B.B. King with Slash “The Thrill Is Gone”
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An All-Star Performance
On June 28, 2011, blues legend B.B. King performed in front of a sold-out crowd at London’s iconic Royal Albert Hall. What made the show extra special was when Slash, Ron Wood, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, and Mick Hucknall joined King on stage for a spectacular 40-minute extended jam. And one of the songs they played was of course King’s timeless track “The Thrill is Gone”. Watch their jaw-dropping live performance below.
The Thrill Is Gone was originally recorded by Roy Hawkins in 1951. Almost two decades later, B.B. King recorded his version in 1969 for his seventeenth studio album Completely Well. He didn’t like the results but it was producer Bill Szymczyk who suggested adding strings. Simply said, King took the song and made it his own.
It became one of his biggest hits and his signature song too. He re-recorded it in 1997 as a duet with Tracy Chapman.
King told Julian Piper in 2001, “I never wanted to be like other blues singers. I might like hearing them play, but I’ve never wanted to be anyone other than myself.” He added that “There are a few people that I’ve wished I could play like, but when I tried, it didn’t work.”