In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Eric Clapton and B.B. King's Grammy Award-winning Riding With The King collection has been reissued today (June 26th). The set is now available as an expanded, limited-edition double-LP pressed on blue vinyl, remastered by Bob Ludwig. Two additional previously unreleased tracks have been added to the album: The blues standard “Rollin' And Tumblin'” and a cover of Willie Dixon‘s “Let Me Love You Baby.”
The album features five B.B. King originals, plus a selection of covers from writers as diverse as Isaac Hayes & David Porter's — “Hold On I’m Coming,” Johnny Mercer's “Come Rain Or Come Shine,” and “Big” Bill Broonzy's “Key To The Highway.” John Hiatt wrote the album’s title track.
Eric Clapton & B.B. King's Riding With The King was released on June 13th, 2000. The set, which hit Number One on Billboard's Top Blues Albums, topped out at Number Three on the Billboard 200 list. The set went on to snag the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album.
B.B. King and Eric Clapton first played together in 1967. Shortly before his 2015 death, B.B. King recalled first meeting Clapton: “I met him in the '60s, and I think it was his first trip over to the U.S. We seemed to hit it off all right then. We seemed to hit it off all right then. I do remember one thing real good — when he got back to the U.K. and was being interviewed, he said one of the nicest things that he had experienced was meeting and playing with me, and he also told the British people that when I come over to be sure to come out and see me, they would enjoy it. I started to liking him and loved him for it until today.”
B.B. King told us that he always had time in his schedule for Clapton, whom he loved dearly — both as a player and a friend: “I would do anything that I could to help him, because he's been so helpful to me through the years. He's a tremendous player, such a nice person, too, man. He's a great guy. Eric Clapton is a good man — just a good man.”
King explained his longtime friendship with Clapton was based on a mutual admiration for each other's playing: “I respect his playing, and I guess he respect mine. I respect his playing. He's Number One, in my opinion. Nobody plays guitar, rock n' roll, better than Eric Clapton. To me, he's Number One, and he play blues better than most of us. He's Eric Clapton, and nobody else sounds like it but him, to me.”