Rhino's 1994 collection, Bloodshot Eyes: The Best of Wynonie Harris
, chronicles his hits for King Records, beginning in 1947 with the seminal "Good Rockin' Tonight" and concluding in 1954 with "Git to Gittin' Baby." Lots of hits come between those two songs, but there were a lot of recordings that appeared before and after, so why choose Bloodshot Eyes
over other compilations? Because it offers the best of his best work, concentrating on the cream of his recordings for King, when he was at his peak. This is hard-driving, relentless jump blues/R&B, propelled by the powerhouse vocals of Harris
along with his joyously rampaging band. Truth be told, Harris
rarely departed from this formula, but the cuts showcased on this collection capture him at his best, not just in terms of performance, but in terms of material. There are more comprehensive collections on the market -- collections that span his entire career, and collections that narrowly focus on a few years -- but this is the ideal collection that contains the best from his peak, with no fat whatsoever. Essential music for any serious R&B, blues, or rock and roll collection.