From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
King Bee
Studio album by
Released1981 (1981)
RecordedMay 1980
Genre Blues
Label Blue Sky
Producer Johnny Winter
Muddy Waters chronology
Muddy "Mississippi" Waters - Live
King Bee
The Chess Box

King Bee is the fourteenth and final studio album by blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters. Released in 1981, it is third in a series of records done for the label Blue Sky Records under producer/guitarist Johnny Winter. Recorded in three days (and in the wake of Muddy's failing health) some of the band members, namely Winter and guitarist Bob Margolin, were not happy with the result. As his health deteriorated, Muddy was forced to cancel an increasing number of shows. He died of a heart attack on April 30, 1983.

The album was recorded in May 1980. A salary dispute between the band and Muddy Waters's manager, Scott Cameron, halted the session. Eventually the album was completed by using a couple of outtakes from 1977's Hard Again.

David Michael Kennedy was the photographer for the King Bee, providing photos for the front cover, back cover, and the inside album sleeve. The photo for the inside album sleeve was a picture of Muddy and his large family sitting in the living room of his home in Westmont, Illinois.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic [1]
Blender [2]
The Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings [4]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide [5]
The Village VoiceA− [3]

The Boston Globe wrote: "Over the years, Waters' voice has become richer, but it is the arrangements of the blues that have suffered. With the exception of a few tunes, the music has lost its rhythmic tension." [6]

The Rolling Stone Album Guide deemed King Bee "a fitting final testament." [5]

Track listing

All songs written by McKinley Morganfield, unless noted otherwise.

  1. "I'm A King Bee" ( James Moore) – 3:49
  2. "Too Young to Know" – 4:28
  3. "Mean Old Frisco Blues" ( Arthur Crudup) – 3:44
  4. "Forever Lonely" – 4:33
  5. "I Feel Like Going Home" – 3:42
  6. "Champagne & Reefer" – 4:36
  7. "Sad Sad Day" – 5:22
  8. "(My Eyes) Keep Me in Trouble" (Hap Walker) – 3:16
  9. "Deep Down in Florida #2" ( James Burke Oden) – 4:06
  10. "No Escape from the Blues" (Charles Williams) – 2:04



  1. ^ Koda, Cub. "Review: King Bee". AllMusic. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2004). "Muddy Waters: 'Hard Again'; 'I'm Ready'; 'King Bee'". Blender (June/July). New York. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (October 5, 1981). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  4. ^ Russell, Tony; Smith, Chris (2006). The Penguin Guide to Blues Recordings. Penguin. p. 484. ISBN  978-0-140-51384-4.
  5. ^ a b The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Random House. 1992. pp. 753, 756.
  6. ^ Cramer, Mai (4 June 1981). "Reviews/Record". Calendar. The Boston Globe. p. 1.