20 Th Century Masters: Millennium Collection


aec.mry589529.2 1/15/02 New
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    20 Th Century Masters: Millennium Collection Mercury / Island

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Review Text After starting out with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the mid-'60s, Elvin Bishop recorded solo for the short-lived Fillmore label (later controlled by Sony) in the late '60s and early '70s, and he made several albums for the independent Alligator Records in the '80s and '90s. But he gained his greatest commercial recognition on Capricorn Records (the early catalog of which is now controlled by Universal) in the mid- to late '70s, and it is this portion of his career that is represented on this midline-priced best-of, which has been assigned to Universal's Mercury imprint. Bishop modified his basic blues-rock style for each of his affiliations: With Butterfield he played Chicago blues, on Fillmore he took on something of the San Francisco acid rock style, and on Capricorn he absorbed some of the Southern rock of labelmates like the Allman Brothers Band. Four of his five Hot 100 chart entries are found here (the missing one is the least successful, "Spend Some Time"), among them "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," the Top Five hit that has always been an anomaly for him, not only because Mickey Thomas is featured on lead vocals, but also because, even though Bishop wrote it, it sounds much more pop-oriented than one expects from him. More consistent with his style is the minor chart entry "Travelin' Shoes," which boasts a lot of Allmans-like slide guitar work, especially in the seven-minute-plus workout heard here (the single was a three-minute edit), and some politically incorrect lyrics about beating a woman with a baseball bat that probably didn't sound as objectionable back in 1974. But then, the country blues never boasted the most enlightened lyrics, and Bishop also cheerfully admits to "Stealin' Watermelons." At a reasonable price, this collection effectively summarizes his six Capricorn albums. ~ William Ruhlmann

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Let It Flow - 4:54
  2. 2. Ground Hog - 4:40
  3. 3. Stealin' Watermelons - 4:05
  4. 4. Travelin' Shoes - 7:18
  5. 5. Juke Joint Jump - 6:34
  6. 6. Sure Feels Good - 3:50
  7. 7. Fooled Around and Fell in Love - 5:37
  8. 8. Struttin' My Stuff - 4:12
  9. 9. Sugar Dumplin' - 3:58
  10. 10. Rock My Soul [Live] - 5:48
  11. 11. It's a Feelin' - 4:22

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