Muddy Waters The Anthology

It seems like every six months or so there's another Muddy Waters compilation. The Anthology is yet another, but dammit, music just doesn't get any better, more primal, or important than this. The Anthology collects 50 tracks on two CDs (the Muddy Waters Chess box set only has 72 tracks) and none of them are previously unreleased or rare, but I count at least 18 stone classics out of the 50 - not just popular or famous songs, but music that literally shaped our world. Without Muddy Waters, music as we know it wouldn't exist. And it's not hyperbole in the least to state that he is to blues as Hank Williams is to country and Louis Armstrong is to jazz. Sure, most of those other compilations will get the job done, and probably do it just as well, so there's not much to recommend this over them. But if you have no Muddy in your collection - unthinkable - you won't do any better than this as a start. (MCA)