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Music / The Howlin' Wolf Album

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The Howlin' Wolf Album is a 1969 album by Howlin' Wolf, which mixed his traditional Blues sound with Psychedelic Rock. In a rather unusual take the singer himself disliked the album, but Chess Records just used this as an advertising strategy by putting this on the album.

If you're a blues purist you may consider this record to be a commercial sell-out which hasn't aged well. If you like Psychedelic Rock it's definitely interesting. Despite the singer's own objections the single "Evil" peaked at #43 in the Billboard and it was still added to Rolling Stone's Rolling Stone: 500 Greatest Albums of All Time at #238.



Side One

  1. "Spoonful" (3:52)
  2. "Tail Dragger" (4:33)
  3. "Smokestack Lightnin'" (3:56)
  4. "Moanin' at Midnight" (3:15)
  5. "Built for Comfort" (5:11)

Side Two

  1. "The Red Rooster" (3:50)
  2. "Evil" (4:06)
  3. "Down in the Bottom" (2:45)
  4. "Three Hundred Pounds of Joy" (2:35)
  5. "Back Door Man" (6:51)

Three Hundred Tropes of Joy

  • Alliterative Title: "Moanin' at Midnight" and "The Red Rooster".
  • Blues: Just before the final track Howlin' Wolf explains to the listeners the origins of the blues and that they just have to watch him to learn how to play it.
  • Cover Album: "Spoonful", "Tail Dragger", "Built for Comfort", "Down in the Bottom", "Three Hundred Pounds of Joy" and "Back Door Man" are all covers, written by Willie Dixon.
  • Covers Always Lie: The cover is mostly correct, except for one little detail. Wolf was always fond of the electric guitar.
  • Advertisement:
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It is a new Howlin' Wolf album and he didn't like it himself.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The album cover consists of three lines of text on a white background.
  • One-Man Song: "Back Door Man".
  • One-Word Title: "Spoonful" and "Evil".
  • Psychedelic Rock: Traditional blues is mixed with a lot of wah-wah pedal and fuzzbox.
  • Recycled In Space: It's blues legend Howlin' Wolf... with a psychedelic arrangement!
  • Repurposed Pop Song: The songs have all been recorded before by the singer, just not in these versions.
  • Self-Titled Album: As one can read on the cover.
  • Shout-Out: The album cover of Brothers by The Black Keys appears to be a reference to this album.
  • Spoken Word in Music: The album has spoken commentary by Howlin' Wolf between some of the songs.


Example of: