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Originally recorded as the sequel to Muddy Waters’ and Willie Dixon’s 1954 hit "Hootchie Cootchie Man" and simultaneously as the response to Bo Diddley’s 1955 groover "I’m A Man," the A-side "Mannish Boy" itself has since become a blues standard, covered by anyone from Erykah Badu to The Band. This song is a staple in the Chicago blues subgenre and also served as a particularly important inspiration for loads of young British musicians, leading up to what would become the British Invasion of the 1960s.
Notably, this is the only recording not featuring frequent collaborator Little Walter on harmonica (but was one of the few recordings with Junior Wells) during what was arguably Waters’ most fruitful creative period for single blues hits. The swelling, adoring screams of women during the chorus makes this the ideal version. The B-side "Young Fashioned Ways" was written by friend and bandmate Willie Dixon and is another essential collaboration between the two pillars of the Chicago blues scene. Great title, too!