Delivering a devastating punch to rock's early '60s doldrums, Bo Diddley Is a Lover bursts at the seams with Bo's uncompromising, rockin' beat. Yep. Industry and the government may have cleaned up fellow '50s rockers like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Elvis and Gene Vincent, but they didn't get to Bo -- a defiant rocker to the core.
By the time of the 1961 sessions for this album, Bo had relocated from Chicago to DC, to record at his own home studio. He used his artistic freedom to his complete advantage, churning out a series of killer records unfettered by bureaucratic interference. Considered the pinnacle of his collaboration with Lady Bo (aka, Peggy Jones), Is a Lover is also one of Bo's most diverse. Along with rockers like "Hong Kong, Mississippi" and "Bo Diddley Is Loose," the LP also features fantastic instrumentals such as "Congo," straight blues ("Bo's Blues," that is), a call-and-answer with old sparring partner Jerome Green ("Bo's Vacation") and the fabulous ballad, "Love Is a Secret," with backing vocals from a young DC girl group, the Impalas (who would hit the charts three years later as the Jewels). On this album, they're also in fine form on the rocking "Not Guilty" and the title track. And they're not the only gals contributing, as Lady Bo shines on the axe throughout - particularly on the exotic instro, "Aztec." Not to be outdone, Bo closes the album with the badass instro, "Quick Draw" - with strings pulled and twisted to their limit.
This 180-gram edition, properly mastered from the original Chess mono reels, is where you need to be on this album. For sure, for sure.