Muddy Waters – Hard Again – Our Shootout Winner from 2012

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A distinguished member of the Better Records Rock and Pop Hall of Fame

This Hot Stamper pressing of Muddy Water’s Five Star 1977 collaboration with Johnny Winter and harmonica great James Cotton has two great sides and quiet vinyl! We dropped the needle on one of these recently and liked the sound, so we picked up a bunch of copies and had a rollickin’ fun shootout. Many of the other copies we played lacked the kind of energy and big bottom end that you get on this pressing, qualities that help kick up this music to the next level.

The highlight, naturally, is the killer version of Mannish Boy that leads of the album. Turn up the volume good and loud and you’ll put yourself front and center at a wild blues club. You won’t get that effect on every copy, but when you have a pressing with lots of presence and life, the sound can be surprisingly natural and realistic.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Mannish Boy
Bus Driver
I Want to Be Loved
Jealous Hearted Man
I Can’t Be Satisfied

Side Two

The Blues Had a Baby and They Named It Rock and Roll (#2)
Deep Down in Florida
Crosseyed Cat
Little Girl 

AMG 5 Star Review

After a string of mediocre albums throughout most of the 1970s, Muddy Waters hooked up with Johnny Winter for 1977’s Hard Again, a startling comeback and a gritty demonstration of the master’s powers. Fronting a band that includes such luminaries as James Cotton and “Pine Top” Perkins, Waters is not only at the top of his game, but is having the time of his life while he’s at it… Great blues from one of the dominant voices of the genre.

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