From the Vault...


Bo Diddley
"The Chess Box"

© Chess/MCA Records


track listing
Disc One:
  • Bo Diddley
  • I'm A Man
  • You Don't Love Me
  • Diddley Daddy
  • Pretty Thing
  • Bring It To Jerome
    (alt. take)
  • Bring It To Jerome
  • Diddy Wah Diddy
  • I'm Looking For A Woman
  • Who Do You Love
  • Down Home Special
  • Hey Bo Diddley
  • Mona (I Need You Baby)
  • Say Boss Man
  • Before You Accuse Me
  • Say Man
  • Hush Your Mouth
    (alt. take)
  • The Clock Strikes Twelve
  • Dearest Darling
    (alt. take)
  • Crackin' Up
  • Don't Let It Go
    (Hold On
    To What You Got)
  • I'm Sorry
  • Mumblin' Guitar
  • The Story Of Bo Diddley
    Disc Two:
  • She's Alright
  • Say Man Back Again
    (alt. take)
  • Road Runner
  • Spend My Life With You
  • Cadillac
  • Signifying Blues
    (extended version)
  • Deed And Deed I Do
  • You Know I Love You
  • Look At My Baby
  • Ride On Josephine
  • Aztec
  • Back Home
  • Pills
  • Untitled Instrumental
  • I Can Tell
  • You Can't Judge A Book
    By It's Cover
  • Who May Your Lover Be
  • The Greatest Lover
    In The World
  • 500% More Man
  • Ooh Baby
  • Bo Diddley 1969

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
    N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

    Bo Diddley related sites:
    Bo Diddley Website
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    Bo Diddley
    "The Chess Box"

    Bo Diddley's self-titled song is his most popular song, yet what most people don't know, is that he has a great assortment of music in his long career. His recordings for Chess Records was arranged in a 2-disc compilation set, The Chess Box. Capturing his early recordings up until the late 1960s,[starting with 1955's "Bo Diddley" to a 1969 version of the same name]. 45 songs, 2 discs -- it's a treat to discover his other popular songs, and interestingly enough, other tracks to enjoy. There are songs that you'll recognize, maybe his own versions, if not, other artists covering them.

    "I'm A Man" maybe one of those songs recognized by other artists; in this case, The Yardbirds for me. Bo's version is much slower than the familar Yardbirds version. "You Don't Love Me" has the down home ol' Chicago Blues style, where "Diddley Daddy" has a 1950s do-wop style.

    "Pretty Thing" features the similar guitar rhythms as his self-titled hit, with different vocals. The Animals' with Eric Burdon comes to mind on many songs in this box set, most from The Animals' live recording, In The Beginning. "Bring It To Jerome" (alt. take) and it's naster recording has the early blues sound, likewise "I'M Looking For A Woman." Great Blues style for the vocals and instrumentation best describes "Diddy Wah Diddy"

    "Who Do You Love" is another one of those songs where other artists' version maybe best remembered (George Thorogood / Doors). The jivin' jazz black blues has "Down Home Special," with a "Mystery Train" (Elvis) feel, yet faster paced. "Hey Bo Diddley" -- The Animals did this one on their live recording, but a bit slower.

    Most of the early artists of rock music have a well-known popular hit, and they record new songs with a similar rhythm. Mona has the similar style as the self-titled "Bo Diddley." If Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley got together, songs such as "Say Boss Man" would probably sound like this, in the more traditional blues style. Fans of the song "Before You Accuse Me" may remember Creedence Clearwater Revival and Eric Clapton's versions.

    Jivin' black blues returns on "Say Man," The Animals used "Hush Your Mouth" (alternate take) on their early live album. The instrumental "The Clock Strikes Twelve" has a John Lee Hooker feel.

    Diddley distinguishes his own style on "Dearest Darlin'" (alternate take), having a very good blues style, in his own right. "Crackin' Up" has the rhythms of Mickey & Sylvia's "Love Is Strange." The style of his song "Hey Bo Diddley" relates to "Don't Let It Go (Hold On To What You Got)", and the lyrics could relate to a song titled "Don't Let Go" recorded by Isaac Hayes. "I'm Sorry" has the 1950s do-wop style. "Mumblin' Guitar" is not as good as many other songs here, as the guitar sounds sloppy or "muffled" and "mumblin'" with the drummer. The Bo Diddley style puts the signature on another Bo Diddley-titled song -- "The Story Of Bo Diddley."

    Disc 2 starts out with "She's Alright," an early Animals sounding song, and it has a James Brown feel, most notably from the Blues Brothers' movie. "Say Man" (alternate take) continues the jivin' black blues. Fans of Jr. Walker & The All-Stars will remember "Road Runner." "Spend My Life With You" has a Muddy Waters style. "Cadillac" has the 1950s style, with the song "Bo Diddley" rhythms. "Signifying Blues" is more of a "talking song," where a jivin' conversation takes place between Bo and another band member. "Deed And Deed I Do" has the 1950s style of doo-wop and the blues, where "You Know I Love You" has the 1950s style rather than the blues. Typical good, blues sound is heard on "Look At My Baby."

    The Chuck Berry style is heard on "Ride On Josephine," where "Aztec" has a very different sound for Bo Diddley - an instrumental in the sense of another classic instrumental, "Pipeline," yet Diddley's version is slower. The 1950s style returns with "Back Home" and 1950s rock on "Pills." More on the 1950s, with a very nice sound is the "Untitled Instrumental."

    One of the songs overlooked is the great drivin' blues tune, "I Can Tell." "You Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover" is another good blues number. "Who May Your Lover Be" has the Chuck Berry rhythms, with more of a rough blues vocal. The good rockin' 1950s style has "The Greatest Lover In The World," and "500% More Man" continues Diddley's early hit, "I'm A Man." "Ooh Baby" has the late 1950s/early 1960s soulful blues, and lastly, "Bo Diddley 1969" is totaly different in sound, as it was recorded with an up-to-date sound at the time, yet the original is much better.

    Bo Diddley's career is chronicled nicely in this 2-disc set, and of course, it has unreleased tracks. A good introduction to Bo Diddley's music and more, and for blues and rock fans alike.

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    Previous Review: #1055
    The Eagles--Hell Freezes Over
    Next Review: #1057
    Linda Ronstadt--Prisoner In Disguise