Records That Made History

Muddy Waters – Electric Mud

todayJune 1, 2024 22

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Electric Mud is the fifth studio album by Muddy Waters, featuring members of the band Rotary Connections as his backing band. It was released in 1968, portraying Muddy Waters as a psychedelic musician. Producer Marshall Chess felt that Muddy Waters recorded Electric Mud in an attempt to appeal to the rock audience as well.

It reached No. 127 on the Billboard 200 as a controversial album for fusing electric blues with psychedelic elements, selling 150,000 copies in its first six weeks of release. In any case, Electric Mud has the characteristics of a psychedelic rock concept album.

Marshall Chess later said: “I came up with the idea of Electric Mud to basically help Muddy make money. It was like a painting, with Muddy in it. It wasn’t to change his sound, but a way to reach another market”.

To deliver the album’s psychedelic sound, Chess gathered Chicago’s hottest and most fantastic jazz-rock guys. Gene Barge, Pete Cosey, Roland Faulkner, Morris Jennings, Louis Satterfield, Charles Stepney and Phil Upchurch whom he wanted to call “The Electric Niggers”, but his father would not let him do so under any circumstances. The album incorporates the use of the wah-wah pedal and the fuzzbox. Marshall Chess punctuated the band’s rhythm with the use of electronic instruments and saxophones, with Blues puritans criticizing his psychedelic sound.

“I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” incorporates free jazz influences, with Gene Barge, in addition to sax, playing harp and Muddy Waters singing lyrics from the Rolling Stones’ 1967 single, “Let’s Spend The Night Together “, in a gospel-soul style, heavily influenced by Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love”.

The album title does not refer to the use of the electric guitar, as Muddy Waters had been using it since he was first signed to Chess Records. The use of the term “Electric” is used to describe his psychedelic sound.

Electric Mud on its first release in 1968 was released with a plain black and white cover which in no way suggested that the music contained on the album was psychedelic.

“Hoochie Coochie Man” or “(I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man”, as it was originally titled and which I will choose, was written by Willie Dixon, but made famous over time by Muddy Waters and a single of 1954. It is considered one of the classic Chicago blues songs of all time, forming an essential link between the Mississippi Delta and rock and roll.

Tracklist

1. I Just Want To Make Love To You 4:14
2. Hoochie Coochie Man 4:41
3. Let’s Spend The Night Together 3:07
4. She’s All Right 6:44
5. I’m A Man (Mannish Boy) 3:21
6. Herbert Harpers Free Press 4:32
7. Tom Cat 3:37
8. Same Thing 5:37

Written by: Dimitris Sigalos

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