Love Notes
For the slow jam lover in all of us.

Often imitated, never duplicated

  • Nov 26, 2010
This is a great CD, with re-mastered versions of the original blues songs featured in the film, Cadillac Records. These are the real thing, blues written and performed by by Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Etta James, Little Walter, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. And the quality is very good, thanks to remasters of old tapes laid down in the 40s, 50s and early 60s.

Known at the time as "race records," these original blues tunes by people we now call African-Americans set the stage for early rock n roll and for white rockers like Elvis Presley to score huge hits with songs like My Babe, one of Little Walter's signature tunes. Eventually some of the black singers had cross-over hits. For instance, At Last by Etta James got decent airplay on mainstream stations, but more often than not it was the white bands that made it big. This was especially true in the South, where white and black audiences were segregated by law and many clubs refused to book black performers.

The stars of Cadillac Records (Beyonce and Mos Def, for example) do fine versions of these songs in the film, but there really isn't anything like hearing the original recordings. I recommend buying this disk and the film soundtrack and listening to them together. It's a great experience and it's also satisfying to know that Muddy and many of the Chess artists are finally getting the broad recognition they deserve.
Often imitated, never duplicated Often imitated, never duplicated Often imitated, never duplicated Often imitated, never duplicated

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November 28, 2010
I agree with both you and @drifter51! I loved Cadillac Records and it was the music and the history that I loved the most. I'm lucky enough to have been raised post-Civil Rights Movement era in California but, I've always been sensitive to the injustice that was done to everyone but, especially black musicians. The white rockers would just steal their hard work and get all the credit. The movie did a great job of showing that a bit and it's so important to hear it in its original form by the original singers. Blues is so raw and emotional that you really need to hear the original singer's voices, at least that's my opinion! Great review!
November 26, 2010
Fabulous review. I agree with you completely. I loved "Cadillac Records" and the music was great but people should hear the originals as well. Chess records played an extremely important role in the evolution of popular music in this country. The "Best of Chess" should be considered essential to any serious collection.
November 27, 2010
Thanks very much for your kind comment on my review. I'm following you now so that I can read your reviews too. Seems that we have similar views, at least on this point.
About the reviewer
Bonnie McEwan ()
I own a communications consultancy in NYC called MAKE WAVES, which serves nonprofit organizations and foundations. I also hold a Visiting Lecturer position at Milano: The New School for Management & … more
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Music, blues, R & B, Etta James, Race Records, Cadillac Records, Muddy Waters


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