Bo Diddley - The Black Gladiator


TJR says:

Not in my collection.

The Pro review:

It was four years between the release of Bo’s last album of all-new cuts, 500% More Man, and this album, during which time he’d spent time recording with Chess’ top bluesmen, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. The death of Leonard Chess in October of 1969 resulted in the sale of the label to the GRT corporation, and cost the company what little artistic guidance it had. The result was The Black Gladiator, an attempt to reshape Bo into a funk artist, in the manner of Sly and the Family Stone. As an experiment it’s understandable, and Bo tries very hard (even making another song-length sexual boast on "You, Bo Diddley," which also ends with a great guitar/organ duet between Bo and Bobby Alexis), but he finally fails to find a groove that works. Despite some good guitar here and there, this record falls into the same category as Muddy’s Electric Mud and After the Rain albums, and Howlin’ Wolf’s New Album, all of which attempted to transform each into a psychedelic rocker. "Power House" is a pretty good cut, using a modified Muddy Waters-"I’m a Man"/"Mannish Boy" beat and lyrics. Much of the rest is for absolute completists only, however.

2.0 / 5
Bruce Eder
AllMusic

Extra notes:

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The complete “A-list” discography of Bo Diddley:

Bo Diddley 【1958】 (1958) Go Bo Diddley (1959) Have Guitar Will Travel (1960) Bo Diddley in the Spotlight (1960) Bo Diddley is a Gunslinger (1960) Bo Diddley is a Lover (1961) Bo Diddley’s A Twister (1962) Bo Diddley 【1962】 (1962) Bo Diddley and Company (1963) Surfin’ with Bo Diddley (1963) Two Great Guitars (1964) Hey Good Lookin’ (1965) 500% More Man (1965) The Black Gladiator (1970) Another Dimension (1971) Where It All Began (1972) The London Bo Diddley Sessions (1973) Big Bad Bo (1974) Ain’t It Good to be Free (1983) Breakin’ Through The BS (1989) This Should Not Be (1993) Promises (1994) A Man Amongst Men (1996) Moochas Gracias (2002)

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