Records That Made History

Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley – The Super Super Blues Band

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The Super Super Blues Band by Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley was recorded in September 1967 in Chicago and released on January 26, 1968.

One could easily describe this album as a super bust of the blues. Power trios in the late 60s were all the rage, even at Chess Studios, where the special purpose supergroups Super Blues of 1967 and later the Super Super Blues Band were formed.

The Super Super Blues Band was two-thirds of the original Super Blues line-up – Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley – with Howlin’ Wolf replacing Little Walter in the trio. Unlike Walter, who was willing to cede the spotlight to Diddley and Waters on Super Blues, Wolf adamantly refuses to back down from his two other competitors, resulting in a series of studio spats and banter that prove more entertaining than the otherwise unrepeatable music from these three old timers who gave us a few drunk pieces through their fierce gaze.

The big jams flow as the trio talk to each other taking turns giving amazing wah-wah sounds with their guitars. The songs are filled with an incredible level of bitterness between the three of them showing the early way of hip hop, with the random screams in the background that sometimes seem like cries of celebration and sometimes danger. That the three of them got into the same studio together is a miracle, and that they managed something so intense, energetic and strange is another almost unbelievable feat.

Although Wolf and Waters work it seriously by blues standards, the presence of Diddley and his repertoire ultimately makes the prospect of them existing as a whole impossible, because there are too many ingredients that collide to make the mix more digestible, like the shrill girl vocals against Wolf’s distant voice and Diddley’s spacey guitars against Waters’ uncompromising guitar.
Meanwhile, as the three front men struggle to outdo each other on every song, they’re drowned out by an amazing band consisting of Otis Spann on piano, Hubert Sumlin on guitar, Buddy Guy on bass and Clifton James on drums. In any case, the album sounds the way they wanted it to.

Through this historic collaboration I select the track “Ooh Baby Wrecking My Love Life”.

Tracklist

1. Long Distance Call 9:10
2. Medley: Ooh Baby & Wrecking My Love Life 6:28
3. Sweet Little Angel 6:30
4. Spoonful 4:10
5. Diddley Daddy 5:10
6. The Red Rooster 7:20
7. Goin’ Down Slow 4:47

Written by: Dimitris Sigalos

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