So, let me get this straight. There's an album out there by a blues legend featuring songs that Zeppelin credits as inspiring the riff for 'Black Dog', an album that Hendrix would listen to for inspiration and this same album has a gospel/soul cover of a Rolling Stones song ('Let's Spend The Night Together') and people flat out hate it? Wow, I'm confused.
This album that I'm surprised about is Electric Mud by McKinley Morganfield, better known to the world as Muddy Waters (if I have to give you ANY background on Muddy, why are you reading a music blog?). On paper, the pitch of this album makes total sense. A generation extolling the virtues of blues music, the rise of psychedelic music and the fairly new melding of the two in the form of electric blues (Cream, Zeppelin, Mountain etc.). However, this album has been heralded and panned, critically loved and crucified. I happen to be in the camp that finds it misunderstood and innovative. You take a master of the guitar and blues reasoning, stick him with a group of top flight Chicago Chess Records musicians, add a fuzz box and wah pedal and you have an entirely new form of interpreted blues.
Granted, in its context of the time, this album was received by a less sophisticated audience, not burdened by years of hindsight-this the same generation that booed Dylan for going electric, despite the fact that he already had at least one album out with electricity on it. I get that it's more than all that but I don't care.
Electric Mud has two Waters classics ('Mannish Boy' and 'She's Alright'), three from the legendary Willie Dixon, the aforementioned Stones tune, topped off with 'Tom Cat' and 'Herbert Harper's Free Press News', a song Jimi would listen to in order to draw motivation to continue his explorations. Not much else needs to be said about this album, just listen.
As a post-script I will add that there is no truth to the rumor that Debbie Gibson's Electric Youth was a direct sequel to this album...simply an homage.