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1. The Ultimate Collection
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2. B.B. King - Greatest Hits
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3. Anthology of American Folk Music
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4. Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974
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5. Blues Masters, Vol. 4: Harmonica
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6. King of the Blues [Box]
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7. London Sessions
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8. Violin, Sing The Blues For Me:
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9. Blues Masters, Vol. 16: More Harmonica
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10. Memphis Jug Band with Gus Cannon's
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11. Whiskey Is My Habit Women Is All
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12. Ruckus Juice & Chitlins, Vol.
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13. Do The Boogie! : B. B. King's
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14. Hoodoo Lady (1933-1937)
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15. Chess Blues
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16. Memphis Blues Today!
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17. No Escape From the Blues: Electric
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18. Best There Ever Was: Legendary
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19. Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow!
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20. Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan

1. The Ultimate Collection
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Asin: B0007QJ1PM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1169
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

B.B. King's music has been anthologized and put in box sets many times, but this is the first single-disc collection that truly spans the American icon's career. It starts with his breakthrough 1951 No. 1 R&B hit "Three O'Clock Blues" and ends, chronologically, with 2000's "Ten Long Years" from his platinum-selling, pop-chart-topping smash collaboration with Eric Clapton, Riding with the King. In between there are 19 numbers that trace King's creative peaks (1969's "The Thrill is Gone," 1960's "Rock Me Baby") and valleys (1973's disco-inspired "I Like to Live the Love"). And they all tell the story of his growth as a performer. As the years and tunes tumble by, King's guitar solos become more expansive and adventurous, and his cross-genre experiments, like 1987's "When Love Come to Town" with U2, grow bolder. "I'll Survive," also featured here, has become King's late-career theme song, but as he heads toward his 80th birthday on September 16, 2005--still playing 150 concerts a year with his vastly influential guitar skills sharp and his voice just a bit weathered--King's version of survival contains genuine majesty. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars ****1/2 - the finest introduction yet
Finally - a really good single-disc compilation which doesn't exclude King's earliest (and best) material.
Much better than "Greatest Hits" and more affordable than various multi-disc compilations, "The Ultimate Collection" is the place to start for newcomers and curious listeners who want to know what Riley "B.B." King is all about.
"Three O'Clock Blues", "You Upset Me Baby", "Sweet Little Angel"...this is not everything you could ever want from B.B. KIng, but it is a very fine place to start.

5-0 out of 5 stars B.B.King&Lucille are well served here
B.B.King is a Artist that is timeless to Me on so many levels. His music has always been a fixture in my life.relatives have played His work all through my life.those Great recordings He did with Bobby "Blue" Bland&His Solo Career."the thrill is Gone" is still One of the Freshest Jams Ever.B.B.'s Guitar Lucille has Served the Brother Proper over the years. you feel His spirit&Emotion in his Tone&Vocals as a Musican.this is a Must have.

5-0 out of 5 stars Single Disc Collection Hits Most of the Highlights
B.B. King is certainly the greatest living ambassador of the blues that we have and this latest anthology--released ahead of his eightieth birthday next September--is a well chosen collection of some of his best and best known songs.However, condensing a 50-plus-year recording career onto a single disc and calling it THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION borders on chutzpah.

However, give the compilers at Geffen Records their due. Through cross licensing they have been able to include some of his early RPM and Kent singles as well as his MCA material. [MCA has been B. B. King's home since the late sixties.] The set begins with his first No. 1 R&B single "Three O'Clock Blues" in 1951 and continues through with the most recent song "Ten Long Years" from 2000's collaboration with Eric Clapton, RIDING WITH THE KING.

Even at twenty-one tracks, there is much that had to be eliminated from this collection.Only the last four tracks represent King's post-seventies output. And over the past half dozen years alone, King has released some powerful albums, including 1999's tribute to the music of Louis Jordan LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL and 2003's collection of standards REFLECTIONS, neither of which is represented here.

What you do get though is classic B.B. King, including his 1964 crossover hit "Rock Me Baby," a couple tracks from1965's LIVE AT THE REGAL "Every Day I Have the Blues and "Sweet Little Angel," his signature song "The Thrill Is Gone" (which at No. 15 was his highest charting pop hit in 1970), and the 7" edit and mix of "When Love Comes to Town" with U2.

Overall, this is a satisfying collection and makes for a nice introduction to the music of B.B. King.If you want a broader overview, consider 2000's 2-disc anthology or 1992's box set KING OF THE BLUES

5-0 out of 5 stars The Thrill isn't gone after all...The King is back
B.B. plays what he feels in every single song. That's a rarity among all the young blues neophytes out there but the fact that he did from his very first recording says a lot about the man. From the very first chords of "Three O'Clock Blues" to the rock swagger of "When Come Comes To Town" (recorded and written by U2), B.B. energized every note, every word with meaning.

This isn't the best collection of B.B.'s music. For that you'd have to go to the boxed set "King of the Blues" which is now over a decade old. It's missing everything he's recorded since 1992 so isn't quite as complete as it could be either. As a single disc collection, though, you can't go wrong with this outstanding set. Yes, "The Thrill is Gone" also makes another appearence but because it'ssuch an important track (it broke B.B. to a wider audience and became his first crossover hit)it certainly deserves to be included. The extensive liner notes gives us a glimpse of B.B.'s life from the day he entered the world as Riley King the son of a sharecropper (something he himself did briefly as well). It's clear from even these early sides (the first four tracks)he didn't have blood flowing through his veins but the Mississippi Delta's rich water.

Focusing primarily on his singles (although there's a generous helping of album tracks as well), this collection could easily have been doubled or tripled in length (much as Bruce Springsteen's "Ultimate Collection" was). From the plainative fragment "Nobody Loves Me But My Mother" (with the sad but witty comment, ..and she could be jiving me") through to B.B.'s collaborations with U2 (the single is featured here with backing vocals that I don't seem to recall on the album version)and England's Mississippi Delta King Eric Clapton, this fine collection captures the King in fine form.

After this you'd do well to pick up the following classic albums; "Live at the Regal", "Lucille" (named after his beloved guitar), "Live in Cook County Jail" (one of his most powerful performances), "Indianola Mississippi Seeds". Dip your toes in the Mississippi Delta and you'll never regret it!

5-0 out of 5 stars The King
Hey, it's the king. This CD is all encompassing and superbly recorded. If you are new to B.B. King or just want to add to your collection, you will not be dissapointed. ... Read more


2. B.B. King - Greatest Hits
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Asin: B00000ADG3
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Sales Rank: 1343
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars "So You See Why I Stuck With Blues."
This BB King quote, stated to David Ritz, was his conclusion to why he chose to play and sing blues over his other love, gospel music. "A gospel song would get me a pat on the head," he said. "But a blues would get me a dime." The blues earned King not only more than his share of dimes, but a spot among music's seminal performers and teachers. Despite Ritz properly mentioning that King's music was too blue for rock and roll or soul during his early career, he has become as much a caretaker of rock's traditions as of the blues themselves.

This one-disc collection, even at 16 songs, seems too little space for BB King's prolific, quality output, especially after 1992's expansive "King Of The Blues" box. But "Greatest Hits" timed to King's most recent rock-oriented successes: his "How Blue Can You Get?" sampled on a pop hit, his U2 collaboration, his Robert Cray duet on "Playing With My Friends" (from "Blues Summit," among the 90s best blues releases), even "Paying The Cost To Be The Boss" covered by Pat Benatar! With remarkable liner notes and references to original ABC/MCA LPs (nearly all in print), "Greatest Hits" is a sampler tour through BB King's immense, classic blues catalogue.

It's also another chance to hear King with much better sound, courtesy of compiler Andy McKaie (who handled MCA's exceptional Chess blues compilations) and Erick Labson's remastering. It freshly paints Johnny Pate's production on 1964's seminal "Live At The Regal" tracks, King's 1969-70 string of of rockin' blues hits ("Why I Sing The Blues," the original "Thrill Is Gone"), even overlooked gems like Doc Pomus/Dr. John's tailor-made "There Must Be A Better World Somewhere."

What "Greatest Hits" shows most is King's guitar playing and vocal economy; no melismatic vocal trills or guitar hyperspace, even live where crowds needed pleasing. Instead, King's solos in "I Like To Live The Love" and "Don't Answer The Door" press the melody forward, and his underrated vocals show occassional collaborator Bobby Bland's strong "Sinatra Of The Blues" influence. King shared (or at least impressed) these traits on his most recent collaborator, Eric Clapton, and here does with just-enough help from friends like Joe Walsh and Leon Russell (on Russell's "Hummingbird") and Stevie Wonder (on "To Know You Is To Love You..")

"Greatest Hits" is THE King album for casual fans or those who enjoy his rare spins on classic rock or oldies radio. Blues fans wanting to dig deeper should pick up any of the original LPs, including "Live At The Regal," "There Must Be A Better World Somewhere," "Indianola Mississippi Seeds, " or the Bobby Bland collaborations. "Greatest Hits" covers quality ground quickly, and thus remains an essential one-stop blues shop.

3-0 out of 5 stars Too focused on mediocre latter-day material
This certainly isn't everything you could ever want from the Beale Street Blues Boy, but it does give the first-time listener a pretty accurate idea about what to expect from B.B. King. For better or worse.

His excellent and highly influential 50s singles are missing, which is a shame, especially since some of those were actually sizable hits and this compilation has the audacity to call itself "Greatest Hits".
Still, there are lot of great moments here anyway...the swinging "Paying The Cost To Be The Boss", the epic "Why I Sing The Blues", and the slow burner "How Blue Can You Get" among them, and they sit next to two cuts from King's highly succesful "Live At The Regal" album, an excellent "Sweet Little Angel" and a hideous "Every Day I Have The Blues" which falls miles short of Memphis Slim's potent original ("Nobody Loves Me").

But there are too many mediocrities on this album...King experimented with some sort of pop-blues fusion in the 70s and 80s, and the compilers have included "To Know You Is to Love You", "I Like To Live The Love" and "Hummingbird" from that unfortunate era. The duets with Robert Cray on "Playin' With My Friends" and rock group U2 on "When Love Comes To Town" are not much more uplifting, and too much of this material was recorded well after King's prime.

If you like B.B. King at his most pop-friendly, you will probably enjoy this compilation. If you like him at his grittiest, you will certainly be disappointed. May I suggest the double-disc "Anthology" instead, along with "Do The Boogie: B.B. King's Early '50s Classics" instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ohhh, man, ain't nuttin' like the blues by way'a the King...
I like to think that my musical tastes run very deep an' very broad; I also like 'ta think that I can jus' pick up any album by any artist of any genre an' feel it at any given time. But, there are those days, yep, there ARE those days when I need me some blues music. Some straight-forward, no apologies, no variations, an' no deeper meaning to any of it, than jus' bein' the BLUES. I've got a few different selections by B.B. King (not enough to call myself a die-hard or anything), but I think I get the MOST outta this hits collection. Is' got ALL the classics that e'ybody knows; so much so that there's no need for me to liste 'em. Every song on here is equally good; in other words, THERE IS NOT ONE BAD SONG ON THIS DISC! You better believe it, too. An' I really can't get enough of it.

Here's a situation: This morning I said my prayers, I watched a lil' tube, I smoked my first cigarette in two weeks an' decided that my attempt to quit jus' isn't gonna take jus' yet, I hadda argument with my ex (we were doin' so good the past week too), so what that all amounts to is that tonight I'm'a sit back, drink a few beers, smoke some cigarettes, an' listen to this CD, blues at it's best. Then I'm'a say my nighttime prayers, lay my head down, an' hope that tomorrow will be a better day. Thas' what it all means to me.

I'll definitely explore some more'a the King's work in the near-future, but for now, I'm good with this. It keeps me toned down enough to not get lost in my pain, but it allows me to not give in to the "look on the bright side" bullcrap an' jus' wallow for the time being. I love me some blues music. 'Specially when is' done right. An' the King ALWAYS did it right.

4-0 out of 5 stars His Bluesy Best
A nice compilation of this blues legend. Some catchy lyrics and strong guitar solos exist throughout this collection. The first seven songs are strictly three chord blues progressions which can be a bit tiresome for some audiences. However, the catchy lyrics make you pay attention to such gems as Paying The Cost To Be The Boss, How Blue Can You Get?, and The Thrill Is Gone.

The next few tracks have a more varied arrangement and get away from the standard three chord progression. BB King gets funky in spots and the use of strings and horns in the background add a nice touch. The duets with Bono and Robert Cray are quite good. A nice intro to this legend, indeed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Teriffic Blues music
BB King: Greatest Hits is a tremendously wonderful Blues CD. It has all the music you could expect. It's too bad my family has only one BB King CD. But now knowing how good BB King is, I'm going to collect more. So if you like BB King, you'll LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this. ... Read more


3. Anthology of American Folk Music (Edited by Harry Smith)
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Asin: B000001DJU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2317
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This impressive--and frankly, fun--musical document is still sending out shock waves almost 50 years after its original 1952 vinyl release. The Smithsonian's six-CD reissue is painstakingly researched, annotated, and packaged (even boasting an enhanced disc for the techno-capable). Unlike field recorders, eccentric filmmaker/collector/musicologist Harry Smith assembled the Anthology from commercially released (though obscure) 78 rpm discs issued between 1927 and 1935. Its broad scope--from country blues to Cajun social music to Appalachian murder ballads--was monumentally influential, setting musicians like Bob Dylan down the path to folk fandom. The White House started its own national music library with the Anthology; anyone with more than a passing interest in American roots music should do the same. --Michael Ruby ... Read more

Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for a well-rounded pop music collection
You should buy this just to hear where all those folk and blues revivalists of the 60s got a large chunk of their material. Back then, these albums were the only way to hear these recordings unless you were willing to go to great lengths to collect old records (like the compiler of this Anthology, Harry Smith).

If you enjoy the Anthology music you can hear a lot more of the same style on Yazoo Records' various "rural music" anthologies. Nearly every disc they issue has an Anthology track or two on it, or other work by artists who appear on this Anthology. I actually find Yazoo's "Before The Blues" series more enjoyable, track for track, than this collection. It's likely, though, that there would be no Yazoo records today if the AAFM hadn't come along in the early 1950s. Also, this Anthology includes secular, spiritual and "social" music in a rather comprehensive way, so understandably there don't seem to be many people who like EVERY song. Even Harry Smith didn't like every song in the collection (read the liner notes).

5-0 out of 5 stars The first great collection of American folk song recordings
The "Anthology of American Folk Music" put together by Harry Smith was originally issued in 1952 in three volumes of 2 LPs each, with a total of 84 tracks collected from old records. It is said that this collection played a seminal role in the folk music revival of the late 1950s and early 1960s, influencing and inspiring the generation of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Once you listen to these songs you will have little doubt that was indeed the case. The three volumes focus on Ballads, Social Music, and Songs respectively. I did not recognize enough of these 84 songs to use all of the fingers on my guitar picking hand and I could not care less. You can look over the playlist above and see if anything looks familiar, but, obviously, that is beside the point here. These songs involve a definition of "folk" that is expansive enough to include blues singers like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Richard "Rabbit" Brown. The authenticity of these songs is overpowering, transporting you to a time and place when radio was just starting to make inroads into the backwoods of America.

The collection includes a 100-page booklet that features harry Smith's original handbook of songs, an essay by critic Greil Marcus, along with other essays, song notes, photos, graphics, and recollections by legendary artists about how this anthology inspired their own careers. The overall effect is like taking a college course on American Folk Music. Whether your interest in this type of music comes from listening to the Weavers, Peter Paul, & Mary, or the soundtrack to "Brother, Where Art Thou?" hopefully your enjoyment of folk music will lead you back to this seminal collection. Additional Note: There is also an excellent website put together by the Smithsonian Folkways that will tell you for not only alternate titles (e.g., "The Wagoner's Lad" is also known as "Loving Nancy" and "My Horses Ain't Hungry"), but other recorded versions organized by styles (e.g., traditional American Folk, Folksong revival, Post revival, Country/String Band, Bluegrass, and British). Like everyone else, I have been greatly impressed by the way the Smithsonian Institute has been protecting our nation's heritage when it comes to folk music. They take their job seriously and they are very, very good at it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Necessary.
I dont think there is a need to go into to much detail about this *6 CD* set. If you can fork over the cash, just buy it. If you have any interest in roots music, just buy it. If you thought ol' Bobby Dylan and the Band made some great weird music in the basement of big pink in '67 .. for the love of god, BUY THIS! strange, unadorned, raw music , just buy it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential
Much ink & many electrons have been devoted to explaining both Harry Smith (and a lot of explanation is necessary -- very interesting man) and this wonderful collection of recordings from the 1920's and 30's, so I won't go into too much detail here. If you'd like a good treatise on the work itself as a cultural object, and how it relates to other thematically similar items, I would reccomend Griel Marcus' book Invisible Republic.
This is the greatest mix tape ever made, and an essential cultural artifact, not only of the vernacular music of the hills & highways of pre-electrification America, but also of the folk movement ofthe fifties and sixties (the primer fromwhic all else was derived) and by extension of the hippy movement following closely thereafter.
SOme of this music is really wild...

5-0 out of 5 stars Mysterious, Beautiful and a Kick Inside
I half heard a story about the Anthology on Natl Public Radio a few months ago while I was getting ready for work. The story kept coming back to me, until I had to buy the Anthology to get some peace. Instead of peace, I find that I am now disturbed, intrigued, and haunted.

Music is ill-suited to being described in words, so I'll use an entirely different experience to try and convey what listening to this Anthology is like.

I once knew a fellow who had grown up on Bechtel construction project sites around the world. As a kid playing in the dirt at these sites, he'd collected a box full of those stone tools that humans made and used for something like three million years. I found that once I had turned one of these slips of chipped obsidian or shale over for a moment, it settled naturally into my hand. There was a spot for my thumb, another spot for my forefinger, and my hand was making a scraping or digging motion with the thing. The tool and my hand still remembered their ancient partnership, without any volition from me. This sensation was simultaneously disturbing and satisfying and made the hair stand up on my neck.

This sensation is very close to what I feel listening to this anthology. You will not hear the familiar, highly produced music we're now so comfortable with. You will hear the voice and sound of music as it has been for millions of years -- and you will recognize what you are hearing as being utterly, essentially human.

These recordings were, of course, made only 75 years ago in the 1920's, surely part of the modern era. Yet this was the last moment in time between the old world and the new world. We still sing and play music for the same reasons we always have, but the way we used our voices and instruments for millions of years has been changed by technology. So if these not very old recordings feel strangely like a link to something ancient and mysterious, that's because they actually are.

There is a great beauty in the voices on these recordings, many of which are almost shrill, almost off-key -- unfamiliar to our pampered contemporary ears -- but also perfectly right. There is a mystery in the odd and sometimes fragmentary lyrics, whose once important meaning is now lost.

We can still share the depth of feeling through the music itself, sometimes so strongly that your heart leaps as though you'd been kicked from inside. But, as it says in the booklet of notes, while we can share in the emotions that impelled someone to sing about The Coo Coo Bird in the first place, we'll never know why it was important to live on a mountainside in order to see Willie go by.

Perhaps the true power of this Anthology is that every recording is genuine in a way that is no longer possible. I recommend it. ... Read more


4. Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974 [Box]
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Asin: B000002IRS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8020
Average Customer Review: 4.62 out of 5 stars
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Atlantic Records has ridden musical trends since the late '40s; these seven CDs chronicle the first 28 years of the label's work in black pop, during which artists such as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Otis Redding oversaw the creation and flowering of soul music. Also included are classic tracks by the Drifters, Wilson Pickett, Ruth Brown, the Coasters, Sam & Dave, and many others who walk through the dreams of R&B and rock & roll fans. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (26)

2-0 out of 5 stars more artists
ps. just like to include more great r n b artists that should be on this great box set from atlantic records like levert & the system. put other divine hits out so more people are aware of other great talent,just plain wholesome good music.do you like good music,that sweet soul music!give us more hits by roberta flack, wilson pickett,ben e. king, arthur conley, otis redding, sam&dave aretha,rb greaves,drifters,spinners,esther phillips,les mccan,eddie harris, herbie mann, yusef lateef, the kingpins, percy sledge,major harris,chuck willis, clyde mcphatter,coasters,jimmy castor,ace spectrum,peggy scott&jojo benson,shirley scott,clifford brown,billy cobham,cornell dupree,blue eyed soul from lulu,delaney&bonnie&friends,awb,bette midler,the manhattan transfer,billy vera,the late,great ms.dusty spingfield,buffalo springfield,derek&the dominos,plus many more!keep up the great work!keep on soulin'on!thank you!jhh52757!

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible Collection Needs Updated REMASTERING
This 8 cd box set of historical R&B and early rock and roll classics is an incredible collection that documents some of the greatest recordings by a handful of the greatest R&B/Rock artists who created some of the most captivating and amazingly wonderful, R&B/Soul/Rock standards, from the pre-birth rock era and well beyond,in music history. JOE TURNER, LAVERNE BAKER, RAY CHARLES, RUTH BROWN, CHUCK WILLIS, THE COASTERS AND DRIFTERS to name a few! Rock and roll was alive well before Elvis absorbed and reinterpreted it. Unfortunately, the remastering is circa the 1980's and these recordings[at times]fall flat and sound a bit dull and weak. I bought three of the individual compact discs(they were also issued individually)in the 80's and noticed no difference in the sound quality, in comparison to this "updated" version of the Lp Box to Cd. While this is a "cream of the crop" box of classic R&B, it unashamedly borrows heavily from the STAX RECORDS SINGLES COLLECTION BOX SETS Volumes 1, 2, & 3 to a flaw...You'd think that with ATLANTIC RECORDS' long history, they wouldn't need to duplicate the cream of the crop from STAX, regardless of the fact that Atlantic was the "mother" company of STAX's distribution. I'm a "Collector" and I treasure and cherish every track of my STAX BOX SETS(all three and 28 discs!)- chart hits or non-hits - with their supreme and stellar high tech remastering. I'm a huge fan of "REMASTERING" technology and will buy and "rebuy" reissues depending on what artist is honored! Regardless, the recordings in this Box Set are essential to your ears, heart and soul, as Atlantic made history from 1947 to 1974 and well beyond...and they continue into the 21st century! I waited forever to purchase this Box, hoping the remastering would be redefined - but bought it to avoid missing out, and still, I'm almost satisfied, as you will also be. I highly recommend the Joe Turner Box, Aretha Franklin("Queen Of Soul"), Spinners, Esther Phillips, and Ray Charles(all) Boxed Sets, which are genuinely detailed and supremely remastered to the ultimate sound. You can thank Rhino Records for the finest "reissues" on many of those!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Box Set!
This is an amazing and extensive collection. Tied for best box set ever! (The other would be Jackie Wilson)

Really great stuff! Totally worth it!

5-0 out of 5 stars In the beginning....
This most wonderful CD set highlights the roots of all popular music, be it soul, blues, pop. There is no doubt that the great songwriters of the 60's and 70's, not only grew up with this music but did their best to replicate it. As music, it is excellent, as educational material, it is fantastic. If there is a problem, it is with it's length. So much great music that fill a multitude of disks. The difficulty is in selecting just the right CD to satisfy your current mood. This set has the ability to transport to any sound, any age.

5-0 out of 5 stars ATTENTION KIDS - R & B STANDS FOR RHYTHM & BLUES!!
This is where rock'n'roll's roots are at. I bought the original 7 (double) LP set. Their original CD equivalents replicated them but for a few track omissions on various volumes. This box includes ALL of the origial LP series plus some 20+ extra tracks not previously included covering the fertile period between 1947-1974. It's an education in itself. This is what boxed sets are about. The raw stuff from the 40's & 50's are a pointer to Elvis & Jerry Lee. This is the some of the original music those artists cut their teeth on. Hearing Big Joe Turner for the first time was a revelation for myself particularly "Corrina, Corrine" and "Honey Hush". I further investigated Ray Charles' recorded output based on this set. The hits are here and things that you may vaguely rememnber as well. Legends such as the Professor Longhair, Big Joe Turner, Lavern Baker, Ray Charles, The Drifters, The Coasters, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and many others are more than amply represented here. I had heard some of these songs for the first time as cover versions by later artists such as Foghat, Elvis and even Paul McCartney whose "Run Devil Run" CD was a tribute to the 50's and a couple of tracks on this set get a nod there. Atlantic have done a wonderful job with this release. This is what R & B really is...before it was just a couple of initials representing what passes for today's music. I doubt a kid listening to that stuff would know what those letters stood for in today's context. My own preferences are to the 60's period during which Atlantic,Stax & Volt really came into their own as great Soul labels. Where Motown was probably more "showbizzy", which is not meant as a criticism, Atlantic revealed real grit and toughness in it's music. I thoroughly recommend this box set if only as a more than ample education of the rich legacy of American Rhythm & Blues music. ... Read more


5. Blues Masters, Vol. 4: Harmonica Classics
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B0000032X5
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9617
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good sampler
The trouble with the Blues Masters collection is that CDs like this one, which is compiled to showcase some great blues harmonica playing, is that it never tells the full story.
Howlin' Wolf is here, Sonny Boy Williamson (II) is here, Little Walter Jacobs is here, Jimmy Reed is here, but these songs generally doesn't rank among their best, since they were chosen primarily for the harp playing.

But if you already have the essentials by these artists, "Harmonica Classics" and its companion volume (excitingly titled "More Harmonica Classics") is a really good purchase, featuring several excellent lesser-known songs like Jerry McCain's "Steady", Big Walter Horton's "Easy", and Lazy Lester's superbly groovy "Sugar Coated Love". Just don't think that you can go out and buy the "Blues Masters" series and be done with. ... Read more


6. King of the Blues [Box]
list price: $59.98
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Asin: B000002OMC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6101
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

This four-CD box set remains the absolutely definitive B.B. King collection, with 77 recordings and a biographical book that contains the great singer-guitarist's own remembrances of his decades-long career. It samples every stage of his development, from his days struggling to craft his music in the shadow of influences like T-Bone Walker and Lonnie Johnson to his latter-day pairings with rockers like Bonnie Raitt and Gary Moore. The one constant is his open-hearted singing and the soulful, contemplative solos he squeezes from his beloved guitar Lucille. These discs, of course, embrace all his essential hits, from his first--1951's "Three O'Clock Blues"--to his 1970 smash "The Thrill Is Gone," which took King to the pop charts and made him a household name. If this package is too lavish for the budget, try the excellent Best of B.B. King, Volume 1, which collects many of King's great early works. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars You Need This Set
I was on the line of whether I just liked B.B. or really liked B.B. After I bought this box set I upgraded to loving B.B. This is one of the greatest collections of tunes I have ever heard. Muddy is still the king of blues in my book but B.B. definitely deserves to wear a crown too.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Box Set fit for a King
I grew up on His Music thanks to My Family I became aware of Blues Music&also B.B King.this Box Set Highlights His Career Between Him&Lucille.His Voice&Playing are something else no matter what time period.on Guitar for me B.B. King has always had a Sound that no matter where you are in the World you know that it is Him.B.B. King is One of the Baddest Cats Ever to Make Music.His Story telling&VIbe is very Addictive.

5-0 out of 5 stars "He paid the Cost , To be the Boss"!
I just bought this box set last week and have been enjoying it like no tomorrow. I have many records of the top Blues singers going back to Robert Johnson and Bessie Smith, but I do believe that this is the best "complete" set on one artist! Man can them songs take you back. If I knew that this collection was this good I would of bought it years ago when it first came out (1992). No matter what your Budget is ,if you are really into the Blues you should buy this set - even if it means eating half lunches for a week or two, you won't be sorry. After hearing these tunes "The Thrill is Back"!

4-0 out of 5 stars A really like it but...
Due to some unfathomable screw-up, the 90 second guitar intro was cut off of Gambler's Blues! This is a great intro and you can find the whole song on the 2-CD Anthology or Classic Live Performances.

This set needs to be remastered and songs added to fill-er-up to near 80 minutes per CD. Though there is already 72-74 minutes per CD, there is enough other good BB to easily add 20 minutes more of music for the 4 CDs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!
BB King is an amazing artist and this box set is a must for whoever can get their hands on it. Now I know where the title Lucille came from for his guitar, which he so eloquently describes for us in the song, just great storytelling. The second disc is simply awesome with a great start with "Going Down Slow," an extremely well done live performance! You can completely imagine exactly what BB is talking about thinking about a young man coming up to Chicago and blowing all of his hard earned money on a good time, and being abandoned by all his "friends" when the money runs out. BB knows the blues, and he sings like he was right next to you during the hardest of those times, and somehow you don't feel so all alone and your problems don't seem as miserable. I can't imagine a more talented performer, he really captures your whole undivided attention. There are simply too many highlights to name, but get this set and find out a great artists' work! And this box set doesn't just take it slow, there are rockers (She's Dynamite), jazzy ballads (try "Don't Get Around Much Anymore"), smokey blues, blazing guitar, cool guitar, the whole gamut. This is entertainment as fine as can be found. Take your time with this set and really get to know it, you'll be really glad you did. ... Read more


7. London Sessions
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Asin: B000002OAZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 25572
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (18)

4-0 out of 5 stars A pretty nice album to listen to
I was about 18 years old when Wolf came to Europe to tour and make recordings like this one. I remember the excitement at the time, though I didn't get to see the great man in person. This album is a fine record of that epoch.

An excellent album that I have had for several years and still play regularly, especially in the car. You have the Wolf on vocals with the Rolling Stones rhythm section and Eric Clapton playing some nice stuff on lead guitar. with Stevie Winwood in there somewhere too.

I have heard better versions of Wang Dang Doodle, but the rest of the songs are excellent.

A unique album that showcases Howlin' Wolf, the like of whom we will not see again. However, I am not sure that this is his very best work, as I have a Live In Europe album from a 1964 concert in Bremen that has Hubert Sumlin on guitar and that wonderful pianist Sunnyland Slim in the band, along with Willie Dixon on bass, and to be honest, the somewhat younger Wolf sounds vocally stronger, as he really stretches out with a great band in a live performance. But this London album is still a nice listen and gets three stars from me.

As I have posted a number of reviews, here is what I mean by my star ratings:

* A really worthless CD
** A CD that has some good stuff, but some major defects.
*** An OK CD that will please fans of the artist in question.
**** An excellent CD that represents the best work of the artist in question and can be bought with confidence.
***** An absolute classic that is the best, or among the best, of its genre. Your collection should start here.

5-0 out of 5 stars An American Howlin' Wolf in London
Some collaborations of "superstar" musicians and Blues Legends just don't work out. This one certainly does, though. The impressive list of musicians includes Eric Clapton, Stevie Winwood, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. Hubert Sumlin, Howlin' Wolf's lead guitarist is also present, although Clapton takes the lead role here. And on this record, all the musicians demonstrate they know how to play blues. They provide fine backing for Wolf, who never sounded better, and their playing is always loyal to the original recordings. Eric Clapton is particularly impressive, and should be proud he was part of this album. The songs are all re-workings of Wolf classics. "What a Woman" has a thunderous riff - play it loud. "Little Red Rooster" is also outstanding - A rehearsal of this song is also included.

This is an excellent album - essential for fans of Howlin' Wolf, also a good introduction to someone to hasn't heard him before. It was recorded in 1971, five years before Howlin' Wolf's death.

4-0 out of 5 stars pretty darn good
I've read reviews of this that have called it a turkey, blues purists SEEM to hate it. After all, these are white english kids, for cripes sake! Well, a lot of these white english kids helped a lot of American kids learn about stuff they had never heard of.

I bought this album when it first came out. I knew who Clapton was, I knew who Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts were, I knew who Stevie Winwood was. I did NOT know who Howlin Wolf was. So, as a result of this album I learned who Howlin Wolf was and eventually bought more of his albums.

But regardless, this is an album that I enjoy listening too! I believe that the musicianship of the guys playing on this is much better than it's credited as being. Yeah, the Red Rooster intro is one that probably should have been left out. I've never been able to figure out why they left that in.

I've read that Clapton has disparaged this album and his involvement in it. I've never actually heard/read his words on this. It makes me sad. I've heard of lot of other stuff that has been released with the blessing of artists that truly sucks.

Anyway, don't pass on this because some music critic panned it. It's a darn good album.

5-0 out of 5 stars nice quality of recording
underrated(2-3 stars)in all music books

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing
When you take Howlin' Wolf-one of the greatest Chicago bluesmen ever-and put him together with Eric Clapton, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts and Steve Winwood, what do you get? You get one exciting blues album. I read somewhere that blues purists don't like this album, but I know from listening to it that this is pure, electric, energetic, rockin' blues.

The album starts off strong; the first thing you hear is Clapton's beautiful slide guitar riff on "Rockin' Daddy." On this track, we have Phil Upchurch on bass, Winwood on piano, The Wolf's long time lead guitarist Hubert Sumlin on rhythm guitar, Charlie Watts on drums, and The Wolf himself singing the vocals in his famous growling stlyle. We hear a wonderful solo from Clapton, who plays off the melody of the tune beautifully.

Ringo plays drums on "I Ain't Superstitious" and the results are awesome. With a horn section (Joe Miller, Jordan Sandke, Dennis Lansing) holding the roots of the chords, and Clapton playing a slide riff to back The Wolf's vocals, we get a truly great jam.

The rest of the album is as exciting has the first two songs. We hear Jeffrey M. Carp's soulful harp on "Sittin' On Top Of The World," and The Wolf's vocals are just as astounding. Clapton adds another creative solo, again playing off the beautiful melody of the song. Later in the album, we hear the amusing Willie Dixon tune "Built For Comfort" in which the horn section mentioned before adds its unique touch. "Highway 49" is one of the highlights of the album, with classic guitar riffs and The Wolf's soulful, bluesy singing. You get the feeling that no one could sing this song like The Wolf. Basically, when buying blues, you can't go wrong with Howlin' Wolf. Overall, this album is excellent. It is a beautiful display of classic blues performed by an all-star cast. ... Read more


8. Violin, Sing The Blues For Me: African-American Fiddlers 1926-1949
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B00000JC8X
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 22147
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Nearly essential for anyone interested in old-time music,Violin, Sing the Blues for Me may be quite simply the bestsingle-disc anthology of the early 20th century black string-bandmovement available today. The emphasis here is on the bluesy fiddleplaying heard between 1926 and 1949, but the music boasts reams ofdiverse styles and playing that is simply impossible to pigeonhole.Andrew Baxter milks his fiddle for all its plaintive worth againstbrother Jim's guitar on "K.C. Railroad Blues," the Mississippi MudSteppers' "Alma Waltz" is as sublime as they come (perhaps the greatestside ever recorded to feature a banjo-mandolin), and there are plentyof other tracks featuring the now-forgotten wail of the blues violin.But the lively tunes steal the show here: the Mobile Strugglers'spreviously unissued "Memphis Blues" from 1949 is a classic breakdown;the Tennessee Chocolate Drops's "Vine Street Drag" (featuring the fastfiddling of Howard"Louie Bluie" Armstrong) showcases some true violin virtuosity; andthe Memphis Jug Band's "Memphis Shakedown" is a tour de force of energyand great playing. Truth is, there's not a weak track here, and thecopious liner notes will keep you busy long after the CD has playedout. If you want to hear the roots of the blues, don't pass this discup. --Jason Verlinde ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning recordings, rare music
It's pretty amazing, this late in the folkloric/historic reissues game, to find a whole album's worth of "undiscovered" old-timey music that is of such a high caliber. Old Hat Records, a tiny North Carolina indie label, packs its discs with some of the best music in the style that you're ever likely to hear. (You might also want to check out the "Lost Provinces" and "Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow" CDs...) This disc highlights a rare style of African-American fiddle music, featuring rare recordings by the bands that dotted the southern landscape 'way back when. These groups mixed stringband styles and jazzy jug-band blues and, not incidentally, made some of the catchiest music ever. In addition to great sound quality and great material, the CD is handsomely packaged; the insert booklets include some really cool archival photos, as well as extensive liner notes of the sort that have been woefully absent on similar recent reissue efforts.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best reissue CDs ever
Quite simply one of the finest single CDs ever released by anyone, in any genre of music. For high quality transfers from 78s, documentation, liner notes, historic accuracy, photos and illustrations, and sheer musicality, "Violin" has few rivals. Don't pass this up.

5-0 out of 5 stars An album to live with
This has rapidly become one of my favorite discs. Excellent selection of tracks, excellent transfers, excellent booklet. My only complaint would be that the text in the booklet is not in the same order as the tracks on the disk.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great music - great supporting documentation
As early as colonial times, free and enslaved blacks were widely known for their virtuosity on the fiddle, so it was only natural that the instrument would eventually find a home in the blues...even though most people probably don't tend to think of it there. And that's the beauty of this CD. It contains samples of the blues and many of the traditions that preceded it: country dances, rags and stomps, folks songs and medicine show music, all lovingly remastered from early recordings to create 73 minutes of vintage fiddle music. The 32-page full-color booklet alone is worth the price. This is a must-have for any student of African American culture in general, or anyone who just enjoys good music.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simply magnificent
I don't believe this release can be improved. The song selection is terrific from both a musical and historical perspective. Sound mastering is excellant. The notes, artwork and photographs were not an after thought. They are very well done. OLD HAT has now released two top notch volumes and I really hope there is a lot more in the pipe. This is a mandatory disc for all blues and old timey fans. About the only negative is the sad fact that it probably won't get out to a wider audience. A reissue done by people who love and respect this music. Just superb. ... Read more


9. Blues Masters, Vol. 16: More Harmonica Classics
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Asin: B000007RQB
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 45460
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

The harmonica's not exactly an imposing instrument; who would guess that a pocket- sized hunk of metal could be capable of so much expression? Volume 16 of Rhino's BluesMasters series shows just how much; the harp can trade leads with the vocals (Jimmy CottonBlues Quartet, "Cotton Crop Blues," Junior Wells Chicago Blues Band, "HelpMe"), lay down a raw edge (Papa Lightfoot, "Jump the Boogie"), or playsmooth as you please (William Clarke, "Pawnshop Bound"). As even a cursoryexamination of the above performers will indicate, the harmonica is well represented in all stylesof blues; Jimmy Reed, Sonny Boy Williamson, J. Geils, and Howlin' Wolf appear here as well.As capable as a horn or guitar of carrying the lead, and infinitely more portable, the harmonicamay well be one of the most expressive and versatile instruments out there, and MoreHarmonica Classics offers several excellent examples. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars thrash punk at its worst
I thought sublime was good, but this cd proved me wrong. Instead if hard core reggae rock, i was disapointed to hear stupid, painful, harmonicas. I mean it REALLY SUCKED. I mean by the time it was over, i had put at least 5 pairs of ear plugs on.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must for hamonicists and harmonophiles
This power-packed CD is a must for both players and lovers of the harmonica, particularly of the blues-harp variety.

Most all of the tunes here are listenable, but some mighty powerful stuff abounds. On Howlin' Wolf's number, he sounds as if he's playing 2 harps at once. Junior Wells, in his rendition of Sonny Boy Williamson II's "Help Me," does a moving tribute to Sonny II both vocally and harmonically (as Sonny II died shortly before this was recorded). Sonny I is well represented here with "Shake Your Boogie" (although his harmonica is drowned out by the other instruments in parts of this song).

The king of Country blues harmonica, Sonny Terry, does an amazing turn with "Hootin' Blues Pt. 2" which defies written description. Wisely, Magic Dick Seltzer's classing "Whammer Jammer" is also included, as it sounds as if this tune may have been inspired by the above-mentioned Sonny Terry tune (listen and compare).

So for anyone who likes good harmonica music, listen and enjoy. For aspiring harmonicists, you may have think you've got it down pat, but listen to this to see how far you still need to go. ... Read more


10. Memphis Jug Band with Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers
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Asin: B0007O25CA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 37189
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11. Whiskey Is My Habit Women Is All I Crave: Best of
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Asin: B00023GGEY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 85601
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Music - Disappointing Value
Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell made great music - no question about it, and much of it is included here.

However, for the price, I found this compilation to be disappointing as the remastering doesn't strike me as all that solid. I believe a MUCH better value is Leroy Carr's "Essential" two disk set which contains virtually the same songs at almost half the price. ... Read more


12. Ruckus Juice & Chitlins, Vol. 1: The Great Jug Bands
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Asin: B000000G98
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 83511
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If you're going to throw a party, invite this CD first. Way back when jugs were added to juke and barrelhouse performances in 1910 or so and American dance music really got down for good, these dazzling new trance rhythms smashed Western culture's sound barrier at the previously unheard-of speed of 78 rpm. From Louisville to Memphis to Birmingham to Cincinnati, these popular party bands mixed fine musicianship with clever songwriting and an unblushing sense of burlesque. Whether it's the raw wailing of young Ashley Thompson with Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers' "Big Railroad Blues" or the jazz-inflected wizardry of Earl McDonald and Clifford Hayes on the Dixieland Jug Blowers' "Banjoreno" or the Memphis Jug Band's raucous ribaldry on "Cocaine Habit Blues" and "Ruckus Juice and Chittlins," this first of two inspired volumes of jug-band classics blows out the lights, stops time in its tracks, and rocks. --Alan Greenberg ... Read more


13. Do The Boogie! : B. B. King's Early '50s Classics
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Asin: B000000W6C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 56568
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars A fine compilation of tracks from King's best period
"Do The Boogie" collects 20 songs from Riley "Blues Boy" King's 1950s heyday, which was arguably his best period, and certainly his grittiest.

There are plenty of classics here, including "I Got To Find My Baby", "Why I Sing The Blues", "Woke Up This Morning", "When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer", and King's take on "Crying Won't Help You", and his guitar playing is as gritty as it ever was. His style was always more urban than that of, say, Howlin' Wolf or even Muddy Waters, but there are certainly no overly slick blues ballads here, or hideous covers of contemporary pop songs.

This is great West side blues, and there are also a couple of alternate takes here, and a few tough-to-locate items ("Bye Bye Baby", "Dark Is The Night" parts 1 and 2, "Jump With You Baby"), and compiler Ray Topping has gone out of his way to include a number of songs which aren't usually found on B.B. King-compilations.

This album would make a fine companion to one of the many compilations that focuse on King's post-1960 recordings (like "Anthology 1962-98"), and if you add "Live At The Regal" to the mix, you'll have pretty much all you'll ever need from Riley B. "Beale Street Blues Boy" King.
4 1/2 stars - highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for any serious blues lover!!!!!!!!
If BB King's entire recording catalog consisted solely of the 20 tracks found on this CD he would still be considered one of the greatest vocalist and guitarists ever. Buy this CD, select track 16 and listen to it over and over... then move on to track 17 and do the same. Good Lord!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Revelation
I bought this CD based on my admiration for B.B.'s contribution to U2's "Love Comes to Town." Guess what. I liked "Do the Boogie" better than anything Bono and his lads have done - they knew what they were doing when they asked B.B. to help out. Everything about this CD is great. The generous number of awesome tunes - each one unique and yet a fitting piece in the puzzle.

Frankly, I never heard anything quite like this before. I like Bobby "Blue" Bland's late 50s early 60s songs a lot. This early 50s B.B. sounds similar but even better and more modern. B.B. obviously had very high standards and not just for himself. The whole band sounds great and the other musicians show their very impressive chops. The production values are obviously all there. Yet B.B. didn't whitewash the songs. They still have quite an edge. Only one problem. What could sound as good?

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Early B.B. Overview
This is perhaps the best single disc overview of B.B.s early 50's material, which also happens to be when B.B. King was at his very best. ... Read more


14. Hoodoo Lady (1933-1937)
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Asin: B0000027DC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 63663
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

True to her billing ("plays guitar like a man"), Minnie held her own in a genre dominated by male artists. She had a gutsy voice and a no-nonsense guitar style. These 20 prime cuts were done in Chicago for the Vocalion and ARC labels. Recorded in the late '30s, many contain small band accompaniment that included Charlie McCoy's dynamic mandolin as well as legendary pianists Blind John Davis and Black Bob. Two cuts, "Please Don't Stop Him" and "I'm Going Don't You Know," feature Arnett Nelson's smooth clarinet work. Although Minnie would continue to record for several more decades, she would never be better than she was during these sessions. --Lars Gandil ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Essential country blues record.
This is an absolute must have for any serious blues collector and any fan of music. I have approximately 100 blues CDs, many from this era and this is easily one of the best 5. Anyone looking to begin a blues collection would be well advised to purchase these great early Memphis Minnie recordings. Her guitar playing may well surpass even the great Tampa Red and her vocals have a more startling and rhythmic quality than female contemporary Bessie Smith. ... Read more


15. Chess Blues
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Asin: B000002OBW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 30663
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Blues 101!!!
All right, students, now pay attention! Put down that racing form and pay attention right now! This here Chess Blues box set contains exactly 101 tracks. How appropriate! That makes this collection a sort of unofficial college course entitled Blues 101, and Professors Wolf, Waters, James, and Jacobs (Little Walter), etc., etc., will be your blues instructors. You will learn the Fundamentals of Blues Harp, with Little Walter ("Juke") and Sonny Boy Williamson II ("Don't Start Me to Talkin'") as your master teachers. Over here, we have a course entitled Mellow Blues, with Willie Dixon ("Walkin' the Blues") and Jimmy Witherspoon ("Ain't Nobody's Business") showing you how it's done. Then, we have instruction in Blues and the Female Voice, with Koko Taylor ("What Kind of Man Is That," "Wang Dang Doodle") and Etta James ("Somethings Got A Hold Of Me," "I'd Rather Go Blind") as your teachers. Finally, what great university would be complete without Master Classes and the best professors in the business Muddy Waters ("Got My Mojo Workin'," "I Can't Be Satisfied," "My Eyes (Keep Me in Trouble"), Howlin Wolf ("Killin' Floor," "Evil," "Going Down Slow"), and John Lee Hooker ("Walkin' the Boogie," "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer") holding court for your edification. No, there is no blues university, but if there was one, the above masters would surely be the instructors and Chess Blues would certainly be the required text. As I said, it's packed with an amazing 101 songs, many of the best blues tracks ever recorded. There are a few clunkers, but very few. You will spend many enjoyable hours listening to this collection. (Trust me, it takes a few hours to listen to 101 songs once!) Get it today, and enroll in the best blues education money can buy!

5-0 out of 5 stars A terriffic addition to your blues collection
This handsome boxset, complete with a large booklet, is a superb addition to your blues collection, even if you already have the best of the major Chess artists such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson II.

There are bound to be some tracks, especially by Waters and the Wolf, that overlap with what most blues lovers already own, but the "Chess Blues" compilers have done a very fine job assembling dozens of rarer tracks by artists like Robert Nighthawk, Sunnyland Slim, Otis Rush, Memphis Minnie McCoy, Lowell Fulson, Willie Mabon, Elmore James, Jimmy Oden and many others. And these high quality tracks, which make up the vast majority of the 101 cuts, make "Chess Blues" a very welcome supplement to the many available compilations featuring Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is it!
The Delta gave birth to the Delta Blues and Chicago gave birth to the Chicago Blues but it would not have happened without Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter and, of course, the Chess Brothers. This is their legacy - no true blues fan would be without this set as part of their collection -enough said!

5-0 out of 5 stars Box set arrives like nucular bum
Wow, this box set arrives in my discs with the force of a nuclear bomb...I bought it for [amt.] at a local record store; get the box set any way you can. You'll survive cataclysmic disaster for sure. The artists are badasses and geniuses all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth 10 Stars!
Where would the music of today be without the music on this set? Every song is a classic. Phil and Leonard Chess had an ear for talent and it shows on this set. Not only do you get classics by Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf, there is also Etta James, Ko Ko Taylor, Sonny Boy Williamson, Sunnyland Slim, Robert Nighthawk, Willie Dixon (the MAN behind many of the Waters/Wolf classics) and many, many more. The booklet is fantastic and the sound quality is very good. Simply a set you can't do without. ... Read more


16. Memphis Blues Today!
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Asin: B000003OJK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 104364
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17. No Escape From the Blues: Electric Lady Sessions
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Asin: B0000C505F
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 28883
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars A rarity...
This one is a rarity in today's music world... a blues album that is diverse, creative, completely true to the music & is loaded with smokin' guitar work that somehow escapes the cliches. If you want the next Stevie Ray you are in the wrong place, but this one has feel to spare, even when reworking classic blues tunes. I sure dig it...

4-0 out of 5 stars A New Voice for Old Music
I hadn't listened to James Blood Ulmer's music in a while, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. I was used to his freer, jazzier recordings such as Tales of Captain Black and No Wave. I was very pleasantly surprised by No Escape. This is Chicago blues at its finest, without the requisite B.B. King-style solos. Instead, Ulmer and his band bring their own voices to the music, without fundamentally changing the structure of the blues style. It shows that a creative artist can continue to be creative even with an old format.

5-0 out of 5 stars Cosmic Roadhouse Blues
This is far and away James Blood Ulmer's best blues record to date, and it only further solidifies his 21st century re-invention as one of the blues most authentic voices. He's joined by a stellar cast of New York City players, including Vernon Reid, Charlie Burnham, David Barnes and Olu Dara. The first thing that comes to my mind is that this is what the band would sound like at a cosmic roadhouse (and you know there is such a thing). Saddled-up and belly to the bar on a Friday night would be Jack Kerouac, Ken Kesey, Jerry Garcia, Sun Ra, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Robert Johnson, Ernest Hemmingway, Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Rosetta Tharpe...and they'd all be hollerin', shouting out amens, tipping big and diggin' Ulmer's blues. Check out Jimmy Reed's "Goin' To New York," interpreted in 2003 jug band style or how about "Bright Lights, Big City," as a 'round midnight blues complete with a tap dancer and Olu Dara blowing that slow drawl Mississippi trumpet. You can envision the smoke hanging heavy in the air. Ulmer's own tunes "Are You Glad To Be In America" and "Satisfy" are brilliant, performed completely solo. Put these next to any other classic acoustic blues and tell me his approach isn't as authentic in its singular identity. What I'm trying to say is that he doesn't sound like Leadbelly, Son House or Lightnin' Hopkins, but he sounds like James Blood Ulmer. His sound is as pure and completely unique as any of the masters. It wasn't influenced by any of the aformentioned because Blood is one of those aformentioned. From the same land, the same headspace, the same values, the same struggle, but on his own individual journey and path. Other tunes like "Come On," "You Know, I Know" and "The Hustle Is On," swing in a loose, heady rockin' style that will get the room jumping. The two highlights that make this disc an absolutely essential recording for 2003 are "Ghetto Child" and "Trouble In Mind." Any description would fall short from doing them justice. All I'll say is buy the disc and dig for yourself. That there is the real deal. As deep, as soulful and as blue as the blues get! No Escape From the Blues for sure...

5-0 out of 5 stars Christagau's review informs us
Vernon Reid's bid to turn Ulmer into the ranking 21st-century bluesman phase two... New York. .. Reid's banjo cakewalking away with "Goin' to New York".... the tap solo and Olu Dara cameo that break up the famed "Bright Lights, Big City," ...Jimmy Reed songs. Ulmer solos. ... Read more


18. Best There Ever Was: Legendary Early Blues
list price: $17.98
our price: $17.98
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Asin: B0000AGWIQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 75277
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19. Folks, He Sure Do Pull Some Bow! Vintage Fiddle Music 1927-1935: Blues, Jazz, Stomps, Shuffles & Rags
list price: $18.98
our price: $18.98
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Asin: B000058TAS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 52895
Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

A fantastic collection of old-time music, "Folks, He Sure DoPull Some Bow!" captures vintage fiddle music at that rarecrossroads where the blues, jazz, and something that would one day becalled folk were all in their infancy. For fiddle virtuosos performingbetween 1927 and 1935, quite simply, anything goes. Banjo IkeyRobinson's red hot "My Four Reasons" swings with humor and pizzazz,the State Street Boys' "Rustlin' Man" features the down-and-out bluesvocals and fiddling of Big Bill Broonzy , and the Mississippi Sheiks'jazzy, but blues-inspired "Lazy Lazy River" musically straddles bothsides of the Mason Dixon Line. For many listeners, the more esoterictracks will stick out: Bo Chatman (a.k.a. double-entendre blues king Bo Carter) is heardfiddling behind Alec Johnson's goofy vocals on "Sister Maud Mule" (andin the spotlight on his own "Good Old Turnip Greens"); the GeorgiaYellow Hammers' "G Rag" is the product of a then-rare integratedrecording session; and Abrew's Portuguese Instrumental Trio performs"Cabo Verdranos Peca Nove" with incredible fiddling on what must be oneof the first attempts at a crossover world-music disc. It's allhere--great remastering, in-depth liner notes, and wonderful playing. Eachrelease from Old Hat--Violin, Sing the Blues forMe and Music from the Lost Provinces--feels definitive, and this gem iscertainly no different. --Jason Verlinde ... Read more

Reviews (5)

1-0 out of 5 stars If you want to hear "fiddle" music don't buy this!
This is a review for normal people. If you are a fan of standard fiddle do not buy this CD. It is a bunch of badly recorded, half hearted, boring and sloppy songs thrown together on an overpriced CD. Save yourself $... or if you like this type of music just go buy some old Little Rascals episodes on DVD. Then you will get the same music you hear on this plus the bonus of the Little Rascals. Now I know why we think of Blues guitar players not fiddle players when this music is discussed. The other reviewers seem to think some of the names on this CD will be familiar to you. Don't believe them, unless names like "Abrew's Portuguese Instrumental Trio" or "Dixieland Jug Blowers" are familiar to you. I am just hoping to prevent normal music lovers from stepping into this pile and losing $... like I did. I play banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dulcimer and guitar all badly, but I could get a gig with these bands and probably improve their sound. If you are the artsy type that digs this kind of stuff and you can't wait to grow a goatee, turn the lights down low, fill the room with smoke (oops, bad for your health), put your sunglasses on and crank this baby up; I hope you don't mind being stuck by yourself all the time because no one else is going to put up with this lousy music. Go find something with Chubby Wise in it if you want to hear some real fiddle playing. Help support some little known, up and coming fiddle players that need to buy food and pay rent with royalty checks by buying their music instead of making these labels, that get this junky music for free or almost free, super rich.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth the check
The music on this cd is fun, its interesting, and its instructive. More than that, it is vital music for anyone who wants to understand the musical culture of this country in general, and the history of fiddling, the blues, jazz, and much much more. Black fiddling along with Black banjo playing were vital forces in black music across the scale from classical to delta blues. Now people are surpised there is sucha thing as black fiddling, or blues fiddling. Listen to this music. More than that, the music here is good to listen to. If you think you know the blues, you will recognize familiar names of Lonnie Johnson and Big Bill Broonzy. You get to hear both of them hear playing their first instrument, the fiddle!
But all this music is a lot of fun

In response to some comment, I have played bluegrass and old timey music for about 40 years, and also play guitar, banjo, mandolin, and fiddle, the first two well enough to play with recording artists since around 1967.

This is not white country music. It is black country music and some black proto Jazz. Professional bluegrass fiddlers and professional violinists I know who I have introduced to this record think it is amazing, interesting, and educational. It is just nice to listen to as well.

Anyone familiar with African American blues music, jug band music, or 1920s and 1930s two-beat Jazz will find familiar figures on this record. If you don't know who Lonnie Johnson and Big Bill Broonzy are, you are seriously uneducated about American music, not just African american music.

BTW Fiddling encompasses all non-classical styles of playing the violin, not just white "country" and bluegrass styles.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow, did this one sneak up on me!
After the first song or two, I was almost ready to shut this off... almost, that is. The way it started out, it had about as much sound quality as a scratchy old background soundtrack to a Little Rascals movie.

But by the third song, I was hooked. Wow, this stuff is amazing. This is blues at its heart, pure and unadorned, and gushing forth with an energy that its high-fidelity counterparts can't hope to match.

And what a treasure trove of unknown gems! I find myself listening to this album over and over -- whether in the background or at the center of my attention, it mysteriously seems to work both ways.

Get this album!

5-0 out of 5 stars Fabulous set of African-American fiddle music
Another astonishing album from the truly great, tiny independent Old Hat label... This features rare old recordings of fiddle music, some old-timey and some straight blues, made during the height of the Great Depression. There are a few familiar names, such as Peetie Wheatstraw and Peg Leg Howell, but for the most part this is pretty ultra-obscure material (even including one track of music by immigrants from Cape Verde (!) This is high-quality stuff, and comes with generously informative liner note... Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Oh, scrape them strings!
Compliments to Marshall Wyatt and his fledgling label. He's batting 1000 so far. This CD and the other two releases on Old Hat are wonderful pieces of American musical history. This one gives a wonderfully broad listen to the many voices of the nation's fiddling. It'll wake you up and set your synapses to dancing! ... Read more


20. Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000002BJF
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 20113
Average Customer Review: 4.05 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A magic night (May 11, 1995) on PBS's Austin City Limits translates superbly to disc for this heartfelt and soulful salute from a Hall of Fame crew led by B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, and Dr. John.Brother Jimmy's elegant "Texas Flood," Raitt's kick-ass "Pride and Joy," and the amiable collective jams on "Six Strings Down" and "SRV Shuffle" are all highlights. --Jeff Bateman ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Tribute Fit For A Guitar King
Before August 27, 1990 I had never really had to cope with death. Although this was not a family member or friend it was still someone I had grown up with, and on. Stevie Ray Vaughan has a special place in my life. His music stays with me until this day.

The amount of friends he had and how they came together was amazing. This was by far the best tribute album as far as talent. There are amazing players on here. It's worth the buy even if you aren't a fan of his, but the blues itself.

Artists include: Bonnie Raitt, Jimmie Lee Vaughan, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, and Dr. John.

The last three tracks are great and they feature all the players on the album playing in unison. This is a delight for fans of the particular artists to hear such a unique live JAM session. All in all this is a fitting, emotional tribute to a man whose guitar magic still lives on inside my soul.

5-0 out of 5 stars An All-Star Tribute To Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Ray Vaughan without a doubt is one of the greatest blues guitarist, and song writers that ever lived. I have been a long time Stevie Ray Vaughan fan when the tribute CD came out I was anxious to here people like jimmie vaughan, bonnie rait, bb. king, eric clapton, robert cray, and dr.john. I bought this not too long ago since I have never got around to it. I have been so caught up with newer releases like the Stevie Ray Vaughan Box Set that I forget to buy some of that other stuff. Anyways I thought in all this CD was another great thing that happened to the blues power of steive ray vaughan.

The guitarist's on here are truely great all of them have a different style thats what I really liked about this CD no one copied stevie note for note or tried to be just like him because every guitarist is different from another. The first track on this CD is Bonnie Raitt: Pride And Joy. Her version was way different from Stevie's but it was good to here a new flavor with some slide guitar. The second track is Jimmie Vaughan: Texas Flood. I also loved his texas guitar slinging playing it sounded like he was picking with his hands it was really cool. One of my favorites though is the next song performed by B.B King titled Telephone Song here is the coolest blues jam. The next one is titled Long Way Home by Buddy Guy. My favorite song on this album was Eric Clapton's version of Ain't Gone 'N Give Up On Your Love. Then their was Robert Cray's Love Struck Baby, Dr. John Cold Shot, All of the guitarist for Six String Down, All of the guitarist for Tick Tock, and all of the guitairist for the SRV Shuffle. Dont get me wrong this is one of the best tribute CD's that was ever put together their is great blues guitar playing on here any true fan, or guitarist would want. Highly Recomended!!

4-0 out of 5 stars sounding to much like Stevie
i think when you do a tribute album you should do the songs in your own way. some people did but for the most part the play it the way he did. eric claptons song sound just like texas flood. dr john what the best becuase he did the song on a paino so it was diffrent. if you like the bkues you will like this album.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pointless cash in
It may have been a good idea to put on a tribute concert to SRV, and I hope the proceeds (and the proceeds from the sale of this CD, the VHS, the DVD etc. etc.) go to a worthy charity - although, since it isn't mentioned on the tin, I doubt they will - but in any case it doesn't reward the listening.

Each one of the featured artists is great in his or her own right, and if you want to catch some of that greatness, then buy the artist's own CD. Same goes for Stevie Ray Vaughan. But don't buy this.

Just give this record the swerve - if you already own everything else by the artists concerned, by a book or something, and improve yourself.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great tribute to a great artist!
I recently repurchased this cd & listened to it from start to finish. Funny, but I don't remember it sounding this good when I first owned it. It still amazes me that all this talent could be assembled in one place - it speaks volumes about their love and admiration for Stevie. This is a great primer for someone interested in blues music, but unfamiliar with some of the artists on this disc. Each has a very distinctive style and sound. I'm not a huge fan of Jimmie Vaughan, but I have to admit "Six Strings Down" (about the tragic accident that killed Stevie) touched me more than any other song. All the artists sound in top form - none of them are just going through the motions. Truly a great tribute to a great artist! ... Read more


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