- Released: April 20, 1999
- Originally Released: 1999
- Label: Rhino
- 1.Let's Have A Natural Ball
- 2.Don't Throw Your Love On Me So Strong
- 4.Laundromat Blues
- 5.Overall Junction
- 6.Oh, Pretty Woman (Can't Make You Love Me)
- 7.Crosscut Saw
- 8.Born Under A Bad Sign
- 9.Personal Manager
- 10.Cold Feet
- 11.Blues Power
- 12.I'll Play The Blues For You (Parts 1 & 2)
- 13.Breaking Up Somebody's Home
- 14.Answer To The Laundromat Blues
- 15.That's What The Blues Is All About
- 16.Cadillac Assembly Line
Personnel includes: Albert King (vocals, guitar); Booker T. & The MG's.
Recorded between 1960 and 1975. Includes liner notes by Bill Dahl.
Digitally remastered by Bob Fisher.
Personnel: Albert King (vocals, guitar); Billy Fender, Donald Kinsey, Greg Poree, Willie James Exon, Michael Toles, Steve Cropper, Wa Wa Watson (guitar); Joe Arnold (flute, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone); Tommy Williams (saxophone); Lewis Collins (alto saxophone); Harold White, Fred Jackson, Jr. , Harvey "Joe" Henderson, Andrew Love, Charles "Packy" Axton, Charles Wright (tenor saxophone); Freddie Robinette, James Mitchell (baritone saxophone); Larry Protho, Mickey Gregory , Roger Hopps, Wilbur Thompson, Wayne Jackson, Ben Cauley (trumpet); Jack Hale (trombone); Ike Turner, James Vaughn , Booker T. Jones (piano); Allen Jones (electric piano, organ); Don James, Willie Stewart, James Washington (organ); Jerry Peters, Joe Sample, Bert de Coteaux (keyboards); James Gadson, Al Jackson, Jr. , Willie Hall (drums); King Errisson (congas).
Audio Remasterer: Bob Fisher .
Liner Note Author: Bill Dahl.
Recording information: Filmore Auditorium, San Francis (1960-1975); Hollywood, CA (1960-1975); Memphis, GA (1960-1975); St. Louis, MO (1960-1975).
Photographer: Bill Greensmith.
Of the numerous compilations of Albert King's classic material, Rhino's THE VERY BEST OF is among the finest. With 16 tracks that span the gamut from King's early-'60s recordings for the King label (including the punchy, jump-blues of "C.O.D.") to a 1976 single for Utopia (the string-sweetened "Cadillac Assembly Line"), the album includes nearly all his most essential tracks. The lion's share of the material here is from the axeman's auspicious tenure with Stax from 1966 to 1973. The Stax cuts are graced by the label's session musicians (the very thought of King in the studio with Booker T. and the M.G.'s is enough to make the heart race), and feature some of King's best songwriting, singing, and playing.
Unlike many electric blues players, King never relies on pyrotechnics, but instead is distinguished by feel, phrasing, and his searing, open tone. His unique style is in full flower on incontestable classics "Laundromat Blues," the probing "Personal Manager," and the slow-burn blues anthem "Born Under A Bad Sign." King's singing is always on point too--soulful, and never overstated. This is a perfect place for the uninitiated to begin exploring the impressive catalogue of this blues giant.