I don't know what Link Wray was hopped up on when he recorded "Hidden Charms". It may well have been nothing more than his inert Wrayness. But, ho-ly shit, does it get it down to business. One of the rawest rock 'n' roll records you'll hear this week. And it continues to get dirtier all the way through the fade out, ending with a seriously tweaked solo.
The other versions below are by Charles Clark and Howlin' Wolf. Clark's version is the earliest I could find and could be the original as he's backed by the Willie Dixon Band, and the song was written by Dixon. The Howlin' Wolf version, though good, is not nearly as great as one would imagine, particularly for a Willie Dixon song. Better is his original version of Dixon's "Down in the Bottom". I bring that up for a reason. Wray's treatment of "Hidden Charms" reminded me of the Groupies' version of "Down in the Bottom", another unhinged take down of a Dixon song. Here's the lot of them, in chronological order.
~ NOTE: ALL MEDIA IS HOSTED BY THE BLOGS & SITES NAMED BELOW ~Listen:
Charles Clark and the Willie Dixon Band - Hidden Charms (streaming) at YouTube 1958
Howlin' Wolf -Down in the Bottom (streaming) at YouTube 1961
Howlin' Wolf - Hidden Charms (streaming) at YouTube 1963
The Groupies - Down in the Bottom (streaming) at YouTube 1965
Link Wray - Hidden Charms mp3 at Beware of the Blog 1966
Old links (more music). Scroll down these pages: