 1972. This means, of course, that his legendary plantation recordings with Alan Lomax are not here, nor is his dynamic late-'70s comeback, Hard Again.


The Chess Box does not contain all the great music Muddy Waters made. His talent and legacy are too large to be captured in a mere three discs, even one that spans from 1947 to 1972. This means, of course, that his legendary plantation recordings with Alan Lomax are not here, nor is his dynamic late-'70s comeback, Hard Again. But, truth be told, it doesn't feel like they're missing, since Waters' legend was built on the music that he made for Chess, and much of the greatest of that is here. Few box sets have chronicled an artist's best work as effectively as this; even the handful of rare, previously unreleased recordings sit perfectly next to the essential singles (this is particularly true of alternate takes of Fathers and Sons material). Sure, there are great Chess sides that aren't here, but those are great sides that the serious listener and aficionado need to seek out. For everybody else, this is a monumental chronicle of Waters at his best, illustrating his influence while providing rich, endlessly fascinating music.

Product Details

Release Date:


Disc 1

  1. Gypsy Woman
  2. Good Looking Woman
  3. Mean Disposition
  4. I Can't Be Satisfied
  5. I Feel Like Going Home
  6. Train Fare Home
  7. Mean Red Spider
  8. Streamline Woman
  9. Little Geneva
  10. Rollin' and Tumblin', Pt. 1
  11. Rollin' Stone
  12. Walking Blues
  13. Louisiana Blues
  14. Evans Shuffle (Ebony Boogie)
  15. Long Distance Call
  16. Honey Bee
  17. She Moves Me
  18. Still a Fool
  19. Stuff You Gotta Watch
  20. Standing Around Crying
  21. Flood
  22. Baby Please Don't Go
  23. Blow Wind Blow
  24. (I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man

Disc 2

  1. I Just Want to Make Love to You
  2. I'm Ready
  3. Smokestack Lightning
  4. Young Fashioned Ways
  5. Mannish Boy
  6. Trouble No More
  7. Forty Days and Forty Nights
  8. Just to Be with You
  9. Don't Go No Farther
  10. Diamonds at Your Feet
  11. I Love the Life I Live, I Live the Life I Love
  12. Rock Me
  13. Look What You've Done
  14. Got My Mojo Working
  15. Good News
  16. Evil
  17. She's Nineteen Years Old
  18. Close to You
  19. Walkin' Thru the Park
  20. Blues Before Sunrise
  21. Lonesome Road Blues
  22. Take the Bitter with the Sweet
  23. She's into Something
  24. Southbound Train
  25. Double Trouble

Disc 3

  1. I Feel So Good
  2. You Shook Me
  3. You Need Love
  4. Twenty-Four Hours
  5. Elevate Me Mama
  6. So Glad I'm Living
  7. My Love Strikes Like Lightning
  8. You Don't Have to Go
  9. The Things That I Used to Do
  10. My Home Is in the Delta
  11. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
  12. The Same Thing
  13. You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had
  14. Short Dress Woman
  15. Making Friends
  16. Black Night
  17. Bird Nest on the Ground
  18. Country Boy
  19. Sugar Sweet
  20. All Aboard
  21. Going Down Slow
  22. Who's Gonna Be Your Sweet Man When I'm Gone [Original Hornless Londo [o
  23. Can't Get No Grindin' (What's the Matter with the Meal)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Muddy Waters   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Michael Bloomfield   Guitar
Paul Butterfield   Harmonica
James Cotton   Harmonica
Willie Dixon   Bass
Buddy Guy   Guitar
Earl Hooker   Guitar
Big Walter Horton   Harmonica
Casey Jones   Drums
Little Walter   Guitar,Harmonica
A.C. Reed   Tenor Saxophone
Junior Wells   Harmonica
Rory Gallagher   Guitar
Phil Upchurch   Bass
Rick Grech   Bass
Sam Lay   Drums
Paul Oscher   Harmonica
Calvin "Fuzz" Jones   Bass
Paul Asbell   Rhythm Guitar
Alex Atkins   Alto Saxophone
Fred Below   Drums
J.T. Brown   Tenor Saxophone
Jeffrey M. Carp   Chromatic Harmonica
Leonard Chess   Bass Drums
Francis Clay   Drums
Ernest "Big" Crawford   Bass
Donald "Duck" Dunn   Bass
Elgin Evans   Drums,Washboard
Leroy Foster   Guitar
Auburn Hare   Guitar
Clifton James   Drums
Sammy Lawhorn   Guitar
S.P. Leary   Drums
Mitch Mitchell   Drums
Pinetop Perkins   Multi Instruments
Jimmy Rogers   Guitar,Vocals
Sunnyland Slim   Piano
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith   Drums
Otis Spann   Piano
Luther Tucker   Guitar
Johnny "Big Moose" Walker   Organ,Piano
James "Pee Wee" Madison   Guitar
Sonny Wimberley   Bass
Andrew Stephens   Bass
Carey Bell Harrington   Harmonica
Marcus Johnson   Tenor Saxophone

Technical Credits

Willie Dixon   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Richard Thompson   Composer
Jim Morrison   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Gene Barge   Producer
Dennis DeYoung   Composer
Ian Green   Producer
Ray Manzarek   Composer
John Densmore   Composer
Shirley Eikhard   Composer
Mary Katherine Aldin   Liner Notes,Reissue Production Assistance
Ralph Bass   Producer
Leonard Chess   Producer
Phil Chess   Producer
Norman Dayron   Producer
Esmond Edwards   Producer
Bill Inglot   Remixing
Jerry Livingston   Composer
Tom Lofgren   Contributor
McKinley Morganfield   Composer
Muddy Waters   Composer
Don Robey   Composer
Otis Rush   Composer
Billy Rush   Composer
Otis Spann   Composer
John Strother   Remixing
Sonny Boy Williamson   Composer
Sonny Boy Williamson [II]   Composer
Mike Leadbitter   Contributor
Robert Palmer   Liner Notes
M. Christian   Composer
Melvin Steals   Composer
Hoffman   Composer
Jessie Mae Robinson   Composer
Carl G. Lampl   Composer
Toni Cottura   Composer
Aris   Composer
Michel Ruppli   Contributor
John Lyon   Composer
Preston Foster   Composer
H. Melka   Composer
James Oden   Composer
Margaret Whitfield   Composer
McKinley Morgan   Composer
Robby Krieger   Composer
M. Ledbetter   Composer
Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones   Composer
Chester Burnett   Composer
Kesselbauer   Composer

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The Chess Box 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
These three discs contain the some of the greatest music of the 20th century. So, based on that alone, this is essential listening. HOWEVER, the Chess Box is poorly compiled in some spots, especially in regard to "Hoochie Coochie Man", which is not only Muddy's greatest song, but probably the greatest song that Electric Blues has ever produced (which is saying A LOT!). The compilers decided to not use the original version of "Hoochie", instead we get a flacid, almost unlistenable alternate. Plus, several of Muddy's greatest songs for Chess are, for whatever reason, missing in action. So, to get the full story on Muddy's Chess recordings, a true music fan should first get "His Best, 1947-1955" and "His Best, 1956-1972". These two discs contain Muddy's most seminal Chess recordings (including the un-equaled original recording of "Hoochie Coochie Man"), but they also have better sound. DO NOT get "The Anthology", since it has the same alt-take of "Hoochie" as the Chess Box. After getting the previously mentioned two discs, you should proceed on to The Chess Box, then to The Complete Plantation Recordings, then to Hard Again. If, after all that, you still want more Muddy, then get the Rollin' Stone: 1947-1952 (it has, literally, every song he recorded during those years) and The Anthology (it's expensive, but it has a few songs you can't get anywhere else). So, the point is this: Muddy Waters is way, way too big a musical legend to be contained in three discs. Get this, but you'll want more, more, more.