Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection

Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection


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Starting with its 20th anniversary in 1991, every five years brings another double Alligator collection, and 2011 was no exception. While the 35th edition --released in 2006 -- logically featured 35 songs, the compilers couldn't quite squeeze 40 onto this 40th anniversary disc, even though owner Bruce Iglauer does admit to fading a few endings off prematurely in order to maximize the list, which hits 38 selections. The trick with these albums is to both pay tribute to the label's storied past while including enough recent acts to connect the dots between the house-rocking music Iglauer built his company on, and the more modern yet still roots-based sounds he's released during the last five years. He does an excellent job here, mixing not just old and new, but male and female musicians who have recorded for Alligator over the decades. Of course, no Alligator historical collection is going to exclude Hound Dog Taylor, Iglauer's first signing who remains the raucous, soulful blues-rocking standard who helped forge the label's musical direction. Newer artists such as JJ Grey & Mofro, Eric Lindell, Anders Osborne, and Janiva Magness share space with Johnny Winter, Son Seals, Koko Taylor, Albert Collins, Lonnie Brooks, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater, and lots more. A 30-page book includes obscure information and anecdotes about each, providing a first-hand look at what attracted Iglauer to the artists. Even with 35 acts, dozens are left out, and they are listed individually at the end of the extensive and often fascinating notes. There are some predominantly acoustic performances from Mavis Staples, Saffire -- The Uppity Blues Women, Buddy Guy & Junior Wells, and Corey Harris, but the majority of the selections run to the high-energy, very plugged-in Chicago and Texas blues that Iglauer plainly loves. Between musicians such as Luther Allison, Roy Buchanan, Son Seals, and Koko Taylor, all of whom have created arguably their finest work while signed to Alligator (and that's saying plenty), there is an embarrassment of riches to choose from. While some of these names have also appeared on previous anniversary editions, no songs are repeated from those albums. Clearly, the intention of this and the previous sets is as loss leaders to sell more individual Alligator discs, but they play as perfectly enjoyable mash-ups of roots music, and a historical music lesson that anyone with an affinity for the genre will appreciate.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/22/2011
Label: Alligator Records
UPC: 0014551252627
catalogNumber: 2526
Rank: 7432

Album Credits

Technical Credits

Lonnie Brooks   Producer
James Cotton   Producer
Tinsley Ellis   Producer
Smokin' Joe Kubek   Producer
Lonnie Mack   Producer
Charlie Musselwhite   Composer
Johnny Otis   Teacher/Educator,Inspiration
Saffire -- The Uppity Blues Women   Producer
Son Seals   Producer
Katie Webster   Producer
Elvin Bishop   Producer
Roy Buchanan   Producer
Paul Barrére   Producer
Bonnie Hayes   Engineer
Mississippi Fred McDowell   Teacher/Educator,Inspiration
Mark Bingham   Engineer
John Hahn   Producer
David Axelbaum   Engineer
Blaise Barton   Engineer
Steve Berlin   Producer
Stu Black   Engineer
Jim DeVito   Engineer
Rick Estrin   Producer
David Farrell   Engineer
Sam Fishkin   Engineer
Jim Gaines   Producer
Larry Goetz   Engineer
John Hampton   Engineer
Ice Cube Slim   Producer
Bruce Iglauer   Producer,Liner Notes
Vasti Jackson   Producer
Allison Kaslow   Producer
Andy Kaslow   Producer
Gene Lawson   Engineer
Richard McLeese   Producer
Lillian Shedd McMurry   Teacher/Educator,Inspiration
Richard Mullen   Engineer
Justin Niebank   Engineer
Jay Newland   Engineer
Glenn Nishida   Engineer
Derek O'Brien   Producer
Wesley Race   Producer
Warren Riker   Engineer
Jay Shilliday   Engineer
Dick Shurman   Producer
Bob Skye   Engineer
Mavis Staples   Producer
Chris Strachwitz   Teacher/Educator,Inspiration
Stuart Sullivan   Engineer
Didier Tricard   Producer
Jim Tullio   Producer,Engineer
Chris Vachon   Producer
Stevie Ray Vaughan   Producer
Shelly Yakus   Engineer
Joan Osborne   Producer
Jimmy Vivino   Producer
Bob Koester   Teacher/Educator,Inspiration
Corey Harris   Producer
Anders Osborne   Producer
Ronnie Baker Brooks   Producer
Jeff Covert   Engineer
Ricky Barnes   Engineer
Pepper Keenan   Producer
Dan Prothero   Producer,Engineer
Ari Rios   Engineer
Sterling Winfield   Engineer
Dag Haeggqvist   Teacher/Educator,Inspiration
Michael Trossman   Logo
Janiva Magness   Producer
Stanton Moore   Producer
Neil Citron   Engineer
Dave Darling   Producer
Ben Mumphrey   Engineer
Chris Goldsmith   Composer,Producer
Roman Klun   Engineer
Brian Brinkerhoff   Producer
Scott Brenton   Engineer
Wyzard   Producer
Kid Andersen   Producer,Engineer
Roger Cole   Engineer
Drew Vonderhaar   Engineer
Eric Lindell   Producer
Clearwater   Composer
Ryan Lipman   Engineer
Mendelsohn   Composer
Crutcher   Composer
Jackie Hairston   Producer
Stevie Mendell   Engineer
liggins   Composer
Richard Whittington   Engineer
McDaniel   Composer
Freddy Breitberg   Engineer
Solberg   Composer
Mike Iacopelli   Engineer
Sam Siefiert   Engineer
Jim Haines   Engineer
Jerry Hoyson   Engineer
Tony Terrebone   Engineer
Seymour Grenspan   Teacher/Educator,Inspiration

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Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
poughkeepsiejohn More than 1 year ago
While many record labels began to stop recording blues artists as the 1970's progressed, Alligator Records has been making them steadily over the years. Formed in 1971, the Chicago-based label was personally funded by Bruce Iglauer who produced Hound Dog Taylor & The House Rockers. It has since become the home of Koko Taylor, Albert Collins, Son Seals, Marcia Ball, Charles Musselwaite and many others. While their 20th and 25th anniversary compilations were less than spectacular, their 40th anniversary collection is truly just that. The reason for that is because Alligator's roster has gotten better in the last decade alone. Another reason is that these recordings are not overproduced and have a clear, audacious sound with very few overdubs, giving these recordings are truly live sound. Among the up and coming artists are Tommy Castro ("Backup Plan"), Shemekia Copeland ("It's My Own Tears") and Coco Montoya ("Last Dirty Deal"). Meanwhile, it has also been the repository of past greats who still had a few more good recordings in them, such as Johnny Winter, Mavis Staples, James Cotton and Professor Longhair. The collection begins with Koko Taylor (who recorded with the label for 25 years) doing her smoldering take on Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy" and turns it into "I'm A Woman". There are also updated versions of classic blues such as Roomful of Blues take on "That's A Pretty Good Love". Buckwheat Zydeco appears here as well with a little bit of cajun music on "When The Levee Breaks" (not to be confused with Led Zepellin's song of the same name). However, the truly remarkable songs here are the ones by the unknowns. These include Guitar Shorty's triumphantly defiant "We The People" and Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials' grossly hilarious "Icicles In My Meatloaf". My personal favorite is a faster, louder and arguably better rendition of Lonnie Mack's "Wham!" done by Lonnie himself and guest Stevie Ray Vaughan. Alligator has often prided itself on "Original Houserocking Music". The 40th anniversary collection proves that and demands that you turn the volume all the way up.