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Fricke's Picks: Eric Clapton's Guitar Hero

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Of the three Kings of blues guitar, Freddie King, even more than B.B. and Albert, was the triggerman for Britain's guitar-hero explosion in the Sixties, sparking Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Mick Taylor, among others, with his muscular-treble tone, cutting leads and snappy writing. The proof: Taking Care of Business 1956-1973 (Bear Family), seven CDs packed with King's urban-grit classics for the Federal and King labels. That includes the 1961 instrumental smash "Hideaway" — the record that "started me on my path," Clapton said in 1985 — and King's original R&B hit versions of British guitar-slinger staples such as "The Stumble," "I'm Tore Down" and "Have You Ever Loved a Woman" (the last covered by Clapton with Derek and the Dominos). The box also has King's later meaty LPs produced by Leon Russell (with King's signature take on the hard-blues standard "Going Down") and King Curtis. Freddie died too early, in 1976 at age 42, but not before leaving the robust down-home guitar heroism that fills this box.

[From Issue 1098 — February 18, 2010]

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

David Fricke

Rolling Stone senior writer David Fricke has more than 10,000 albums in his New York apartment. His first record review for the magazine was Frank Zappa's 'Sheik Yerbouti' (RS 290).

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