Muddy Waters’ fifth studio album marked something of a musical departure for the blues legend, introducing a fresh electric blues sound to a younger rock audience while at the same time, upsetting blues purists of the late 1960s.
Opening with a psychedelic version of Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want To Make Love To You”, featuring Phil Upchurch on lead guitar, the record features a sleazy versions of “I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man” and The Rolling Stones’ “Let’s Spend The Night Together” – the arrangement of the latter borrowing heavily from Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love”.
The fuzz guitar and groove of Waters’ self-penned “She’s Alright”, cheekily referencing The Temptations’ “My Girl”, wouldn’t have sounded out of place on an early 1970s Funkadelic record.
Later, a mid tempo reworking of Muddy’s “Mannish Boy”, laced with mean wah wah guitar and hammond organ, hits a hypnotic bass and drum groove.
Despite the record being a commercial success, Waters was notoriously displeased with “Electric Mud” and did not consider it to be a true blues album. However, this collection of songs inspired a generation of blues rock musicians and its influence remains strong 50 years after its release.