It’s tempting to say that Bo Diddley recorded 11 full-length albums, each one better than the last; but that would be denying the pure, unsurpassed genius of his first, Bo Diddley.
Music historians have wasted so many perfectly good words trying to explain the significance of Bo Diddley. “Bo Diddley liberated the blues from the 12-bar form and melded it to an insistent, infectious rhumba beat,” they bleat. “Diddley was the progenitor of all that was to come in the evolution of rock and roll,” blah blah blah blah.
Listen: Why is eating a plateful of ribs and dripping all over your hands and clothes fun? BECAUSE IT JUST IS. Why is walking around with cotton candy in one hand and a blue, helium-filled balloon on a string in the other fun? BECAUSE IT JUST IS. Bo Diddley is fun BECAUSE HE JUST IS. Bo Diddley (the album) was rock and roll’s Big Bang, dripping with sinew and grease and humor and understated swagger. The simplest ingredients - a guitar, a drum, and some maracas - were packed in a gunny sack and slung over the shoulder of some smiling guy with a slick process and a wild plaid jacket, who took it and ran headfirst into oncoming traffic. Reckless, yet crazy cool. He made it sound easy. Geniuses can do that.
No doctoral thesis will explain Bo Diddley, the man or “Bo Diddley,” the album. You won’t find the answer in some scholarly article called “The Epistomological Roots of ‘Diddy Wah Diddy’ or something like that, in your dog-eared copy of the Journal of the American Institute of Ethnomusicology.
Bo Diddley just is.
Bo Diddley. (the album) is not an option, it’s mandatory. We’ll be imposing fines on anyone who thinks otherwise, so best to pick up a copy if for no other reason than to avoid a big hassle later on. We’re not kidding.
Side A: 1. Bo Diddley 2. I'm A Man 3. Bring It To Jerome 4. Before You Accuse Me 5. Hey! Bo Diddley 6. Dearest Darlin'
Side B: 1. Hush Your Mouth 2. Say Bossman 3. Diddley Daddy 4. Diddy Wah Diddy 5. Who Do You Love 6. Pretty Thing
• ROCK AND ROLL’S MOST ICONIC ALBUM, PERIOD.
• 180 GRAM AUDIOPHILE PRESSING FROM THE ORIGINAL CHESS/CHECKER MASTERS IN GLORIOUS MONO
• FAITHFUL REPRODUCTION OF THE ORIGINAL ARTWORK