Picks and Pans Review: Bo Diddley
Born Ellas Bates, Diddley adopted a high school nickname to use on stage and became one of the definitive R&B performers of the 1950s. This album includes 12 tracks he recorded between 1955 and 1958, most notably the tune Bo Diddley—which was so rhythmically compelling it lived on as a military marching ditty—and the macho-oozing I'm a Man. A lot of the tracks on the record are primarily of historical interest, demonstrating Diddley's introduction of stuttering African beats and bluesy guitar solos into mainstream music, but Before You Accuse Me still manages to stand up to the ravages of time and taste, as do a number of other tunes. The LP is part of a series of albums originally released on Chess Records, whose catalog was purchased in 1985 by MCA Records. Among the other blues pioneers represented on the reissued albums are Muddy Waters, Big Bill Broonzy, Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker. (MCA)
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