10. Muddy Waters – At Newport (MCA/Chess Records, 1960)
Released in November 1960, At Newport 1960 is a live album by Buddy Waters, recorded on July 3rd 1960, at Newport Jazz Festival, Rhode Island. The album is considered one of the first live blues albums, and a highly influential recording as it helped popularize blues to larger audiences, especially to whites. At Newport 1960 was ranked at number 348 on Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time”, which described the band’s playing as “tough, tight and in the groove”.
9. Mississippi John Hurt – Avalon Blues: The Complete 1928 OKeh Recordings (Legacy, 1996)
Released in 1996, Avalon Blues: The Complete 1928 OKeh Recordings is a collector’s item, comprised of Hurt’s recordings for OKeh Records, in 1928. These recordings were commercial failures and they forced Hurt to leave the recording scene, and continue his life working as a farmer in his native Avalon and playing local parties and dances. Based on these recordings, especially on the lyrics of “Avalon Blues”, Tom Hoskins, a blues collector, located Hurt in 1963, as part of the American folk music revival, and took him to Washington D. C., where he was recorded by the Library Of Congress. The album represents an amazing collection of early delta songs and it is a must have for every blues fan.
8. Guitar Slim – Sufferin’ Mind (Specialty Records, 1991)
Released in 1991, Sufferin’ Mind is a 26-track collection of Eddie “Guitar Slim” Jones’ best recordings for Specialty Records, during 1953-1955. Born in 1926, in New Orleans, Jones was a brilliant blues guitarist, highly influential on other blues performers, and experimented with distorted overtones on the electric guitar ten years before Jimi Hendrix. “The Things That I Used To Do” was Guitar Slim’s biggest hit, as it stayed on the R & B charts for 42 weeks, six weeks at number 1. It sold more than 1 million copies. Sadly, his career having faded, Jones became an alcoholic, and died of pneumonia in New York City, at just 32 years.
7. Howlin’ Wolf – Moanin’ In The Moonlight (Chess Records, 1959)
Released in 1959, Moanin’ In The Moonlight is the debut album by American blues singer Howlin’ Wolf (Chester Arthur Burnett). Recorded in 1951 at Memphis Recording Service in Memphis, Tennessee, and in 1959 in Chicago, Illinois, the album is a compilation of singles released by Chess Records. Moanin’ In The Moonlight is Howlin’ Wolf’s magnum opus, it contains some of his best known hits (“Moanin’ At Midnight”, “How Many More Years”, “Forty Four”, “Smokestack Lightnin”, “I Asked For Water [She Gave Me Gasoline]”, and “Evil”), and the LP was ranked number 153 on Rolling Stone’ s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
6. Albert King – Born Under A Bad Sign (Stax Records, 1967)
Released in August 1967, Born Under A Bad Sign is the second studio album by American blues guitarist and singer Albert King. The LP is considered one of the most popular and influential blues albums of all time. Songs like “Born Under A Bad Sign”, “Oh Pretty Woman”, “Crosscut Saw” and “The Hunter” became blues classics. Artists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughan have cited Albert King’s guitar work on the album as a major influence in their style of guitar playing. In 1999 Born Under A Bad Sign received a Grammy Hall Of Fame Award and, in 2012 it was included on Rolling Stone’s revised list of the 500 greatest albums of all time at number 491.