Top Artists – John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker – If You Miss ‘Im … I Got ‘Im

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  • Hooker’s wonderful 1970 release finally makes its Hot Stamper debut here with a Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) side two married with an outstanding Double Plus (A++) side one
  • Rich, smooth and Tubey Magical, this pressing has a lovely musical quality that’s missing from some of the copies we played
  • A delightful collaboration between John Lee and his cousin, Earl Hooker – AMG says he “definitely benefits from keeping it in the family” here
  • “Heard here less than a year before his death, Earl still sounds frisky and versatile, often utilizing a funky wah-wah style without ever descending into the psychedelic excesses that plagued so many late-’60s electric blues albums.”

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John Lee Hooker – Simply The Truth

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  • KILLER sound throughout for this ABC Bluesway pressing with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) grades 
  • Our vintage ABC Bluesway pressing here has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce, so if you want to know what this album from 1969 is REALLY supposed to sound like, we guarantee you cannot do better than this very copy
  • “Overseen by noted jazz producer Bob Thiele, this session had Hooker backed by some of his fullest arrangements to date, with noted session drummer Pretty Purdie and keyboards in addition to supplementary guitar and bass… Another of his many characteristically solid efforts…”

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John Lee Hooker – Free Beer and Chicken

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  • KILLER sound from start to finish with both sides earning Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or very close to it
  • Hooker’s albums are surprisingly good sounding – they have the open, immediate, dynamic qualities of a live-in-the-studio session – my understanding is that most of them are recorded precisely that way
  • These sides are doing it right – they’re big, rich and Tubey Magical, with wonderfully present vocals and huge amounts of energy
  • Free Beer And Chicken is one of the better sounding John Lee Hooker records we’ve ever played lately – an interesting lineup of guests too, including the one and only Mr. Joe Cocker!

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John Lee Hooker – Endless Boogie

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  • This original ABC pressing has Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound on ALL FOUR SIDES! 
  • These sides are out of this world — rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical with a big punchy bottom end and lots of energy
  • “… the timeliness of Endless Boogie is an unmitigated plus, and producers Bill Szymczyk and Ed Michel get a relaxed groove out of a cast of supporting musicians who can boogie Canned Heat right out of the studio.” – Robert Christgau

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John Lee Hooker – House of the Blues

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  • This outstanding pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish – fairly quiet vinyl too
  • This early ’50s material has shockingly natural sound, no doubt the result of having been recorded, like most of John Lee Hooker’s albums, live in the studio
  • A masterful collection of songs recorded between 1951 and 1954, this album showcases the “King of the Boogie” in top form
  • 4 stars: “Some important titles here: an ominous ‘Leave My Wife Alone,’ and the stark ‘Sugar Mama’ and ‘Ramblin’ by Myself,’ and with Eddie Kirkland on second guitar, ‘Louise’ and ‘High Priced Woman.'”

*NOTE: On side two, a mark makes 4 moderate pops at the beginning of in Track 1, Sugar Mama.

My notes for the sound of the third track read “very real.” You get the feeling that whatever John Lee Hooker played and sang on that day in 1959 ended up on this record sounding just the way he performed it, live to one-track. (more…)

John Lee Hooker – The Healer

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  • The outstanding copy of The Healer boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound or BETTER from first note to last
  • On the better pressings like this one you get something approaching the warmth and unforced clarity of analog we audiophiles crave
  • With Santana, Bonnie Raitt, Los Lobos, Canned Heat and others
  • Four Stars in Rolling Stone: “Brilliant, 100-proof blues… the spirit that animates this album is the ageless voice of John Lee Hooker and his boogie-man blues. He has conjured up a renewed world blues with the canniness of the hoodoo healers and root doctors who first gave birth to the Delta blues.”

These guys (and one gal!) are definitely LIVE in the studio. The amount of studio reverb may be a bit much for some, but we think it works for this music. (more…)

John Lee Hooker – The Healer

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

These guys (and one gal!) are definitely LIVE in the studio. The amount of studio reverb may be a bit much for some, but we think it works for this music. 

And the vinyl is quiet, a true Mint Minus, the highest condition grade we use (as a practical matter).

Side One

Big and clear, with a fair amount of Tubey Magical Richness for a record recorded in 1989.

Side Two

Even better, truly Super Hot by track two — it’s bigger, with more bass and more space than almost every other copy we played. (more…)

John Lee Hooker – Never Get Out Of These Blues Alive

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Never Get Out Of These Blues Alive

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  • With KILLER Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides, this copy will show you just how insanely big and rich this record can be; super quiet vinyl too!
  • It’s one of the best sounding John Lee Hooker albums we’ve heard – exceptionally well recorded at Wally Heiders’ right here in L.A..  
  • Features a host of “the greats” lending a hand, including Van Morrison, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, and Steve Miller
  • “…this album continues his work with mostly younger musicians and predates similar projects The Healer and Mr. Lucky by about 20 years.”

With STUNNING sound from beginning to end on this pressing, Hooker is in the room with you, as he should be. The sound is big, rich and lively with a huge bottom end, lots of space, wonderful transparency and real immediacy.

You may have noticed that records like this rarely make it to the site. Many don’t sound good, and the ones that do usually have surfaces that most audiophiles would find unacceptable. This is an exceptionally nice copy of we’re glad to say it sounds as good as it looks. (more…)