2017 marks what would have been John Lee Hooker's 100th birthday year, and this career-spanning retrospective celebrates the legendary bluesman in true style. The 5CD box set delves deep into the catalogue of the influential artist, featuring not only his iconic hits, but also rarities, live recordings and several previously unreleased tracks. Housed in a 56-page book, the collection includes a wide selection of photos, taken throughout the musician's life, plus new liner notes by writer and John Lee Hooker historian Jas Obrecht, as well as by the artist's longtime manager and friend, Mike Kappus.
Born near Clarksdale, MS in 1917 as the son of a sharecropper, John Lee Hooker was one of the very first artists to break out of the blues genre and become a world-wide force. He based his sound on a driving boogie beat and lyrics that sometimes seemed to come from another world. The man who would become known as the "King of the Boogie" was destined for blues royalty. Hooker's 1948 single, "Boogie Chillun," sold a million copies and set Hooker on his unstoppable path. Countless recordings followed, and a winding road through different labels and audiences. He was a huge influence on the burgeoning British Invasion in the early ‘60s, and was welcomed with open arms by rock audiences around the world. Hooker is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Blues Hall of Fame, Memphis Music Hall of Fame and won four Grammys.
Tasked with narrowing down Hooker's vast catalogue into 5CDs, box set producer Mason Williams curated the collection to narrate the artist's story. "Even at 100 songs, this set is just a snapshot of John Lee Hooker's incredible and influential career," says Williams, "but one that takes you on the long journey he took from his early days in Detroit, to his time in Chicago recording for Vee-Jay Records and up through his later collaborations with Van Morrison, Bonnie Raitt and Santana, among others."