John Lee Hooker, master bluesman and undisputed father of boogie, recorded for more than 30 labels over a span of 50 years. Amazingly, he has never had a definitive career box set, until now. Hooker is an 84-track, 4CD set that culls material from all eras of his lengthy career, produced in conjunction with his estate to serve as the definitive tribute to his legacy. Includes collaborations with Canned Heat, Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, Carlos Santana, Van Morrison, Ry Cooder, Charles Brown, Los Lobos, Eric Clapton to name a few. Special packaging - Long form carton with matt celloglaze finish including 4 CDs in jewel cases, 60 page longfrom booklet.
There's perfect symmetry in the way this four-disc anthology opens with a raw, solo acoustic 1948 rendition of John Lee Hooker's signature tune, "Boogie Chillen'," and then closes a half-century later with Eric Clapton teaming with Hooker on the same tune. Though the Mississippi bluesman who relocated to Detroit has been justly celebrated for his spellbinding repetitions and primal incantations, this comprehensive set shows just how much more range and depth there was to Hooker's music than basic boogie. Beyond the influential hits--"Dimples," "Boom Boom," and "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer" among them--the set shows his music touching on everything from religion ("Moses Smote the Water," "We're All God's Chillen") to sociopolitical commentary ("Democrat Man," "King of the World). Even so, sensual pleasure remained his prime inspiration, and few bluesmen have made sex and liquor sound as sexy and intoxicating as Hooker did. Included are selections from his career revivals spurred by disciples (1970's teaming with Canned Heat, 1989's Grammy-winning collaborations with Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, and others), but the most powerful Hooker is the earlier stuff that cuts closest to the bone. It may be surprising that it has taken Hooker this long to be memorialized with a comprehensive box set, but when you consider how many labels he recorded for (almost all of which he outlived) and under how many different names (Texas Slim, Johnny Williams, et al.), its quite an achievement that this set even exists. --Don McLeese