From the Vault...


Jimmy Reed
"Boss Man"

© Recall Records

Year of Release: 1999

track listing
Disc One:
  • You Don't Have To Go
  • High And Lonesome
  • Boogie In The Dark
  • You Upset My Mind
  • I Ain't Got You
  • Come On Baby
  • Ain't That Lovin'
    You Baby
  • My First Plea
  • You Got Me Dizzy
  • Little Rain
  • The Sun Is Shining
  • Honest I Do
  • Ends And Odds
  • You're Something Else
  • Down In Virginia
  • I'm Gonna Get My Baby
  • Going To New York
  • Take Out Some Insurance
    Disc Two:
  • Baby What You
    Want Me To Do
  • Hush Hush
  • Found Love
  • Big Boss Man
  • Close Together
  • I'm A Love You
  • Bright Lights Big City
  • Aw Shucks
    Hush Your Mouth
  • Down In Mississippi
  • Let's Get Together
  • Oh John
  • Ain't No Big Deal
  • Help Yourself
  • Left Handed Woman
  • I'm Going Upside
    Your Head
  • The Devil's Shoestring 2
  • I'm The Man Down There
  • When Girls Do It

  • 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

    Jimmy Reed related sites:
    Jimmy Reed Website
    Previous Review: #1341
    The Band Perry--The Band Perry
    Next Review: #1343
    Smash Mouth--Astro Lounge
    Jimmy Reed
    "Boss Man"


    My first introduction to the music of Jimmy Reed was finding a rare 45 of his from many garage sales I would travel to, as a kid. The 45 was on the Vee Jay label, "Down In Mississippi"/"Oh John." Liking this 45 so much, I was interested in hearing more of his music. After discovering the 2 songs from the 45 NOT included on his Classic Recordings (which was also on 2 CDs), I was on the hunt to find the 2 songs from the 45 on clear sounding CD. His 2-disc set, Boss Man contained both these songs, so it was a must for me to get. And yes, some of the songs on Boss Man were on the Classic Recordings set, yet you can never have enough of Jimmy Reed, being one of those blues artists who you never really heard about, and if you did, you'd want to hear more.

    If you're a fan of such blues artists as John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters (to name a few), Jimmy Reed will be part of your Blues collection. There isn't one bad song on this set. I can easily hear any of these songs as part of the soundtrack of the Blues Brothers movie. Speaking of the Blues Brothers, there is one song here that Jake and Elwood did, "I Ain't Got You" (I believe the Yardbirds did their own version as well.) There are so many good songs on this set, "You're Something Else" is one to highlight, yet to also mention the well-known hits he had, like "Big Boss Man," "Baby What You Want Me To Do."

    In reading the liner notes for Boss Man, Reed's musical roots started in Chicago. Vee Jay Records was stationed in Chicago. After auditioning for Chess Records, he was declined to record there. Jimmy also wanted to record, playing the guitar and harmonica himself. (Two great instrumentals are on this set, "Boogie In The Dark," "Ends And Odds.") Thanks to another blues artist, Albert King, he referred Reed, as Jimmy started making records for the Vee Jay label.

    As his recordings were getting popular, (his hits surfaced throughout the years of 1956 - 1963). His songs would be popular by other artists: Elvis Presley's versions of 2 Reed songs were part of his 1968 comeback special, Baby What You Want Me To Do," "Big Boss Man." "Bright Lights Big City" would be covered by Country artists, such as Marty Robbins. Other artists who performed Jimmy Reed's music included The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Van Morrison, The Grateful Dead, Elvis Presley, Etta James, Hot Tuna, Johnny Winter, Edgar Winter, Bill Cosby, Steve Miller, Neil Young. Jimmy Reed was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

    As it happened to many music artists, alcohol was a demon for Jimmy Reed. He also had epilepsy, which was undiagnosed. He would forget lyrics to his songs, as his wife would whisper the lyrics in his ear, while he recorded. By the mid-1970s, he was living in Califonria, and on his way to a new record deal, but he passed away in his sleep of respiratory failure, in an Oakland apartment on August 29, 1976, eight days before his 51st birthday.

    Most of the songs from Boss Man are on his Classic Recordings. But what makes Boss Man better are the two songs "Down In Mississipi" and "Oh John" -- the two songs on the Vee Jay 45 I had in my vinyl records collection. Hearing these original songs in clear sounding CD is exceptional. These two songs are always on repeat, as the memories of my childhood in discovering music and collecting it always brings a smile.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Recall Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1341
    The Band Perry--The Band Perry
    Next Review: #1343
    Smash Mouth--Astro Lounge