Lightnin' Hopkins is one of the most prolific artists in Blues history, with over eighty-five albums published, and choosing a landmark album by this artist is impossible. "The Complete Aladdin Recordings" are a double-disc set, containing Hopkins' first works for a record label. The 43 tracks on the two CDs were all recorded between 1946 and 1948 for Aladdin.
The Texan guitarist performs alone or in tandem with pianist Wilson "Thunder" Smith (who also handles the vocals on a few songs). The songs presented here, among which "Katie May", "Short Haired Woman", "Abilene" and "Shotgun Blues", are playful and melancholic, and mainly acoustic. An electric guitar, however is used on some tracks.
These songs represent Lightnin' Hopkins' first years of recording, and his works from the latter Blues Revival period are not shown here. After the Aladdin years did Hopkins record for numerous labels (Arhoolie, Verve, Vee-Jay, Prestige, Bluesville, etc.) ; he evolved with the genre, started playing with electric guitar, having rhythm sections - or entire bands - backing him up. However, his first years of plain, acoustic playing represent him best, as well as Texas Country-Blues in general.