Blues musicians talked, and the rockers listened. Indeed, there would be no such thing as rock ‘n’ roll if it wasn’t for the blues. Certain blues masterpieces were very pivotal. Either, their licks were borrowed, or the songs were covered famously, schooling the rockers in both style and attitude. It is undoubtedly no surprise that many of the blues most influential songs are still reverberating today (as of 2018), and you have probably heard your local band perform Crossroads, The Thrill Is Gone, Got My Mojo Working, Evil, Do The Rump, Wang Dang Doodle, Stormy Monday, or Big Chief recently. We take a quick glance at a handful of these tracks.

Crossroads

Musically speaking, the power of this Robert Johnson’s classic cannot be overstated. Virtually, every slide player in the era of blues-rock, including Rory Gallagher, Winter, and Duane Allman echoed Robert’s slide guitar. Whether Robert was just hitching a ride, or actually selling his soul, listening to this track will leave you clear in the knowledge, that a lot was at stake.

The Thrill is Gone

This is perhaps the smoothest ballad recorded by BB King in the 1960s, and Bill Szymczyk, the track’s producer, never had any doubts when it came to polishing the sound of this artist. He recorded King with a top-flight team of studio players. This track was not the first to fuse blues music with pop, yet it is one of the most successful records of King. Many crossovers would later emerge, courtesy of the stage set by this record.

Got My Mojo Working

This classic track reigns over many blues songs for its unique mystery and swagger. Very few blues records couldn’t be compared to this 1957 Muddy Waters’ work, based on these two elements. Sure, the song was not Muddy’s voodoo-themed work, but it deserved its status as the legend’s signature tune. Unfortunately, Preston Foster, the song’s writer did not achieve any fame, and he sued Muddy over the song’s authorship. The song was, however, so influential that it truly belonged to almost everyone.

Evil

You really don’t have to waste your energy trying to figure out if Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin was the inventor of heavy metal. What is clear is that Howlin’ Wolf was already playing heavy metal by 1954. Basically, “Evil” is a slow blues track, but the sweet menace in the singer’s vocals and the ferocity of the song’s band are quite telling about its influence. And yes, heavy rock would be nowhere without this track.