John Lee Hooker
was always John Lee Hooker
, and although one could place him with professional session musicians and smooth his sound out just the slightest bit, the raw, rough, and eternally churning boogie rhythms of Hooker
's approach to the blues were always right there, front and center. This three-disc, 60-track set collects some of his earliest and most vital sides, including classic versions of “Boogie Chillen,” “Crawlin’ Kingsnake,” “Tupelo Blues,” “Ground Hog Blues,” and “Dimples,” among many others. It’s Hooker
-- and that’s a good thing.