While King became somewhat of a hip name around the late 60’s and subsequently focused more on the new audience that adored him by merging blues with tough rock, these early recordings for Federal are probably the ideal starting point if you wanna get an idea and first taste of the man’s enormous legacy.
Like many great stories, also this one starts with a refusal, as Chess didn’t deem Freddy worthy enough of a contract, but fortunately Syl Johnson introduced him to A&R man/pianist Sonny Thompson. This guy not only secured King a deal, but would also accompany him on most of the 70+ recordings he did for Federal between 1960 and 1966.
On these cuts, not a note is wasted and these short songs (all between 2:18 and 3:41) contain licks that are tastier than your grandma’s pecan pie. This first compilation (yes, there’s a second one) mainly focuses on the earliest recordings (recorded in 1961-’62), which are arguably the best he cut for Federal.
1. Hide Away
2. Lonesome Whistle Blues
4. I'm Tore Down
5. See See Baby
6. Christmas Tears
7. You've Got to Love Her With a Feeling
8. Have You Ever Loved a Woman
9. You Know That You Love Me (But You Never Tell Me So)
10. I Love the Woman
11. It's Too Bad (Things Are Going So Tough)
13. If You Believe (In What You Do)
14. Takin' Care of Business
16. Sittin' on the Boat Dock
17. Side Tracked
18. What About Love
19. Let the Good Times Roll
20. Just Pickin'
21. I'm on My Way to Atlanta
22. In the Open
23. Welfare (Turns Its Back on You)
24. She Put the Whammy on Me