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One of the hardest working live performers of his generation, B.B. King's shows were always paramount events. As the years rolled on they became the complete experience, honed and perfected, to maximize the pleasure, as live albums such as Live At The Regal and Live In Cook Country Jail prove. His stage show was obviously based upon his fabulous guitar playing and his way with a song but it was also his development as a raconteur and his quick wit that made him so beloved and influential.
Recorded in November 1964 in Chicago, Live at the Regal stands as a testament to the power of the blues and of B.B. King's brilliance. Both Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler have used this album to get them in the zone before their own live performances. It is in just about every list of the greatest live albums of all time, and yet it was never on the Billboard charts. The fact is some albums just rise above the fray to take on mythical proportions. Many cultures believed that their monarchy were living gods, descended from a higher plane. B.B. King rightly claimed his throne as "King of the Blues" through the brilliance radiating from performances like the one at the perfectly-named Regal.
Songs that stand out on Live At the Regal are Memphis Slim's "Every Day I Have The Blues" which he first recorded in 1955, "Sweet Little Angel" a hit in 1956 and "Sweet Sixteen," billed as B.B. King and his Orchestra, recorded in October 1959. Songs like "Woke Up This Mornin'" and the R&B chart topping, "Please Love Me" go back even further, to 1953. They sound better than they did when he first recorded them. B.B. firmly believed he was always improving throughout his career, but Live At The Regal for many is the absolute pinnacle of his powers! King, talking about the album, admitted, "that particular day in Chicago, everything came together."