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A man comes to an Albert Collins album to hear Albert Collins. His slightly mush-mouthed, slightly gravely voice; his exquisite sense of timing; his playful, lyrical takes on male-female relationships and stark, honest portrayals of working-class drudgery; and, of course, the fierce, biting, slicing and dicing, and sometimes flowing and sensual vibrations that can only be delivered by the Master of the Telecaster himself. And a man comes to an Albert Collins album to hear the blues -- electric-guitar-heavy blues. That's not to say that Albert Collins wasn't funky, or that he didn't have rhythm, or that he lacked soul. Collins' blues was as deep as the muddy river is wide. He could boogie. He could shuffle. God damn, he could shuffle. But the essence of an Albert Collins record is his voice and his guitar: the story and the bends and snaps of the strings that punctuate that story. And this is why this album is the partially disappointing paradox that it is: the production -- specifically the heavy-handed mixing of the horns so that they aggressively fight Collins's Telecaster for the spotlight -- tries its best to sabotage the record, and Collins's irrepressibly sharp and distinctive soloing defies any peculiar soundboard decisions to push through to win in the end. This is the perfect album to re-mix, eliminating the horns altogether. "Frostbite Naked" would be quite the album. That's not to say that the horn players aren't accomplished: to the contrary, the horn ensemble is led by the seasoned blues veteran A.C. Reed, and they are warm, peppy, and energetic. None the less, they are an intrusion; regardless of the horn sections' prowess, the production/engineering decisions push them forward in the mix intrusively, and one is left with pangs of desire to hear the amazing, hot-picking and slow-burning from Collins' Telecaster without the way-too-highly-mixed horns. This could be a five-star record. An inarguable tour-de-force of Collins' prowess at blues story-telling and blues guitar. Instead, it's a three-star album that, at times (especially the whole of side one; side two is more restrained in its mix) seems to be a messy, battle royale of guitar versus horns that needn't have been. Still recommended for Collins' enthusiasts, as there are plenty of admirable, even jaw-droppping Collins solos that give the listener more than his money's worth. But for the uninitiated, perhaps Ice Pickin', from this same era but much more edgy and straight-forward, or much earlier work, such as Collins's Imperial recordings, would be a better starting point.
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
All records are visually graded by our experienced staff, using a bright lamp and an Audio-Technica ATLP-120 turntable.