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23 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Feb. 3 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra Entertain.
  • ASIN: B000002GZ3
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #6,219 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Walkin' Blues
2. Get Out Of My Life, Woman
3. I Got A Mind To Give Up Living
4. All These Blues
5. Work Song
6. Mary, Mary
7. Two Trains Running
8. Never Say No
9. East-West

Product Description

Product Description

One of the greatest guitar albums of all time and a real '60s classic, with Elvin Bishop and Mike Bloomfield trading licks on the mind-bending title cut in particular.

If the Butterfield Blues Band's groundbreaking debut earned the respect of the group's elder influences, this one won over (and guided) the blues boys' psychedelic peers. Highlighted by the 13-minute-plus title track (an Eastern-influenced jam cowritten by guitarist Mike Bloomfield), East-West stretches the boundaries of the blues. It would prod many lesser groups to explore, with generally dreary results, interminable free-flight explorations. But while East-West and a cover of jazzman Cannonball Adderly's "Work Song" ventured in new directions, Paul Butterfield and company remained rooted in solid Chicago blues. East West presents the best of both worlds. --Steve Stolder

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Oda on July 5 2004
Format: Audio CD
The psychedelic rock revolution of the late 1960s had several sources, but probably the most important was electric blues music. A lot of young white rock musicians of that era cut their musical teeth on covers of traditional African American blues
songs, finding in that material a liberating emotional authenticity as well as a simple yet flexible 12-bar, 3-chord improvisational format. Gradually, electric blues morphed into psychedelic hard rock. East West was one of THE seminal albums that led and marked this transition.
The Butterfield Blues Band started out as a straight-ahead Chicago electric blues ensemble. If you're a blues purist, you will prefer their first album. But on East West, the band has clearly come under the influence of, ahem, mind-expanding substances. There are several traditional electric blues numbers here, but there are also several tracks that stretch the boundaries of the blues genre.
The band was remarkable for the work of two great soloists. Paul Butterfield was an outstanding harmonica player (as well as a decent vocalist), and Michael Bloomfield was an awesome guitarist. On this album, both get a chance to display soulful originality as well as technical chops. Unlike a lot of 1960s blues rock musicians, Butterfield and Bloomfield still sound fresh and unique today. In particular, Bloomfield's solos on "I've Got A Mind to Give Up Living", "Work Song", and "East West" have a modal quality totally unlike any of the other blues rock guitar gods of his era. The contrast between Bloomfield's complex droning runs and second guitarist Elvin Bishop's more traditonal lick-based solos are stunning.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tim Shelfer on Feb. 20 2004
Format: Audio CD
By now it seems like everything in music has been tried and done - or overdone - and most of it badly. But back in 1966 when this album debuted, it was nothing less than astonishing. A mixed-race band? A white guy singing blues like nobody's business? A Jewish kid and a southern farmboy sounding like Robert Johnson on guitars? None of us had heard anything quite like it and it gave me, a 15-year-old rock&roll wannabee guitar player, something to focus on.
Right out of the chute, this is a strong album. Opening with "Walking Blues", the BBB struts their stuff with strong vocals, soulful harmonica, and wicked guitar. "I've Got a Mind to Give up Living" was most people's first taste of what Michael Bloomfield could do - simply a stunning blues solo to cap off a great twelve-bar blues.
The album highlight, in my opinion, is their rendition of "The Work Song". Always a great jam song, they carried it to new heights. Bloomfield plays a dizzying guitar solo for 4 verses; Butterfield smokes 2 verses on his harp; Mark Naftalin follows with an understated organ solo; Elvin Bishop gets down & dirty for 4 verses. Then it really gets good; trading off every 2 bars, the musicians rotate for a few verses, each time upping the ante on each other as the song intensifies before resolving into a final melody verse. Whatta song!!!
Noteworthy on side 2 is Elvin Bishop's singing and playing on the sultry "Never Say No". Who knew he could sing?
Finally, the album culminates with the title song "East-West", one of those 60's long-songs which were oftentimes wretched excess, but this one keeps your interest. For 5 minutes or so, guitar and harmonica imitate an Indian raga in a slowly building crescendo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Cline on June 17 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Yup, I have all 3 and spent some time listening to them. The CD was ruled out pretty quick. Especially annoying was some kind of compression/expansion going on with the vocals. Seems like on the attack and release of the vocals there was some pumping. The LP was produced to feature the vocal track and the voice is excellent. The instruments guitars are equal, SACD versus Lp, but the drums are typical of most older lp vs cd recordings. The SACD and the CD bring up the top end of the drum kit. cymbals and tophat is more pronounced. On the CD this gets a little harsh. On the SACD it got close to harsh but seemed to be an order less. On the LP (Supex 900/Rega preamp/Rega table), the drums were not noticeable on the top end.. a good thing overall! The bass as always is tough on the LP. After adjusting my sub for a 35 hz rolloff that stopped exciting the tone arm resonance, I still found the SACD much better than the LP. The sound stage and imaging was also better on the SACD than the LP although the voice on the LP was rock steady and more localized than the SACD. Note that this version of the SACD is a "hybrid" that will also play on a regular CD player. If you like the music, this is worth buying. If you already own the CD or LP then paying another $25 is questionable. For me I wanted it for the experiment. I would only pay the premium for music I really loved, maybe Better Days fits this category as I see it is also available...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 10 2004
Format: Audio CD
There were only a few. Jeff Beck on Rice Pudding. Apricot Brandy by the Rhinoceros. In Memory of Elizabeth Reid by the Allman Brothers. Samba Pa Ti by Santana. And East West by the Butterfield Blues Band was the best.
And of course Booker T. & the MG's. And King Curtis. But the rock tracks were always special because there were so few.
If you don't know this track, I envy you because you have it to look forward to hearing for the first time.
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