Details: MGM SE 4791, stereo, blue and gold label with lion logo above hole, 1971. LP was manufactured by MGM, but the jacket was designed by Eric Burdon and manufactured separately by Far Out Productions.
NOTE: This is the original release of these brilliant and hard to find recordings. It was recorded shortly after Burdon left WAR, but some of his old WAR bandmates, including Lee Oskar and Harold Brown, are present for some of these tracks. 5 of these tracks were recorded on location at San Quentin Prison, utilizing Ike White and the San Quentin Prison Band as back up. Also, the liner notes that appear on the back cover are actually a poem written in cell 4-E-56 East Cell block San Quentin Prison by John Pence Wanger, B-22334.
Condition: Vinyl VG+ (very clean, some light scuffing and a few light scratches), Jacket VG+ (seams are very strong, minor edge wear, some ring wear evident on back cover)
NOTE: It is quite rare to find a copy of this original LP in condition this good.
Out of Print and Not Available as CD.
Here are some Amazon reviews of this hard to find blues gem:
"This album originally came out in 1971 on Far Out Productions, an MGM label. It was titled "Guilty". Eric Burdon of "The Animals" fame teamed up with the blues legend Jimmy Witherspoon. When I first heard this in 1971 I was blown away, and it's still knocking me out. My favorite song is "Have Mercy Judge". I was probably under the influence at the time but damn was that song powerful. Well I haven't been under the influence since that time period and you know what? That song still kicks my .... The price of the cd is worth it for just that one song, but of course there is so much good music here. The band is good and the two blues men compliment each other nicely on vocals. If you like Eric, like I like Eric, you'll say, oh my god, Have Mercy on me Eric I can't stand it if it gets any better. Buy this cd and you'll be driving to work in the morning singing, "Have mercy, I'm in a world of trouble, being held by the Highway Patrol"."
"Look no further. This is the genuine article. A great album. The recording quality on the live tracks may not be the best you'll ever hear, and Eric sings like he knows he's being outclassed by 'The Spoon', but this album still cuts it as a superb piece of blues. Highly recommended! :o)"
"This is one of my favorite blues albums, and I don't say that lightly. What puts it up there with the best albums by artists much more famous than Witherspoon and Burdon is the fact that is so raw and unpolished. Everyone plays and sings with absolute conviction and without a trace of pretension or condescension to the material. The horns are out of tune, the vocals aren't in harmony or in sync, the arrangements are rough, the production work inconsistent, and this would be my desert island blues album if I could only pick one. An undiscovered gem."
"This CD is so well hidden, the folks who would want it are unlikely to find it (or realize what it is). This was originally released in '71 under the title "Guilty," & credited to Eric Burdon & blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon. The backing band on one track is War. It is a true collaborative effort by 'Spoon & Eric, who share & trade the vocals. As befits 'Spoon, it is pretty straight-ahead, no nonsense blues. Eric makes sure that the groove is more '70's than '40's, & 'Spoon keeps him honest.
Although the cover versions of The Laws Must Change (John Mayall), Have Mercy Judge (Chuck Berry) and the blues chestnut Goin' Down Slow are solid (James Taylor's Steam Roller Blues fared poorly), the highlights are the originals by 'Spoon & Eric. Especially noteworthy is the gospel-tinged finale, The Time Has Come, complete with Rev. James Cleveland Choir.
Eric Burdon has had a notoriously uneven career, ranging from inspired to insipid. This is great stuff."
And from the Mark Sonders Productions website:
Burdon disbanded the New Animals in favor of other artistic interests. However, shortly thereafter he and harp-great Lee Oskar formed a new percussion-based outfit and quickly began touring as Eric Burdon & WAR. The debut album Eric Burdon Declares WAR included two immediate classics: Tobacco Road, and world-wide hit, Spill the Wine. The follow-up LP's, Black Man's Burdon & Love Is All Around, entailed their own hits, such as They Can't Take Away Our Music, Paint It Black, Home Dream, and A Day in the Life. Burdon subsequently left WAR and shortly thereafter joined up with jazz-blues great Jimmy Witherspoon, a fusion which ultimately lead to the collaborative LP Guilty! (renamed Black & White Blues for CD release) featuring The Laws Must Change, Have Mercy Judge, and Soledad; this innovative LP included live songs recorded with Ike White & the San Quentin Prison Band.
The tracks are:
2 Once upon a Time
4 The Laws Must Change
5 Have Mercy Judge
6 Goin' Down Slow
8 Home Dream
9 Headin' for Home
10 The Time Has Com
PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, all of the LPs we are offering are used. Our grading system for each LP is strictly visual, as we don't have time to listen to each record from beginning to end. Unless otherwise stated, there is usually a small price sticker affixed somewhere on the back cover.
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