Standing well over six feet and weighing in at around 250 pounds, it's no surprise that Albert King earned the nickname "The Velvet Bulldozer." Standing on stage with his Gibson Flying V, named Lucy, King cut an imposing visual figure. Still, he made an even bigger impression through his recordings, reaching fans all over the world with his punchy, aggressive guitar playing and his commanding voice. Born on a cotton plantation in Indianola, Mississippi, in 1923, King was introduced music in church, where his father played guitar. After picking up the guitar himself, King played across the south and midwest, winning a strong live following while in pursuit of a successful recording career. After a few abortive attempts, King finally scored a major hit single with "Don't Throw Your Love on Me So Strong," reaching #14 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1961. Recorded for Cincinnati's King label, the song captured the distinctive call-and-response style between King's voice and guitar, a direct extension of his gospel roots. It was included on his debut album The Big Blues, a dynamic mix of twelve vocal and instrumental tracks, ten of which were self-composed. Backed by a razor sharp band, which included Ike Turner on piano, King showed an authoritative command of ballads, rumbas and mid-tempo shuffles. It was a sound honed in countless club gigs, a "vivid sound" as the LP jacket rightly proclaimed.
To restore this sound to its royal splendor, Sundazed sourced this reissue from the original King mono master tapes. Pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Record Technology, Inc. (RTI) in Camarillo, CA, this resurrected LP boasts breathtaking sound and an exact reproduction of the original first edition cover artwork. Nothing less would have been worthy of one of the most important albums in the blues pantheon. All hail King Albert!