50 Essential Albums of 1967

From the Doors' debut to Aretha Franklin's first smash

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B.B. King, 'Blues Is King'
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B.B. King, 'Blues Is King' album cover30/50

B.B. King, 'Blues Is King'

B.B. King wasn't yet a legend in the rock world in 1967. But props from Eric Clapton and others meant he was getting there. His canonical LP was 1965's Live at the Regal, which showcased his songbook at Chicago's version of the Apollo. But this live album, cut at the same town's International Club, is so raw vocally and untrammeled instrumentally it cuts even that classic in retrospect. "Gambler's Blues," which King never recorded again, tears and saws rather than stings before it vows not to "crap out twice." Willie Nelson's not-yet-standard "Night Life" is all riled up. Bobby Forte's tenor sax adds a sour-mash kick throughout.

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