Born Under a Bad Sign is a blues album by Albert King released in 1967. The album became "one of the most popular and influential blues albums of the late '60s" and has been acknowledged by the Grammy Hall of Fame, the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame, and Rolling Stone magazine.
Born Under a Bad Sign was the first album by Albert King for Stax Records and his second album overall. It is composed of singles released by King recorded between March 3, 1966 and June 9, 1967, with additional studio tracks. Providing accompaniment to Albert King, who sang and played lead guitar, were the Stax in-house recording session band, Booker T. and the MGs, featuring The Memphis Horns.
Style and influence 
The release of Born Under a Bad Sign in 1967 "would change the face of American music, modernizing the blues". "'It was the great divide of modern blues, the point at which the music was rescued from slipping into derivative obscurity'". Part of the album's success has been attributed to Booker T. and the MGs who "gave his blues a sleek, soulful sound [which] gave King crossover appeal". Four of the album's songs became modern blues classics: "Born Under a Bad Sign", "Oh Pretty Woman", "The Hunter", and "Crosscut Saw" (although an older song, it was given a new treatment by King). Together with "Personal Manager" and "Laundromat Blues", they "form the very foundation of Albert King's musical identity and legacy". The title track was one of the last songs by Stax to feature the imprint "Produced by Staff"; future songs were later attributed to the writers.
Albert King's guitar work on the album "directly influenced legions of guitar players who studied its every subtlety and nuance" and was "profoundly influential, not just in blues, but in rock & roll". Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan have acknowledged King's influence; indeed, some of their guitar solos are close approximations to those found on Born Under a Bad Sign.
Awards and recognition 
In 1985, Born Under a Bad Sign was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in the "Classics of Blues Recordings" category. It received a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999 and in 2003, the album was ranked number 499 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". The album ranked at #491 on a revised list in 2012. The 2002 reissue of the album by Stax Records received a 2003 Blues Music Award for "Historical Blues Album of the Year".
Track listing 
Original album 
Album reissues 
In 1998 Sundazed Records reissued the album with two additional bonus tracks, namely the rare mono single sides "Funk-Shun" and "Overall Junction", both written by Albert King. This expanded edition of the album—also featuring original liner notes by Deanie Parker and a new annotation by music critic Bill Dahl—was never released on compact disc and is available on LP record only.
- ^ a b c d Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Born Under a Bad Sign – Review". allmusic. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas; Erlewine, Daniel. "Albert King – Biography". allmusic. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- ^ Mojo staff (2007). The Mojo Collection: 4th Edition. Canongate Books. p. 90. ISBN 9781847676436.
- ^ a b c d McDevitt, Sean (October 12, 2007). "Albert King: Born Under a Bad Sign Turns 40". Gibson. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- ^ Unrelated to the 1953 Five Royales song of the same name.
- ^ "Blues Hall of Fame – 1985 Inductees". The Blues Foundation. 1985. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- ^ "Grammy Hall of Fame Awards". The Recording Academy. 1999. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- ^ "Blues Music Awards – 24th W.C. Handy Blues Awards". The Blues Foundation. 2003. Retrieved September 1, 2010.
- ^ R.G. Ford was a Memphis attorney; see "Crosscut Saw" article.