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Indianola Mississippi Seeds is B. B. King's eighteenth studio album. It was released on October 1970 on ABC Records on LP and May 1989 on MCA Records on CD. On this album B. B. King mixed elements of blues and rock music. Producer Bill Szymczyk decided to follow up on the success of the hit "The Thrill Is Gone" by matching King with a musical all-star cast. The result was one of King's most critically acclaimed albums and one of the most highly regarded blues crossover albums of all time.

Indianola Mississippi Seeds
King BB-Indianola-Missippi-Seeds.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1970 (LP)
May 1989 (CD)
RecordedThe Record Plant, Los Angeles, California, May–June 1970 (except track 8 recorded at the Hit Factory, New York City, January 1969)
GenreBlues, R&B, jazz, pop, rock
LabelABC (LP)
ProducerBill Szymczyk
B. B. King chronology
Completely Well
Indianola Mississippi Seeds
Live in Cook County Jail

The album appeared on several of Billboard's album charts in 1970, reaching number 26 on the Pop album chart, number seven on the Jazz album chart and eight on Billboard's listing for "Black Albums." The album also generated several hit singles, "Chains and Things", King's own "Ask Me No Questions" and Leon Russell's "Hummingbird".

King himself, also, views the album as one of his greatest achievements. When asked about his best work, King has said, "I know the critics always mention Live & Well or Live at the Regal, but I think that Indianola Mississippi Seeds was the best album that I've done artistically."[1]

Homage paid to a hometownEdit

The album title is a tribute to King's upbringing near Indianola, Mississippi. Although King was born on a plantation between two smaller towns, Itta Bena and Berclair, which are actually closer to Greenwood, King has always considered Indianola his hometown.[2]

The album package — which was itself recognized with a Grammy — includes what appears to be a copy of B. B. King's birth certificate with official registration in Indianola. The liner notes also contain a note that reads, "Congratulations Albert and Nora on your son Riley, September 16, 1925."[3]

Over time, King's hometown has paid respects back to him. In 2008, the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center opened in Indianola, with the mission to "preserve and share the legacy and values of B. B. King, to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the Mississippi Delta, and to promote pride, hope, and understanding through exhibitions and educated programs."[4]

Critical acclaimEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic     [5]
Christgau's Record GuideB[6]
Great Rock Discography(7/10)[7]
Music Hound     [8]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[9][10]
Virgin     [11]
The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide     [12]

Indianola Mississippi Seeds is one of three of B. B. Kings recordings listed in The Rough Guide to Blues 100 Essential CDs (along with Live at the Regal and Singin' the Blues).[13] The album was named # 23 on a list of the best "Album Chartmakers by Year" for 1970.[14]

Track listingEdit

All songs written by B. B. King, except where noted.

  1. "Nobody Loves Me But My Mother" — 1:26
    • B. B. King — piano & vocal
  2. "You're Still My Woman" (B. B. King, Dave Clark) — 6:04
  3. "Ask Me No Questions" — 3:08
    • B. B. King — guitar & vocal
    • Leon Russell – piano
    • Joe Walsh – rhythm guitar
    • Bryan Garofalo — bass
    • Russ Kunkel — drums
  4. "Until I'm Dead and Cold" — 4:45
    • B. B. King — guitar & vocal
    • Carole King — piano
    • Bryan Garofalo — bass
    • Russ Kunkel — drums
  5. "King's Special" — 5:13
    • B. B. King — lead guitar
    • Leon Russell – piano
    • Joe Walsh – rhythm guitar
    • Bryan Garofalo — bass
    • Russ Kunkel — drums
  6. "Ain't Gonna Worry My Life Anymore" — 5:18
    • B. B. King — guitar & vocal
    • Carole King — piano & electric piano
    • Bryan Garofalo — bass
    • Russ Kunkel — drums
  7. "Chains and Things" (B. B. King, Dave Clark) — 4:53
    • B.B. King — guitar & vocal
    • Carole King — electric piano
    • Bryan Garofalo — bass
    • Russ Kunkel — drums
  8. "Go Underground" (B. B. King, Dave Clark) — 4:00
    The Hit Factory, New York City
  9. "Hummingbird" (Leon Russell) — 4:36





  • Cover design — Lockart
  • Photography — Ivan Nagy
  • Management — Sidney A. Seidenberg
  • Leon Russell appears with love from Shelter Records
  • Carole King & Merry Clayton appear through the courtesy of Ode 70 Records
  • Congratulations to Albert and Nora on your son Riley, September 16, 1925


Album chartsEdit

year chart peak
1970 Billboard Black Albums 8
1970 Billboard Jazz Albums 7
1970 Billboard Pop Albums 26


year Singles chart peak
1970 "Chains And Things" Billboard Black Singles 6
1970 "Chains And Things" Billboard Pop Singles 45
1970 "Hummingbird" Billboard Black Singles 25
1970 "Hummingbird" Billboard Pop Singles 48
1971 "Ask Me No Questions" Billboard Black Singles 18
1971 "Ask Me No Questions" Billboard Pop Singles 40


Photographer, Ivan Nagy and cover designer, Robert Lockart won the 1971 Grammy for "Best Album Package - Incl. Album Cover, Graphic Arts, Photography" for Indianola Mississippi Seeds.


year format label catalog #
1970 LP ABC 713
1989 CD MCA MCAD-31343
1989 CS MCA MCAC-31343
1995 CD Beat Goes On 237
2002 CD Beat Goes On 237

See alsoEdit

Notes and sourcesEdit

  1. ^ Jas Obrecht, Rollin' and Tumblin': The Postwar Blues Guitarists, Backbeat Books, 2000, p.328 (ISBN 0-87930-613-0)
  2. ^ Sebastian Danchin, Blues Boy: The Life and Music of B. B. King, University Press of Mississippi, 1998, p. 1 (ISBN 1-57806-017-6)
  3. ^ Liner notes referenced are from the 1989 remastered CD, Indianola Mississippi Seeds, (MCA Records, MCAD-31343)
  4. ^ B. B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center Archived 2010-02-06 at the Wayback Machine, web site, accessed April 2, 2007
  5. ^ Ron Wynn, "Review: Indianola Mississippi Seeds", Allmusic (link)
  6. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: K". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 28, 2019 – via
  7. ^ Martin C. Strong The Great Rock Discography, 7th edition, UK (according to
  8. ^ Music Hound, USA, 1998–99 (according to
  9. ^ Rolling Stone Album Guide, USA, 1992 (according to
  10. ^ Gary Von Tersch, [Review], Rolling Stone, 73, December 24, 1970 (link)
  11. ^ Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music, UK, 2002 (according to
  12. ^ Swenson, J., ed. (1985). The Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide. USA: Random House/Rolling Stone. p. 118. ISBN 0-394-72643-X.
  13. ^ Greg Ward, The Rough Guide to Blues 100 Essential CDs, Rough Guides, November 23, 2000, p. 97–98 (ISBN 1-85828-560-7 )
  14. ^ Dave Marsh & Kevin Stein, "Top of the Pops: The Best of the Album Chartmakers by Year", Book of Rock Lists", Dell Books, 1981 (reissue November 1982 ISBN 0-440-57580-X) (link to list for 1970)

External linksEdit