The single disc greatest hits collection fills the void of the perfect single disc. Featuring absolute keepers from four decades of incredible music with liner notes by Publicist, Dennis Powell, and artwork by Kevin Morgan.
1. Hesitation Blues [Live], Recorded 1969
2. Death Don't Have No Mercy [Live], Recorded 1969
3. Candy Man [Live], Recorded 1971
4. Come Back Baby [Live], Recorded 1971
5. True Religion, Recorded 1971
6. Keep on Truckin', 1971
7. Water Song, Recorded 1971
8. I See the Light, Recorded 1973
9. Funky #7, Recorded 1974
10. Walkin' Blues, Recorded 1974
11. Sunrise Dance with the Devil, Recorded 1975
12. I Can't Be Satisfied, Recorded 1976
13. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning [Live], Recorded 1978
14. Killing Time in the Crystal City [Live], Recorded 1978
REVIEWS:~~I am going to state, for the record, that Hot Tuna was a better band than Jefferson Airplane could have hoped to be. I know, I know…that statement may be considered blasphemy by many although I don’t believe for a second that I’m alone in this assessment. This does not, in any way, denigrate or downplay the importance and greatness of Jefferson Airplane. Both were vastly different bands. But, if I had my choice, Jefferson Airplane…Hot Tuna, I’m going with Hot Tuna every time.
Childhood buddies, Jorma Kaukonen and bassist, Jack Casady, pursued lifelong influences that were outside the scope of their then present band, the before mentioned and successful Jefferson Airplane. It was created as a fun side project; however, Hot Tuna became a budding offshoot instead.
Legacy revisits the band and their songs in a value-priced, single disc package that accompanies the similar release for Jefferson Airplane, their oft-revisited official ‘best of’, the tongue-in-cheek The Worst of Jefferson Airplane. In Keep on Truckin’: The Very Best of Hot Tuna, there are 14 songs, 6 of them live material, and all well loved selections. Although Hot Tuna is better represented by a wider selection, this disc does a job in that it also showcases Hot Tuna in their element, which is to say that the band was as excellent live as they were in the recording studio. The band, in their beginnings, put together a more acoustical offering (recorded live in Berkeley), following up with a second live recording (First Pull Up, Then Pull Down) and eventually feeling comfort in the studio and with themselves to release absolute gems that include Burgers (their 3rd), and subsequent albums of note.
Kaukonen and Casady elected to participate in this remastered reissue, selecting every track for this ‘best of’ collection. In this album’s 76 minutes of excellent tunes, you’ll find the 9-minute smoker of Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “Come Back Baby” originally on 1971’s First Pull Up, Then Pull down, the song from their first studio effort, Burgers, called “Keep on Truckin’”, as well as the excellent “Hesitation Blues” from their debut RCA release, Hot Tuna. As a bottom line, all of Hot Tuna’s RCA/Grunt years’ albums are represented here ranging from the beginnings (1970) to the end of the RCA years (1978). I do lament the non-inclusion of "Baby, What You Want Me To Do," the Jimmy Reed song found on 1975's Yellow Fever. However, the Robert Johnson composition, "Walkin' Blues" is included and served hot and wonderful.
Musically, there is enough here to convert blues fans who have NOT been introduced or even properly introduced as well as satisfying (outside of a comprehensive Box or a detailed 2CD collection) many Hot Tuna fans who are looking for a new sound update with new liner notes and late 60s/early 70s artwork ala Crumb’s style. In the included booklet, there are detailed credits, an essay from Dennis Powell, and a few photos to round out the set, itself shielded by a cardboard sleeve dust cover.
And unlike Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna is STILL traveling, STILL Singin’, and STILL Playin’ the blues. Their style is their own and is as perfect as it gets.
Want a real thrill? Get ahold of ALL of their RCA catalogue, especially after exposure to this compilation and you'll be blessed!! ~Matt Rowe of Musictap.net