John Lee Hooker: Jealous

FROM THE ARCHIVES: Back in 1986, about 13 years before his triumphant comeback with The Healer, John Lee Hooker went into a studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, joined by a bunch of young, anonymous musicians, to record Jealous. Some of it, like contempo-funk versions of “Ninety Days” and the title track, is laughably lame. The remaining eight tracks sound like a real-deal blues legend (sadly soaked in reverb) accompanied by an extremely mediocre bar band. The people at Virgin claim to be “proud to reissue” this travesty (Pointblank Classic 7243 8 41763 2 7; 37:41), though I’ll never know why. A far more successful offering in Virgin/Pointblank’s reissue program is John Hammond’s Nobody But You (Pointblank Classic 7243 8 41772 2 5; 38:24). Originally released on Canada’s Stony Plain Records in 1987, it features America’s foremost Delta Blues wanna-be in an earthy program of Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Little Walter and Arthur Big Boy Crudup material. Soulful and authentic-sounding, if appropriated.