Live At The Regal – BB King (1965)

Album no. 54/1001

BB King sings and plays guitar, but this album is all about the guitar, which is off the goddamn chain. He was a hugely influential guitar player, and this album captures him on his best form.

This album is basically straight blues, but what sets it apart is BB’s guitar playing, which is super good. The sound quality is also pretty great for a live album, very crispy.

Have you listened to this album before?

NK: I’ve not heard this, or much BB King that I remember. I think most of my knowledge of him is through people like Eric Clapton and Keith Richards saying how good he is.

CL: No I haven’t. To be honest, I don’t know a lot about BB King.

Standout track

NK: ‘You done lost your good thing now’. He really gets to show off on the guitar. It’s a slow song, but his riffs are super quick.

CL: I don’t think there was one because the entire thing sounded like a variation on the first song. There was nothing exciting about this for me. Also, I really don’t enjoy it when these singers just start pontificating about how to treat your significant other. Don’t tell me how to live my life mate.

NK: The subject matter might be a bit repetitive, but how about the guitaring? He’s out of control!

CL: Well, maybe he should get back into control. I think, having dabbled a bit, I can now confirm I do not enjoy “the blues”.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

NK: I reckon this is a driving album. Blues for the road maybe.

CL: Probably not while doing a university assignment, I can tell you that much. I turned it off because I couldn’t concentrate on what I was doing. I’m terrible at tuning things out. If someone’s having a conversation with me and then other people are having a conversation, I’ll inevitably start listening to the other conversation. I just can’t help it. Sorry, what was the question?

NK: I didn’t notice his conversational bits nearly as much as you did. I was way more focused on the guitar.

Why has this album been included on the list?

NK: Because this leads to all the blues guitarists riffing and soloing it up; Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Billy Gibbons, the list could go on. And yes he was building on stuff by Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Leadbelly etc, but his sound was a bit more advanced than theirs. It’s all bending strings and quick pull offs. It’s great.

CL: I’m not going to lie – this sounded exactly like Muddy Waters. As in, I literally couldn’t tell the difference. So with that in mind, I don’t really know why this has been included.

NK: Come on, the guitaring on this is on another level! Muddy was good, but this is a pretty different sound.

Will you be listening again?  

NK: Maybe, but not sure. The blues really make a leap in the mid-sixties, and I’m not sure this is the album I’ll come back to.

CL: No. Muddy Waters was good enough for me. And this album also went on FOREVER. Luckily the next song that started playing after this finished was ‘Larger Than Life’ by Backstreet Boys. So I think I know who’s winning.

NK: How the hell did that happen? What a kick in the guts.

CL: It was a happy coincidence.

Rating

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Listen to Live at the regal on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.

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