- With two Triple Plus (A+++) shootout winning sides, this original Bluesway pressing from 1969 simply could not be beat
- Surprisingly dynamic, with great energy, this copy brought BB King’s music to life in our listening room like no other could
- This copy had the Tubes and the Big Bass that this music needs to work it’s Electric Blues Magic from The Master himself
- “…a worthy recording on its own merits, divided evenly between live and studio material. King’s always recorded well as a live act, and it’s the concert tracks that shine brightest…”
Some of the Bluesway pressings we’ve auditioned recently have had exceptionally big, rich, lively sound, and that’s the way we like our music to sound.
There are plenty of dogs in the King canon, especially in the ’70s, so you have to be somewhat careful with the man’s recordings, but good titles in the ’60s with excellent sound can still be found if you’re willing to do the work (or you’re willing to let us do it for you).
Tubey Magic Is Key
This original pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records cannot even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
There were some gritty, thin copies in our shootout that took all the fun out of the music, but fortunately we found this killer pressing that had us really enjoying this batch of songs from The Master of the Blues himself, Mr. B.B. King.
Electric Blues with Brass
What the best sides of this album have to offer is not hard to hear:
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1969
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange — with the guitars and drums having the correct sound for this kind of recording
- Transparency, resolution and freedom from smear
No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for starters
Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
Don’t Answer The Door
Just A Little Love
Sweet Little Angel
Please Accept My Love
I Want You So Bad
Get Off My Back Woman
Let’s Get Down To Business
Why I Sing The Blues
Although Live & Well wasn’t a landmark album in the sense of Live at the Regal, it was a significant commercial breakthrough for King, as it was the first of his LPs to enter the Top 100.
That may have been because recognition from rock stars such as Eric Clapton had finally boosted his exposure to the White pop audience, but it was a worthy recording on its own merits, divided evenly between live and studio material.
King’s always recorded well as a live act, and it’s the concert tracks that shine brightest, although the studio ones (cut with assistance from studio musicians like Al Kooper and Hugh McCracken) aren’t bad.