Bo Diddley – Ride On: The Chess Masters, Vol. 3 – 1960-1961 (CD)

I know that before receiving “Ride On”, I was knowledgeable about some of Bo Diddley’s work but had no clue exactly how detailed and expansive the set of eir works truly was during this period. To put this in perspective, Hip-O Select is already on the third volume of their Diddley releases, and they are only three years out from Diddley’s debut release (1958’s eponymous album). Considering that Diddley was making music well into this decade, I believe that there is still a lot of material to plumb. However, I feel that this, the third volume in “The Chess Masters”, captures the most important period of Diddley’s career.

While the two previous releases in this set (respectively covering 1955 to 1958 and 1959 and 1960) are stellar in their own right, “Ride Out” seems to showcase a number of different interpretations of Diddley’s unique talent. Those that have the previous releases (or original copies of “Bo Diddley”, “Go Bo Diddley” and “Have Guitar Will Travel”) will notice an evolution in style. This evolution manifests itself in increased quality, but also in further variation of the sound first broached on these earlier releases. “Ride On” is also strong in the sense that there are a number of alternate takes that give different interpretations for some of Diddley’s most important works during this time.

For example, three versions of “Mule Train” are present here, a testament to the diversity of thought that Diddley placed into the recording of every song captured here. The presence of a fast and slow version of “Hey, Hey (What Are You Going To Do?)” on the beginning of the second disc provides what really does sound like two different songs, in a far cry from the slightly sped-up tracks that pass for dance today. After listeners get through with the fifty-four tracks on “Ride On”, the detailed liner notes really prove a perfect cap on what may just be one of the most detailed looks that anyone has had on Bo Diddley eirself.

Top Tracks: Love Me, Say You Will (Alternate Take)

Rating: 9.3/10

Bo Diddley – Ride On: The Chess Masters, Vol. 3 – 1960-1961 / 2009 Hip-O Select / 54 Tracks / http://www.hip-oselect.com

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