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John Lee Hooker’s ‘Burnin’’ To Receive Expanded 60th Anniversary Reissue

‘Burnin’ (60th Anniversary Edition)’ is set to arrive on February 24.

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John Lee Hooker - Photo: Courtesy of Fantasy Records Archives
John Lee Hooker - Photo: Courtesy of Fantasy Records Archives

Craft Recordings will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of John Lee Hooker’s electrifying blues album, Burnin’, with several special reissues.

Set for release on February 24 and available for pre-order now, the album includes the original recording of Hooker’s highly-influential signature hit, “Boom Boom,” and features members of the legendary Funk Brothers (Motown Records’ celebrated house band). Newly remastered from the original analog tapes by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, Burnin’ will be available in several formats.

Boom Boom (Mono)

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A 180-gram vinyl LP features a stereo mix of the album, as it was first released in 1962, while a tip-on jacket, which replicates Vee-Jay Records’ original designs, rounds out the package. In addition to a wide release on classic black vinyl, fans can also find the album in a variety of limited edition color pressings, including Flame Orange vinyl (via Barnes and Noble), Translucent Red vinyl (via Independent Record Stores), and Fuego Blend vinyl (available exclusively via JohnLeeHooker.com, along with a brand new official T-shirt featuring the iconic album artwork).

Expanded CD and digital editions offer both mono and stereo mixes of the album, plus a previously-unreleased alternate take of the song “Thelma,” captured during Hooker’s November 1961 session. The CD also includes new liner notes by the Grammy-nominated journalist and music historian, Bill Dahl. Digital configurations include standard and hi-res, 192/24 and 96/24.

Boom Boom (Stereo)

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Known fondly as “King of the Boogie,” John Lee Hooker (1917-2001) was one of the most important blues artists of all time, whose work had a significant impact on modern music. Born in Mississippi to a family of sharecroppers, Hooker learned how to play the guitar at a young age, picking up his distinctive technique from his stepfather.

In his 20s, he relocated to Detroit, where he spent his days as a janitor in an auto factory and his nights pursuing a career as a musician. He scored his first No.1 R&B hit with one of his earliest recordings, 1948’s “Boogie Chillen,” followed by singles like “Hobo Blues,” “Crawlin’ King Snake,” and “I’m in the Mood,” all of which landed in the R&B Top Ten.

But these recordings typically featured a simple set-up: just Hooker alone in the studio, accompanying himself on guitar and keeping the beat with his foot. By the turn of the ‘0s, when Hooker signed to Chicago’s Vee-Jay Records, his sessions began to expand—initially with a second guitarist or a harmonica player (as heard in albums like Travelin’ and The Folklore of John Lee Hooker). Burnin’, however, was a stylistic departure that would not only bring the bluesman a new generation of fans, but would also change the course of his career.

Pre-order Burnin’ (Deluxe 60th Anniversary Edition).

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