Personnel: Muddy Waters (vocals, guitar); Jimmy Rogers, Mike Bloomfield, Buddy Guy, Pat Hare, Luther Tucker, Fred Robinson, Earl Hooker, James "Pee Wee" Madison, Sammy Lawhorn, Leroy Foster (guitar); Little Walter, Junior Wells, Walter Horton, James Cotton, Paul Butterfield, Jeff Carp (harmonica); A.C. Reed (tenor saxophone); Sunnyland Slim, Otis Spann, Lafayette Leake (piano); John "Big Moose" Walker (organ); Pinetop Perkins (keyboards); Ernest "Big" Crawford, Willie Dixon, Andrew Stephenson, Donald "Duck" Dunn, Phil Upchurch, Calvin James (bass); Fred Below, Elgin Evans, Francis Clay, Bobby Little, Clifton James, S.P. Leary, Sam Lay, Willie Smith (drums); Leonard Chess (bass drum).
Producers: Leonard & Phil Chess, Willie Dixon, Norman Drayton, Ralph Bass.
Compilation producer: Andy McKaie.
Recorded between 1947 and 1972. Includes liner notes by Mary Katherine Aldin.
Digitally remastered by Erick Labson (Universal Mastering Studios-West, Hollywood, California).
Personnel: Muddy Waters (vocals, guitar); Earl Hooker, Fred Robinson , Jimmy Rogers , Leroy Foster, Luther Tucker, Pat Hare, Buddy Guy (guitar); Jeffrey M. Carp, James Cotton , Little Walter, Junior Wells (harmonica); A.C. Reed (tenor saxophone); Lafayette Leake, Otis Spann, Sunnyland Slim (piano); Clifton James, Francis Clay, Fred Below, Elgin Evans, Sam Lay (drums); Leonard Chess (bass drum).
Liner Note Author: Mary Katherine Aldin.
Recording information: 04/1948-03/1972.
Far and away the foremost figure in Chicago's post-war electric blues scene, Muddy Waters is a towering musical icon who left behind a vast recorded legacy. ANTHOLOGY (1947-1972) nevertheless manages to be a definitive career summary, packing 50 tracks onto two discs, spanning 25 years of recordings for Chess, the premier Chicago blues label. From the earliest tracks, we can literally hear the style's template being created; while Waters had already abandoned his heavily Robert Johnson-influenced solo country-blues sound by the late '40s, a trace of that approach can still be heard in his first Chess sides.
By the time the '50s rolled around, Muddy had fashioned a powerful engine that ran on high-voltage electricity, and, with the help of songsmith Willie Dixon, fashioned some of the most resonant and seminal blues recordings ever made. To hear Muddy's biting slide-guitar work and gravitas-filled voice is to understand just how deep into one's soul the blues can reach. Whether expressing the Tao-like sentiments of "You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had," coming on like a house afire ("I'm Ready"), or bemoaning the heaviest of heartaches ("Standin' Around Cryin'"), no one reached further into the heart of the blues than Muddy did during his long, productive Chess tenure, as is made gloriously evident on ANTHOLOGY.