1960

SPOONFUL * HOWLIN' WOLF * PYE INTERNATIONAL 44035 * UK

Recorded in Chicago with Howlin' Wolf vocals; Otis Spann, piano; Hubert Sumlin, guitar,; Willie Dixon, bass and Fred Below, Drums, and originally released on Chess 1762. Spoonful was issued on this extended play along with the excellent First Time I Met The Blues, Buddy Guy; Hoochie Coochie, Muddy Waters and Juke, Little Walter., The lyrics to Spoonful would have been not a little obscure (similar to Smokestack Lightnin') to a British audience not readily familiar with black slang. Many such incidences of obscure lyrics permeated Soul R&B and Blues records at the time, as is true today with Hip Hop and Rap, words phrases or concepts are often articulated in these songs that have no resonance at all on an unenlightened public. A classic example of this would be the term Rock and Roll itself, when first used to talk subtly, or humorously about the sexual act, enabling the singer to be both adult and honest in their art. What is equally as interesting is mapping the history of words or concepts that are in common use today back to a time when first used on record as cipher, subterfuge, subversion or indeed just as creative poetic language; one such instance is the word 'diss', much in use in the 80's and 90s. The first time I can identify this word appearing [anybody have an earlier example?] is on Don Covay's See Saw from 1965, a very long time before it entered into anything like common usage by a white audience. 'Boss', 'Whack', and 'Bad' are other words who's meaning was not at all understood when first appearing on record many decades ago.

See also: Tell Me What Iíve Done


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