Born Under a Bad Sign album cover

Albert King, Born Under a Bad Sign

Stax, 1967, blues

B, 1966: Good blues record. More meat on the bone. My pick: “Kansas City”.

C, 2002: What B said.

H, 1951: Good mix of Albert King’s stinging guitar runs with the legendary Stax/Volt house band, resulting in as much rhythm as blues. Good bunch of fresh songs, including some written by the Stax/Volt regulars specifically for King. “Born Under a Bad Sign” became a signature song for Cream as well as King. It’s a great example of the fertile cross-pollination that was happening at this point in musical history. Albert King, a bluesman, signed with Stax, a Memphis soul label, and then began recording with their house band. Two of the Stax regulars, singer Albert Bell and keyboards player Booker T. Jones, penned this song specifically for King, inspired by the interest in astrology that was popular at the time. Stax was distributed by Atlantic records, run by Ahmet Ertegun, and the label requested that Cream record the song. The album includes a couple of interesting misfires as well, with King trying to croon his way through “I Almost Lost My Mind” and “The Very Thought of You.”

Published 05 Sep 2019