Bo Diddley – Pollution

26th November 2023 · 1970, 1970s, Blues, Music

Bo Diddley’s heyday was long gone by 1970 and he was mostly seen as a heritage act on the oldies circuit (if at all) by the time he tackled the topical issue of Pollution. But it’s a great track.

With hindsight, his album Another Demension was, as the title hints, an attempt by his label, Chess, to try and reach a wider and younger audience by updating his sound and image – something they tried a few years later with Muddy Waters’ “Electric Mud” project (with s notable lack of success).

The less said about the three Creedence numbers he covers on the album – Lodi, Bad Moon Rising and Down On The Corner – the better, and the same goes for a fairly hundrum Elton John cover, Bad Side Of The Moon.

But there’s a brilliant bluesy take on Al Kooper’s I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know – Al plays guitar and keyboards on the album too – and another great blues workout with the regrettable title Shut Up Woman, which became a live staple for Diddley for decades to follow.

But the funky bass and slinky rhythm of Pollution is the standout for me.