Blues Is King
Live album by
Released1967 (1967)
RecordedNovember 5, 1966
VenueInternational Club, Chicago
ProducerJohnny Pate, Louis Zito
B.B. King chronology
Confessin' the Blues
Blues Is King
Blues on Top of Blues

Blues Is King is a live album by blues musician, B.B. King. It was recorded in Chicago in 1966 and released by the BluesWay label in 1967.

Critical reception

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Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide4/5 stars[2]
The Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings3.5/4 stars[3]

A staff review by AllMusic commented:

By 1967, King had refined his singing and guitar style (which were always intertwined) to a fine point. What was just beginning to emerge during this period was King the showman, the singer with a story to tell his audience; sometimes a sad story, sometimes an angry one, occasionally even a downright mean one. Nowhere was this more apparent than in live performance. Here he's captured in concert in Chicago, home of the blues and the ideal place to testify to the congregation ... B.B. lets his audience in on the ups and downs of romance in no uncertain terms, both through his impassioned vocals and characteristically stinging guitar. The effect is both cathartic and awe-inspiring.[1]

The album title also influenced the Marshall Crenshaw song of the same name.[4]

Track listing

Details are taken from the original BluesWay LP and may differ from other sources.[5]

Side one

  1. "Waitin' on You" (B.B. King, Ferdinand Washington) – 2:23
  2. "Gamblers' Blues" (arr. by B.B. King, J. Pate) – 4:38
  3. "Tired of Your Jive" (Janet Despenza, Johnny Pate) – 3:30
  4. "Night Life" (Willie Nelson) – 4:45
  5. "Buzz Me" (Danny Baxter, Fleecie Moore) – 4:05

Side two

  1. "Don't Answer the Door" (Jimmy Johnson) – 4:00
  2. "Blind Love" (B.B. King, Joe Josea) – 3:25
  3. "I Know What You're Puttin' Down" (Buddy Allen, Louis Jordan) – 3:30
  4. "Baby Get Lost" (Billy Moore) – 3:57
  5. "Gonna Keep on Loving You" (B. B. King) – 3:45



  1. ^ a b AllMusic. B. B. King: Blues Is King – Review at AllMusic. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  2. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 118. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  3. ^ Russell, Tony; Smith, Chris (2006). The Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings. Penguin. p. 355. ISBN 978-0-140-51384-4.
  4. ^ Murray, Noel. "Marshall Crenshaw on songwriting, covers, and the album cover he absolutely hates". Music. Retrieved 9 June 2020.
  5. ^ Dance, Stanley (1967). Blues Is King (Album notes). B.B. King. New York City: BluesWay Records. Back cover. BLS-6001.