Albert King Songs Ranked

Albert Nelson (April 25, 1923 – December 21, 1992), known by his stage name Albert King, was an American blues guitarist and singer whose playing influenced many other blues guitarists. He is perhaps best known for the popular and influential album Born Under a Bad Sign (1967) and its title track. He is one of the three performers (together with B.B. King and Freddie King) known as the “Kings of the Blues.” King was known for his “deep, dramatic sound that was widely imitated by both blues and rock guitarists.”
He was once nicknamed “The Velvet Bulldozer” because of his smooth singing and large size–he stood taller than average, with sources reporting 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) or 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m), and weighed 250 lb (110 kg)–and also because he drove a bulldozer in one of his day jobs early in his career. King was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1983. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. In 2011, he was ranked number 13 on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Here are all of Albert King’s songs ranked.

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12. Can’t You See What You’re Doing to Me (Can’t You See What You’re Doing to Me, 1970)

“Another solid album by Albert King, this time with an even greater funk saturation complete with wah-wah, horns, organ, in yo’ face bass, strings, and backing vocals, but it seems to dilute the soul blues mixture that characterized earlier releases into a more obviously commercial funk blues. Still worth it…”

11. Watermelon Man (Live album by Albert King, 1968)

“Heard the epic title track on a “best of” comp so I pretty much already knew what I was in for. King’s charisma is on full display and though I wouldn’t necessarily rank this among the best live blues sets I’ve heard, the way he’s able to work the crowd is truly impressive.”

10. The Sky Is Crying (Years Gone By, 1969)

“His cover of “The Sky Is Crying,” an Elmore James classic, is great as well, but overall the rest of the material isn’t quite as exciting.”

9. I Wanna Get Funky (I Wanna Get Funky, 1974)

“Albert’s first solo album since 1972 (he appeared on the Wattstax album and on a joint venture featuring Chico Hamilton and Little Milton titled ‘Live at Montreux’) certainly is one of his finest, regardless where it stands among blues purists.”

See more: Albert King Albums Ranked

8. Bay Area Blues (Lovejoy, 1971)

“A somewhat underrated song, though his soul and funk leanings might rankle a purist or three. One has to appreciate, though, that that was part of what King was. Pretty good stuff; not essential.”

7. The Very Thought of You (The Very Thought of You, 1979)

“Major record companies either dropped their blues musicians, struggled while keeping them on, or helped convert their styles to more radio-friendly audiences. Albert King was no exception. A longtime Stax recording musician, King left the struggling Memphis-based label in the late seventies and cut a few albums that attempted to capture a more mainstream blues sound with Utopia and Tomato records”

6. Answer to the Laundromat Blues (I’ll Play The Blues For You, 1972)

“Here we hear a heavy funk influence driving many of the blues-based tracks. This comes as no surprise as King was surrounded by a wealth of musical styles, including funk, while with Stax.”

See more: B.B. King Albums Ranked

5. What’d I Say (Born Under a Bad Sign, 1971)

“The backing band really sets this record apart from other electric blues records, the horns and pianos are a great counterpoint to King’s searing guitar licks.”

4. As the Years Go Passing By (Years Gone By, 1969)

“Albert’s first studio album since 1967’s ‘Born Under a Bad Sign’ was released in 1969 and aptly named after one of his most haunting tracks, “As the Years Go Passing By”.”

3. I’ll Play the Blues for You (I’ll Play the Blues for You, 1972)

“”I’ll Play the Blues for You” is one of the essential Albert King albums, one on which he sounds most completely committed and himself. The long songs (the two-part title track and “Breaking Up Somebody’s Home”) sting and don’t wear out their welcomes, and everything else works.”

2. Crosscut Saw (Born Under a Bad Sign, 1971)

“Those who love great Rock Music guitar solos, should, I think, recognise here one of the master influences.”

1. Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign, 1971)

“Cool they released the title cut from the big album by Albert King, the other day when me and G.A. were at Vintage Vinyl we saw two black dudes probably late 50’s and they were big fans of these guys. These dudes were awesome, black suits, laid back, talked like Shaft or something. I felt like such a huge turkey.”