Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Muddy Waters: Rare and Unissued [Chess, 1984]
Waters' greatest hits are so deeply ingrained that these obscurities serve to reawaken your awe--force you to hear his performance, which as countless white bluesmen know is what makes all his music jump out atcha. "Feel Like Going Home," a blues after the manner of Robert Johnson that augments the timing and sonic authority of Waters' guitar and vocalisms with a crucial decade of recording technology, is the sparest and most riveting. But "Mean Disposition" and "Iodine In My Coffee" would be greatest hits today if they'd come out circa 1950, and generics like "Born Lover" and "Little Anna Mae" make me wonder when he cut his ordinary stuff. A