“Moanin’ In The Moonlight” by Howlin’ Wolf - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1959Album Chart of the Decade: 1950s

TJR says

Twelve single sides (issued 1951-1959) are gathered to make up the powerful Howlin’ Wolf long-play debut. “Moanin’ At Midnight” and “How Many More Years” date way back to his rough and ready first Memphis session for Sam Philips in July 1951 but apart from these, the recording dates all stem from the preceding 5 or 6 years in Chicago, with a couple from 1958. All in all, I’m quite comfortable with the “A-list” labelling, in the discretionary spirit of the decade which has also seen similar cases from Fats Domino, Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Bo Diddley, to name but 4. “How Many More Years” is simply a primeval beast; surely one of the punkiest sounds ever heard by 1951? Equally thrilling, albeit considerably more polished and refined, is “Smoke Stack Lightning”, which shows great sensitivity on the vocal from the Wolf; the cat sure can howl. Side 2 opens with “Evil Is Goin’ On”, the gritty Willie Dixon song being the only one on the LP not to come from the pen of the Wolf. “Forty Four” is the album’s fourth bona-fide classic; although rooted in an old blues standard, the Wolf takes his own writing credit such is his transformation. It’s tough, gruff and menacing – just the way I like it. It sums the album up really; our lead man is naturally blessed with a visceral magnetism, the likes of which is as rare as the most precious of diamonds.

The Jukebox Rebel
08–Feb–2016

Tracklist
A1 [02:53] 7.7.png The Howlin’ Wolf - Moanin’ At Midnight (Chester Burnett) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A2 [02:40] 10.0.png The Howlin’ Wolf - How Many More Years (Chester Burnett) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A3 [03:06] 9.7.png Howlin’ Wolf - Smoke Stack Lightning (Chester Burnett) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A4 [02:54] 7.2.png The Howlin’ Wolf - Baby How Long? (Chester Burnett) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A5 [02:53] 7.1.png The Howlin’ Wolf - No Place To Go (Chester Burnett) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
A6 [02:11] 7.3.png The Howlin’ Wolf - All Night Boogie (Chester Burnett) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B1 [02:52] 9.5.png The Howlin’ Wolf - Evil Is Goin’ On (Willie Dixon) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B2 [02:57] 6.8.png Howling Wolf - I’m Leaving You (Chester Burnett) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B3 [02:46] 8.4.png Howlin’ Wolf - Moanin’ For My Baby (Chester Burnett) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B4 [02:49] 8.3.png Howlin’ Wolf - I Asked For Water (Chester Burnett) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B5 [02:47] 9.2.png The Howlin’ Wolf - Forty Four (Chester Burnett) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B6 [02:24] 7.3.png Howlin’ Wolf - Somebody In My Home (Chester Burnett) Blues / Rhythm n Blues

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