John Lee Hooker - Boom Boom 
Music Disc Reviews Audio CD
Written by Jerry Del Colliano   
Tuesday, 24 April 2001

John Lee Hooker

Boom Boom reissue
format: DVD-Video (music)
label: Classic Records
release year: 2000
performance: 7
sound 10
reviewed by: Jerry Del Colliano

"Boom, boom, boom, boom, I am gonna shoot you right down" if you tell me you’ve heard better-sounding blues recorded on any media, whether CD, LP or DVD. This Classic Records reissue of John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom is mastered for 24-bit 96 kHz sound, which is made possible by using the increased storage space found on a DVD-Video (note: NOT a DVD-Audio disc). What this means to you is, stick it in your DVD-Video player, as opposed to your CD player, and let it rip.

How does it sound? Spectacular. "Boom, Boom," the title track, is very familiar, as it was somewhat of a mainstream hit, as well as the soundtrack for a recent TGI Fridays television commercial. The record gets off to a quick start that will have you toe-tapping within seconds. The extra audio bandwidth gives disgustingly good presence to John Lee’s distinctively growling voice. More notable still is the frightening bass as it is recorded on this track. It sound so deep yet so tight that it is quickly becoming a tune that I use to judge the performance of speakers and subwoofers. For this reason alone, the CD is worth the price of admission.

Past the title track, Boom Boom is pretty much a standard blues record. John Lee hits some familiar topics like love lost and drinking too much. Tracks range from just John Lee and his slightly (but forgivably) out of tune guitar to an entire band, complete with a big, tasty-sounding organ. The tunes with well-layered sound were more to my liking. However, hardcore blues fans will find value in most of the tracks.

If you dig the blues or John Lee Hooker, you probably already own Boom Boom on CD. Trade it in and buy this version, because you haven’t really heard the recording yet. The DVD-V reissue by Classic Records gets a very rare 10 out of 10 rating for sound. It is that good. If you never bought Boom Boom in the first place, I recommend it as a reference disc, even if you aren’t the biggest fan of the blues. The title cut is so good and so recognizable that it will serve to WOW your friends when they want a quick audition of your system without breaking out some dorky audiophile record with some no-name, talentless geeks playing lame-ass tunes. John Lee Hooker rocks with sound so good that you’ll have a hard time believing you didn’t make some kind of big-dollar equipment upgrade.

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