Willie and the Poor Boys (album)

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Willie and the Poor Boys
1985 album release
Type Studio album
Artist Willie and the Poor Boys
Release Date 22 April 1985 (US), 25 April 1985 (UK)
Recorded November 1984, and early January 1985 at the Sol, Cookham, Berkshire.
Genre Blues rock, rock, rhythm and blues
Language English
Length 36 minutes 38 seconds
Label Atlantic Records
Catalogue Decca/Ripple Records (UK), Passport Records (US)
Producer Bill Wyman
Engineer Leif Mases, Steve Forward, and Stuart Epps

Willie and the Poor Boys is the eponymous debut studio album of British blues rock band Willie and the Poor Boys. The album was recorded within two weeks in November 1984, and one week in early January 1985 at the Sol, Cookham, Berkshire, and released on Decca Records on 25 April 1985 in the United Kingdom, and Passport Records on 22 April 1985, in the United States.

In September 1984, Bill Wyman conceived an idea to record a charity album, and by November had assembled a group of well-known musicians to record an album to help the Ronnie Lane Appeal for ARMS. The original working title for the album was Up in Arms, a play on the ARMS theme. The album was eventually named after the band Willie and the Poor Boys and the line up on the album featured Bill Wyman (bass), Charlie Watts (drums), Kenney Jones (drums), Jimmy Page (guitar), Paul Rodgers (vocals), Chris Rea (vocals), Andy Fairweather-Low (guitar), Geraint Watkins (keyboards), Mickey Gee (guitar), and Henry Spinetti (drums). The songs on this album encompassed vintage American blues, R & B, swing, and rock and roll material. In addition to the recording, a number of outtakes from the album in John Lee Hooker's 'I'm Mad' and Willie Dixon's 'Down in the Bottom' are known to exist, and were played during a Bill Wyman interview on American radio station KBFH in May 1984, but neither of these recordings have surface yet on any album.[1]

During the recording of this album Wyman and Watts also contributed to the Howlin' Wolf album All Night Boogie at Olympic Studios, and Page and Rodgers were recording their first album and in rehearsals for their tour as the Firm.

Willie and the Poor Boys was released on vinyl LP, cassette, and standard single CD. The CD was reissued on Ripple Records in 1994.

Track list

Album information

Track listing:

  • Side 1:
  1. 'Baby, Please Don't Go' (Big Joe Williams) – 2:38
  2. 'Can You Hear Me' (Allen Toussaint) – 3:12
  3. 'These Arms of Mine' (Otis Redding) – 3:32
  4. 'Revenue Man (White Lightening)' (J. P. Richardson) – 2:36
  5. 'You Never Can Tell' (Chuck Berry) - 3:55
  6. 'Slippin' and Slidin'' (Albert Collins, Eddie Bocage, James Smith, Richard Penniman) - 2:33
  • Side 2:
  1. 'Saturday Night' (Roy Brown) - 2:51
  2. 'Let's Talk It Over' (Hudson Whittaker) - 2:59
  3. 'All Night Long' (Clifton Chenier) - 2:31
  4. 'Chicken Shack Boogie' (Amos Milburn, Lola Ann Cullum) - 3:13
  5. 'Sugar Bee' (Eddie Shuler) - 3:12
  6. 'Poor Boy Boogie' (Andy Fairweather-Low, Bill Wyman) - 3:28

Chart positions


Chart (1985) Peak Position
US Billboard The 200 Albums Chart (Top Pop Albums)[2] 10


Year Single Chart Position
1985 'Baby Please Don't Go' US Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart
1985 'Baby Please Don't Go' UK Singles Chart


  • Musicians:
    • Bill Wyman – bass guitar, vocals, producer, arranger
    • Charlie Watts - drums, percussion
    • Andy Fairweather-Low - guitar, vocals
    • Mickey Gee - guitar, vocals
    • Geraint Watkins - keyboards, vocals
  • Additional musicians:
    • Jimmy Page - guitar ('These Arms of Mine', and 'Slippin' and Slidin'')
    • Paul Rodgers - vocals ('These Arms of Mine', and 'Slippin' and Slidin)
    • Chris Rea - vocals ('Baby Please Don't Go')
    • Steve Gregory - saxophone
    • Willie Garnett - saxophone
    • Ray Cooper - percussion ('Can You Hear Me', and 'You Never Can Tell')
    • Kenney Jones - drums ('Sugar Bee')
    • Henry Spinetti - drums ('Revenue Man (White Lightening)', 'These Arms of Mine', and 'Slippin' and Slidin)
    • Terry Williams - drums ('Chicken Shack Boogie', 'Poor Boy Boogie', and 'You Never Can Tell')
  • Production:
    • Leif Mases - engineer
    • Steve Forward - engineer
    • Stuart Epps - engineer
    • Cream - artwork design
    • Steve Kingston - illustrations


  1. Zentgraf, Nico (3 August 2013). Rolling Stones database: 1985. The Rolling Stones Database. The Complete Works Website. Retrieved on 6 December 2013.
  2. Billboard (22 June 1985). "Top Pop Albums". Billboard 97 (25): 72. ISSN 0006-2150. Retrieved on 6 December 2013.