Personnel includes: Elvin Bishop (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars);
Reni Slais, Mickey Thomas (vocals); Amos Garrett (acoustic & electric guitars, sitar); Johnny Sandlin (acoustic & electric guitars, tambourine, percussion); Charlie Daniels (acoustic guitar, fiddle, washboard); Richard Betts (electric guitar); Toy Caldwell (pedal steel guitar); Vassar Clements (strings); Rick Kellogg (harmonica); Bill Slais (saxophone, piano, Clavinet, organ, synthesizer); Tower Of Power Horns (horns); Phil Aaberg (piano, celeste, electric piano, Clavinet, synthesizer); Steve Miller (piano);
Sly Stone (organ); Maurice Cridlin (bass); Don Baldwin (drums, percussion, background vocals); Maria Muldaur, The Gospel Clouds (background vocals).
Producers include: Johnny Sandlin, Allan Blazek, Bill Szymczyk, Elvin Bishop.
Compilation producer: Bill Levenson.
Recorded between 1974 and 1978. Includes liner notes by Joseph F. Laredo.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
This is part of MCA's 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection series.
Personnel: Elvin Bishop (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar); Reni Slais (vocals, background vocals); Amos Garrett (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, coral sitar); Johnny Vernazza (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, background vocals); Johnny Sandlin (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, tambourine, percussion); Charlie Daniels (acoustic guitar, washboard, background vocals); Richard Betts (electric guitar); Toy Caldwell (steel guitar); Vassar Clements (strings); Rick Kellogg (harmonica); Bill Slais (saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, piano, Clavinet, organ, synthesizer, background vocals); Harold Wilson (saxophone); Terry Hanck (tenor saxophone, horns); Chuck Brooks, Dave Grover, Dan Armstrong, Jerry McKinney, Bill Lamb, Bob Claire (horns); Philip Aaberg (piano, celesta, electric piano, Clavinet, organ, bass synthesizer); Melvin Seals (piano, electric piano, Clavinet, organ, synthesizer); Mike Keck (piano, organ); Steve Miller (piano); Paul Hornsby, Sylvester "Sly Stone" Stewart (organ); Don Baldwin (drums, percussion, background vocals); Scott Mathews (drums, percussion); Bill Meeker (drums); Jerome Joseph (congas); David Walshaw (tambourine); Jo Baker, Debbie Cathey, The Gospel Clouds, Gideon Daniels, Ross Hayashida, Mickey Thomas, Annie Sampson, Maria Muldaur (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Joseph F. Laredo.
Unknown Contributor Role: Tower of Power Horn Section.
After starting out with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the mid-'60s, Elvin Bishop recorded solo for the short-lived Fillmore label (later controlled by Sony) in the late '60s and early '70s, and he made several albums for the independent Alligator Records in the '80s and '90s. But he gained his greatest commercial recognition on Capricorn Records (the early catalog of which is now controlled by Universal) in the mid- to late '70s, and it is this portion of his career that is represented on this midline-priced best-of, which has been assigned to Universal's Mercury imprint. Bishop modified his basic blues-rock style for each of his affiliations: With Butterfield he played Chicago blues, on Fillmore he took on something of the San Francisco acid rock style, and on Capricorn he absorbed some of the Southern rock of labelmates like the Allman Brothers Band. Four of his five Hot 100 chart entries are found here (the missing one is the least successful, "Spend Some Time"), among them "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," the Top Five hit that has always been an anomaly for him, not only because Mickey Thomas is featured on lead vocals, but also because, even though Bishop wrote it, it sounds much more pop-oriented than one expects from him. More consistent with his style is the minor chart entry "Travelin' Shoes," which boasts a lot of Allmans-like slide guitar work, especially in the seven-minute-plus workout heard here (the single was a three-minute edit), and some politically incorrect lyrics about beating a woman with a baseball bat that probably didn't sound as objectionable back in 1974. But then, the country blues never boasted the most enlightened lyrics, and Bishop also cheerfully admits to "Stealin' Watermelons." At a reasonable price, this collection effectively summarizes his six Capricorn albums. ~ William Ruhlmann