80 by B.B. King
Description of 80 by B.B. King
Released by Geffen Records
Available in Audio CD format
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One of the most influential guitartists of the 20th Century, B.B. King has achieved icon status, along with his guitar Lucille. Truly the blues greatest ambassador, B.B. continues to electrify audiences and spread the gospel of the blues.
The blues master's 80th birthday gift to his fans is his third all-star collaboration. Its dozen tunes are a mix of classics and obscurities from King's past. They include commendable versions of his signature "The Thrill Is Gone," with Eric Clapton trading vocal lines and licks, and Howard Tate's "Ain't Nobody Home," with Daryl Hall answering King's gritty growl. There are obscurities, too, like "Tired of Your Jive," with a jocular Billy Gibbons, and "Hummingbird," transformed into a melodic gem with the assistance of John Mayer.
What's surprising is how well King's singing and playing continue to resist the years, especially when he unfurls his hearty voice on "All Over Again" as Mark Knopfler's guitar plays equally soulful foil. And Gloria Estefan is richly colorful duetting on "There Must Be a Better World Somewhere." What's disappointing is the perfunctory quality of King's match-ups with Roger Daltrey ("Never Make Your Move Too Soon") and Elton John ("Rock This House"). Van Morrison, Glenn Frey, Sheryl Crow, and Bobby Bland complete the guest list. --Ted Drozdowski
Recommended B.B. King
Riding with the King (with Eric Clapton)
Let the Good Times Roll: The Music of Louis Jordan
Chronicles: Live at the Regal/Blues Is King/Live in Cook County Jail
King of the Blues
The Ultimate Collection