Last updated September 7, 2018.
Best of/His Best
Released: April 1958 B, Mar. 25, 1997 H
Years Covered: 1948-54 B, 1947-55 H
Sales (in millions):
B Best of
Quotable: “Perfect country blues” – Ken Hohman, Amazon.com
In 1958, Chess Records released a Muddy Waters’ greatest hits collection simply entitled The Best of Muddy Waters. It compiled a dozen songs which were initially issued as singles from 1948 to 1954. Most appeared on Billboard magazine’s R&B charts. It was the first Muddy Waters album and only the third album released by Chess on the LP (long-playing) format. WK In 1983, it was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
Nearly 40 years later, as part of their 50th anniversary series, Chess released a new compilation (His Best 1947-55) JH which covered all the songs on the original Best of collection plus another eight songs.
These songs represent Waters from his formative years through his peak. Listeners are “in for a lot of terrific bottleneck slide guitar work as well as electric Chicago blues.” KH These “tracks are spare, haunting and, quite frankly, perfect country blues.” KH “I Can't Be Satisfied, Rollin' and Tumblin’, I’m Ready, and Mannish Boy are simply beyond reproach.” KH The latter song and “Hoochie Coochie Man have sparked endless imitations over the years – and…nobody has played them better since.” KH