What It Takes: The Chess Years

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All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
This single disc neatly collects everything of importance that Chicago blues belter Koko Taylor released through Chess and its subsidiary Checker label, presenting a thoroughly enjoyable, collection as historically important for Taylor's sizzling performances as it is for Willie Dixon's sublime compositions and sympathetic production. Those who know these formative years from Taylor's immortal "Wang Dang Doodle" will thrill to realize that the classic isn't even the best entry here. It's a toss-up as to which others challenge it, but "What Came First the Egg or the Hen," with Dixon joining in on vocals, is in the running, as is the absolutely chilling "Insane Asylum," ...
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AUDIO CD New 076732932827 NEW/SEALED & in Excellent Condition-BUY NOW and REMEMBER WHEN ***

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
This single disc neatly collects everything of importance that Chicago blues belter Koko Taylor released through Chess and its subsidiary Checker label, presenting a thoroughly enjoyable, collection as historically important for Taylor's sizzling performances as it is for Willie Dixon's sublime compositions and sympathetic production. Those who know these formative years from Taylor's immortal "Wang Dang Doodle" will thrill to realize that the classic isn't even the best entry here. It's a toss-up as to which others challenge it, but "What Came First the Egg or the Hen," with Dixon joining in on vocals, is in the running, as is the absolutely chilling "Insane Asylum," where Dixon interestingly kicks off the song before Taylor appears over a minute later. The producer/bassist/songwriter/singer pens all but one of the 18 songs. Of those, Taylor takes sole songwriting credit on 1964's "What Kind of Man is That?" and covers J.B. Lenoir's "Good Advice." The latter is an unusually pop-oriented moment that she still roughs up with her usual dynamic vocal attack. Taylor tackles politically charged territory in "Bill, Bills and More Bills," one of the few times that the material leans in that direction. While her later Alligator years might have exposed her talents to the world and helped crown her Queen of the Blues, this is where it all started. It shows how Taylor developed, with assistance from Willie Dixon over this fertile, seven-year stretch, to her well-earned legendary status.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/10/1991
  • Label: Mca
  • UPC: 076732932827
  • Catalog Number: 9328

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Koko Taylor Primary Artist, Vocals
Willie Dixon Bass, Vocals
Buddy Guy Guitar
Big Walter Horton Harmonica
Matt "Guitar" Murphy Guitar
Louis Myers Guitar
Robert Nighthawk Guitar
Gene Barge Tenor Saxophone
Dillard Crume Bass
Fred Below Drums
Bob Crowder Drums
Al Duncan Drums
Donald Hankins Saxophone
Clifton James Drums
Lafayette Leake Piano, Keyboards
Jack Meyers Bass
Muddy Waters Vocals, Track Performer
Louis Satterfield Bass
Sunnyland Slim Piano
John Williams Guitar
Rufus Grume Guitar
Dave Myers Electric Bass
Dennis Miller Guitar
Technical Credits
Willie Dixon Producer
Esmond Edwards Producer
Don Snowden Liner Notes
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This will mess you up!

    If for no other reason, listen to the track Insane Asylum. If you are sober, you'll want a taste, if you are messed up it will take you further down the road.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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