Tuesday, June 13, 2000

June 13, 2000: B.B. King and Eric Clapton collaborate on Riding with the King

First posted March 6, 2011. Last updated September 10, 2018.

Riding with the King

Eric Clapton with B.B. King

Released: June 13, 2000


Sales (in millions):
US: 2.89
UK: 0.27
IFPI: 1.0
World (estimated): 5.0


Peak:
US: 3
UK: 15
Canada: 13
Australia: 5

Quotable: --


Genre: blues


Album Tracks:

  1. Riding with the King (Hiatt) [4:23] (6/17/00, #26 AR)
  2. Ten Long Years (King/ Taub) [4:40]
  3. Key to the Highway (Broonzy/ Segar) [3:39]
  4. Marry You (Bramhall/Melvoin/ Ross/ Segar) [4:59]
  5. Three O’Clock Blues (King/ Taub) [8:36]
  6. Help the Poor (Singleton) [5:06]
  7. I Wanna Be (Bramhall/ Sexton) [4:45]
  8. Worried Life Blues (Merriweather) [4:25]
  9. Days of Old (Bihari/ King) [3:00]
  10. When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer (King/ Taub) [7:09]
  11. Hold On! I’m Comin’ (Hayes/ Porter) [6:20]
  12. Come Rain or Come Shine (Arlen/ Mercer) [4:11]

Singles/Hit Songs:

Click here for the chart codes for singles/hit songs.

Review:

For his second full-fledged blues album, the 55-year-old Clapton collaborated with B.B. King, his senior by nearly 20 years. The pair first performed together in 1967, but didn’t record together until 30 years later when Clapton guested on King’s Deuces Wild album. WK For Riding with the King, “Clapton arranged the session using many of his regular musicians, picked the songs, and co-produced with his partner Simon Climie.” WR That would seemingly relegate King to guest status, but “because of Clapton's respect for his elder, it nearly works the other way around.” WR

Indeed, PopMatters’ Don Moos called the album “strong blues cocktail…with one part Mr. Clapton slickness mixed with three parts of Mr. King’s blues stature.” WK Entertainment Weekly’s Steve Futterman called the “father” and “son” collaboration “triumphant.” WK

In the Columbia Daily Spectator, Nicole Bode offered specific praise for the “call and response guitar and vocal duet…on…Hold On, I’m Comin’, an Isaac Hayes’ song originally released as a single for Sam & Dave in 1966. Of Come Rain or Come Shine, from the 1946 musical St. Louis Woman, she said it was “a mournful vibrato so tender it almost breaks your heart.” WK

The album also included covers of standards such as “the Big Bill Broonzy-penned Key to the Highway (which Clapton had recorded in the early 1970s with Derek and the Dominos) [and] Chicago pianist Maceo Merriweather’s Worried Life Blues.” WK Alongside those standards are “five ‘vintage’ King songs from the 1950s and 1960s: Ten Long Years, Three O'Clock Blues, Help the Poor, Days of Old, and When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer.” WK

The title cut was written by John Hiatt and first appeared on his 1983 album of the same name. The song came about when producer Scott Matthews told Hiatt about his dream of flying on an airplane with Elvis Presley. WK The album was rounded out “with some specially written and appropriate recent material.” WR

The “danger is that Clapton will defer too much…but the two players turn out to have sufficiently complementary, if distinct, styles so that Clapton’s supportive role fills out and surrounds King’s stinging single-string playing…The result is an effective, if never really stunning, work.” WR

That sentiment was echoed by the Mobile Register’s Dave Ferman who said that while it “was a ‘great idea well-executed,’ it is not as good as it could have been.” WK He also said Clapton has never been a great blues singer and critiqued the overall result as too “squeaky clean…antiseptic and clinical.” WK

However, Cosmopolitan’s Louis Gerber called it a “refreshing and sensational album” WK which “goes directly to the heart and soul.” WK while Bode said King takes Clapton “deeper into blues territory than he has ever gone alone” WK and draws out a “raw, growling” side of Clapton’s voice. WK

Like Clapton’s 1994 From the Cradle album, this one also won a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album.


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Saturday, June 10, 2000

Eminem hit #1 with The Marshall Mathers LP: June 10, 2000

Originally posted June 10, 2012.

image from plixid.com


Release date: May 23, 2000
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) Public Service Announcement 2000 / Kill You / Stan (10/7/00, #48a US, #1 UK, #31 RB) / Paul / Who Knew / Steve Berman / The Way I Am (8/5/00, #52a US, #8 UK, #22a RB) / The Real Slim Shady (5/6/00, #2a US, #1 UK, #10a RB, #19 MR) / Remember Me? / I’m Back / Marshall Mathers / Ken Kaniff / Drug Ballad (3/17/01, #65a RB) / Amityville / Bitch Please II (7/8/00, #51a RB) / Kim / Under the Influence / Criminal

Sales (in millions): 10.07 US, 2.23 UK, 6.0 Europe, 23.35 world

Peak: 18 US, 12 UK

Rating:


Review: “It’s hard to know what to make of Eminem.” AMG “His debut, The Slim Shady LP, established [him] as a major force in both hip-hop and broader contemporary culture, but there was still doubt as to whether he would be the latest in a string of short-lived white rap novelties.” TL “Even if you know that half of what he says is sincere and half is a put-on; the trick is realizing that there’s truth in the joke, and vice versa. Many dismissed his considerable skills as a rapper and social satirist because the vulgarity and gross-out humor on The Slim Shady LP were too detailed for some to believe that it was anything but real.” AMG

“To Eminem’s credit, he decided to exploit that confusion on his masterful second record, The Marshall Mathers LP.” AMG “Rap’s superlative wordsmith blurs the line between autobiography and cartoons in hilarious and vulgar high-velocity rhymes.” UT It is “a fairly brilliant expansion of his debut, turning his spare, menacing hip-hop into a hyper-surreal, wittily disturbing thrill ride. It’s both funnier and darker than his debut, and Eminem’s writing is so sharp and clever that the jokes cut as deeply as the explorations of his ruptured psyche.” AMG “He lashed out at the hypocrisy of American society, exposed the prejudices that fuelled rap music, and held his constituency’s psychosis up to the light.” VUThe Marshall Mathers LP raised the stakes, raised his profile, and damn near raised the dead.” TL

The Way I Am

“Eminem delivered dizzying, blistering rhymes that laid bare his neuroses, his fury, and his confusion. He jumped from laugh-out-loud funny to chillingly menacing from one line to the next, and went after his critics (The Way I Am) and his fans (Stan, the mesmerizing high-wire act in a stalker’s voice) with equal fever.” TL

Stan

“The production is nearly as evocative as the raps, with liquid basslines, stuttering rhythms, slight sound effects, and spacious soundscapes. There may not be overpowering hooks on every track, but the album works as a whole, always drawing the listener in. But, once you’re in, Eminem doesn’t care if you understand exactly where he’s at, and he doesn’t offer any apologies if you can’t sort the fact from the fiction. As an artist, he’s supposed to create his own world, and with this terrific second effort, he certainly has. It may be a world that is as infuriating as it is intriguing, but it is without question his own, which is far more than most of his peers are able to accomplish at the dawn of a new millennium.” AMG

The Real Slim Shady


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