6) HOWLIN’ WOLF – MOANIN’ AT MIDNIGHT (1959)

It’s been really hard to narrow albums down to ten. If I didn’t have to there’d be more blues records in the list. But if I only have space for one it has to be the Howlin’ Wolf. There’s so many greats but for me he’s the greatest blues singer of them all, and this album is amazing throughout. Although most of the album is recorded later the first two tracks were recorded by Sam Philips in 1951, Moanin’ At Midnight featuring Ike Turner on piano and How Many More Years. It’s some of the heaviest music I’ve heard, with Willie Johnson’s filthy distorted guitar. On top of that there’s some of Wolf’s finest like Smokestack Lightin’ and Evil with the amazing Hubert Sumlin on lead guitar. Rhythmically this is a really heavy album too, the drums are incredible. Baby How Long sends chills through you it’s so dark and it’s so stripped down it sounds modern. I Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline) is an amazing lyric. The recordings are so powerful on their own, but when you see footage of Wolf, he’s that and more. One of the best frontmen of all time. 

For number 7 in Little Barrie’s top 10 please go here

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.

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