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    $25.99 $19.74 list($28.98)
    1. The Carter Family: 1927-1934
    $13.49 $10.97 list($16.98)
    2. A Love Song for Bobby Long
    $13.99 $13.43 list($18.98)
    3. Fever for the Bayou
    $12.99 $9.35 list($13.98)
    4. The Ultimate Collection
    $13.99 $11.89 list($15.98)
    5. Canyon Trilogy: Native American
    $20.99 $18.41 list($24.98)
    6. The Complete Recordings
    $14.99 $7.99 list($18.98)
    7. Damn Right, I've Got The Blues
    $14.99 $9.77 list($16.98)
    8. Nine Lives
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    9. Can the Circle Be Unbroken?: Country
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    10. Capitol Collectors Series: Louis
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    11. His Best (Chess 50th Anniversary
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    12. Riding with the King
    $10.99 $8.49 list($11.98)
    13. Super Session
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    14. His Best: 1947 to 1955
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    15. Lightning in a Bottle
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    16. The Very Best Of John Lee Hooker
    $22.99 $13.80 list($24.98)
    17. Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan
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    18. Texas Flood
    $13.98 $9.54
    19. Lie to Me
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    20. Hoodoo Man Blues

    1. The Carter Family: 1927-1934
    list price: $28.98
    our price: $25.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005TPB7
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4493
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Their setup was primitive enough--guitar, Autoharp, and vocals--but in the late '20s the trio of A.P. Delaney Carter, his wife Sara, and his sister-in-law Maybelle would change (chart?) the course of country music forever. They did it with haunting harmonies, incredible guitar playing (thanks to Maybelle's driving strums on her Gibson L-5 guitar), and a vast repertoire that included murder ballads, gospel tunes, love songs, and Appalachian folk tunes--many of which would be covered by musicians for decades to come. Unlike their musical peers in the late '20s and early '30s, the Carters weren't just playing "hillbilly" music; this was, quite simply, country music, and their timeless output still resonates with listeners today. JSP's bargain-priced, five-CD collection is easily the most complete, essential collection of their music available, capturing and remastering their RCA Victor recordings (their later, less-seminal sessions for Decca and the American Record Company are not included). Hearing five CDs' worth of music from the Carter Family is almost sensory overload--from the initial 1927 Bristol sessions, which Johnny Cash hailed as "the single most important event in the history of country music," to their depression-era recordings. Even today, Sara Carter's voice sounds aching, yet empowered. Whether they're yodeling through "The Foggy Mountain Top," singing a feminist anthem like "Single Girl, Married Girl," or harmonizing with Maybelle on "Worried Man Blues," you can hear the Carters' profound influence on country music. A must-have. --Jason Verlinde ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The real song catchers, dont miss this at this price!
    This is just about 1/2 to 2/3 of the hundreds of records that the Carters made between 1927 and 1941. Sara Carter later remembered they had made more than 600 records during those years. At the end of 1941, they all went their separate ways: Sara just to get out of the music and live with her new husband in Central California. AP returned to Maces Springs to run a general store and to try to get his relectant sons and daughter to play and sing music. Maybelle and her daughters kept playing Carter Family music until daughter June passed away last year.

    I have just listened to every CD on this set one by one. Even though I have been playing this kind of music since the 1960s, even though I have had this or that single disc Carter Collection, even though I am judged as some kind of expert on old time music by some, I was shocked at how many tunes that I know as old time music tunes or bluegrass tunes identified with other artists were Carter Family versions of those tunes.

    The Carters performed an immense service for the history and preservation of traditional American music, black and white.
    They were not allowed to record already copywritten and published songs since Ralph Peer who recorded them for Victor Bluebird only got paid for publishing rights and could take only tunes he could claim publishing rights to. At the beginning the Carters were not such great song writers, although in the later 1930s when they began living in Del Rio Texas and broadcasting over Mexican border radio, they did write a number of great songs.

    AP Carter traveled up and down the hills and hollers, mountains and valleys of Southern Virginia, Tennesee, North Carolina, and Kentucky asking Black and white working people, farmers, musicianers of all kinds, if they had songs for them to record. During the times late in the years covered by this set, when AP moved to Detroit to get cash paying work, and when his brother Eck and his wife Maybelle moved to DC where Eck got railroad work, they asked Southern people in those towns for songs.

    During much of this time AP travelled with Leslie Riddle a black blues guitarist so that they were able to find songs African Americans as well as whites had in their hearts and minds. The Carters accepted Leslie as an equal. He lived in their home like a family member defying the Jim Crow Ettitique of the times. The Carters were all solid anti-confederate Lincoln Republicans. AP's dying words were "Don't vote Democrat" which in 1960 in Virginia meant don't vote Dixiecrat.

    Old AP used to delight in the relatively small royalty checks all these songs brought him in the 1950s which he dutifully divided with Sara and Maybelle, even though all the songs were in his name. It is too bad he died in 1960 just before the folk revival brought all these songs back onto hundreds of records by folk singers, then by bluegrassers, then by country Western artists. Those checks would have gotten a lot bigger.



    People brought these songs to the Carters, mostly to AP and Leslie Riddle, singing them on their porches, or in juke joints, or often when AP would stop after hearing a rumor that used saw mill parts could be obtained at a good price, something he was obessed with. Some folks did bring them the songs in yellowed old sheet music with crackled paper from the 19th Century, or as pages cut out of poetry books published deep in the past. Some of them would go back stage at the little school house and church shows the Carters did in the mountain towns during the depression and gave an old ballad not sung since their grandparents time. Some of them would request a song that the Carters didn't know, and AP might ask them to sing the tune right then and there.

    On top of this, of course, AP Carter had been known since he was a boy for singing songs, teaching singing schools, being willing to walk all day up and down the Southside Virginia mountains to find a good singer or good music. This is how he found Sara Addington, his wife who was a hell of a singer. Then when AP's brother married Maybelle Addington who was known as the best guitar and banjo picker in the valleys around there (and no slouch on the fiddle and mandolin too)since she was a teenager (and she was only 18 when the Carters began recording) they were set. This may have been a plot, because a lot of the time AP would go up and over the mountains up and down walking all day to court a reluctant Sara, she would be sitting in the parlor singing or playing the autoharp, or learning guitar chords, along with her cousin Maybelle's guitar, banjo, or fiddle.

    AP Carter was the real song catcher. These were a few of the hundreds of songs he caught, a few that were written by himself, Sara, and Maybelle.

    So this is, in fact, an encyclopedia of the songs that were sung by Black and white working folks, farmers, musicians, rounders, up and down the mountains of Viriginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentcuky and the songs migrants took with them to Washington and Detroit. This is a treasure trove for anyone wnating to return to the lost world of those people, or to find songs from those years that speak to our lives and problems. Besides they are pretty good to listen to!

    One good thing about this collection is that you hear a lot of the tunes they did in finger picking and slide guitar styles that Maybelle learned from Leslie Riddle. A lot of modern performers do them just flat picking, or the thumb and strum style Maybelle is best known for.

    At this price, everyone with ears needs this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If at all interested - PURCHASE!!!!
    This collection is simply one the best bargains you can possibly get - The music is great obviously and the price and the sound are tops - I can not reccomend this set more highly

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great price, great content!
    I listened to these CDs in one sitting, it was so captivating. JSP has done a very good job at remastering, and if you want a comparison then go to www.honkingduck.com, click on 78s, then click on Artist, then click on C to get to the Carter Family. They have entire songs from original 78 records as well as from tapes from original records. Listen to the samples on Amazon and compare them to the originals. The remastering is so good that you can hear Maybelle's nails on the strings of her guitar, and you can hear Sara's autoharp ringing in the background.

    This set is 100% recommended.

    If you want to listen to the roots of our musical heritage, listen to the Carter family!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Musical History
    I read the book "Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?" by Mark Zwonitner which is an outstanding history of the Carter Family. The Original Carter Family broke up when I was 5 years old so I had only heard very little about the Orginal Family but became very familar with Mother Maybelle and her daughters. After reading the book I shopped around and found this 5 CB set of the remastered RCA recordings. By the time you get to the #5 CD you fully understand what an impact the folks had the music industry. A.P., Sara, and Maybelle probably never realized how good they were at the time these songs were recorded. All these recording were done with primitive equipment and I would imagine most all were done on one take using a single microphone. There are several songs included in these recording that will absolutely knock your socks off if you listen to them a couple of times and listen closely. If you enjoy the music of Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff and other legends do yourself a favor and get the Carter Family RCA recordings.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable value!
    This is one of those stunning bargains which leaves you with gaping jaws and a big smile, if that's possible. For the price of TWO cds you get FIVE instead, all packed with 70 plus minutes of Carter Family gems, all in chronological order, and with fabulous sound quality which is BETTER than the American Rounder releases (and those releases only have about 45 minutes of music - I know, I bought some of them!). Can this really all be true? YES! It's true. The only thing you don't get in this dirt cheap box set is decent sleeve notes, but I'm not going to complain!
    As for the actual music, it's unmissable early country music sung and played by Sara and Maybelle Carter with the help of A P Carter, husband of Sara. It has a deep magic about it - try a few if you never heard them, they'll hypnotise you. The harmonies are splendid, the guitars are luminous, it's pure like a mountain stream. You cannot go wrong with this one! ... Read more


    2. A Love Song for Bobby Long
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006SST72
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 431
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Lovely songs; Sleeper Film.
    This is very nice compilation of thoughtful ballads, some of lesser known singers and writers.Travolta can carry a tune (it would appear).His singing meshes well with his character in this charming movie.All things considered, this is a rathr good, enjoyable film.I especially like the numerous literary references.I am commenting on both the soundtrack and film, as both are worry of listening and viewing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Grayson Capps
    This is an incredible soundtrack not to mention a great little independent film. Don't listen to the critics on this one because the majority of them are flat out wrong. There should be more movies like this with compelling stories, strong acting and sweet music. Much better than the blockbuster trash that's so prevalant today. Anyhow, check out the soundtrack if only for the great New Orleans singer/songwriter Grayson Capps -- who's a little known gem from that historic music town. The rest of the soundtrack is worthy too...with tracks by Thalia Zedek, Trespassers William (another little known band that is pretty incredible), Los Lobos, Nada Surf, lots of rare blues and two sweet little songs by John Travolta. I couldn't have made a better mix of music myself! ... Read more


    3. Fever for the Bayou
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007QJ1IO
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 700
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Houma homeboy Tab Benoit may have snuck up on some blues fans, but his status as the best and brightest of modern Louisiana bluesmen is now too obvious for any to ignore. His swamp-saturated sound and incisive Telecaster attack, also heard on the Whiskey Store and Whiskey Store Live dueling-guitar albums with Jimmy Thackery, easily personalizes classics, such as Elmore James's "I Can't Hold Out," featured here with saxist Jimmy Carpenter. But Benoit's at his best with the bayou beat. As on 2003's The Sea Saint Sessions, Benoit spotlights the musical heritage of New Orleans by using two guest vocalists who are Crescent City icons: Mardi Gras Indian "Big Chief" Monk Boudreaux and dynastic percussionist/vocalist/composer Cyrille Neville. Boudreaux vocally parades through "Golden Crown" at a fittingly funky Mardi Gras tempo, while Neville provides two songs: the percussion-embellished "Little Girl Blues" and the history lesson "The Blues Is Here to Stay," on which he vocally duets with Benoit between some of the album's best guitar work.

    Buddy Guy's "I Smell a Rat" is the album's longest track as Benoit, beginning with a tasty intro, takes his most extended guitar workout, conjuring up a late-night blues club feel in the process. Benoit also contributes three originals, including the zydeco-tinged title track, an anthem of Cajun pride that serves him well as a signature song. Also his is the swamp stomper "Night Train," the album opener. At the other end is a surprise finale, a sublime front-porch, finger-picking acoustic rendition of "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It". --Michael Point ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get The Fever
    If you like Tab Benoit, The Blues or Cajun Spiced Music you will LOVE this CD.In fact, buy TWO--- one for yourself and one to impress your friends with your great taste in music!It is worth every cent.

    4-0 out of 5 stars I like this.
    I liked this cd from start to finish.It starts out with night train,a song that strangley reminds me of creedence.I also like the blues song i smell a rat.I think tab is one of the finest new blues guitar players today.Get this if your into the blues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Possibly his best CD yet
    Tab quickly became one of my favorite guitarists when I first heard him, and this new CD shows that he is still getting better.He is one of those all-too-rare musicians that can make you stop whatever else you might be doing and just listen."I Smell a Rat" is my favorite Buddy Guy song and I wasn't sure how Tab would do with it, but his version is excellent.Any blues fan should buy this immediately.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Killer
    His best CD yet...I've been playing it for several days now....Very few cd's make that cut. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Blues from the heart
    This is great! You could start and finish your review with that simple statement. I always admired Mr. Benoit work, however from my point of view this has to be his best effort to date. This album is one of the best blues CD I have ever came across. Marvellous guitar playing and even better singing throughout the entire work. If you are looking for a true "blues" CD, a blues CD with the capital "B", played the way it meant to be, do not waste your time looking for more, you have found it. More than very highly recommended this is just an essential purchase for all the blues fan around the word. For sure one of the best release so far in 2005 and maybe one of the best ever. Just pick it up and you wont be disappointed. ... Read more


    4. The Ultimate Collection
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $12.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    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


    5. Canyon Trilogy: Native American Flute Music
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000136Z
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 833
    Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    Nakai's free improvisations on this album are based on his impressions of the Anasazi and Sinagua sites, ancient cliff dwellings that were home to communities of Native people thousands of years ago. By using the Roland SDE 3000 Digital Delay system, Nakai is able to play duets with his own echo, in an effort to emulate the echoes of the past that haunt these ruins. On this recording, Nakai's flute sounds even more plaintive than usual, as if the spirits of these forgotten ancestors had entered into the studio to fill his playing with the whispered reverberations of their ancient ways. This is one of Nakai's most deeply felt recordings, one that resonates with a deep, melancholy yearning. --j. poet ... Read more

    Reviews (37)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Canyon Trilogy
    After a day of stiff competition at the Student Trial Lawyers Association competion in Albuquerque, New Mexico, our team went down to "Old Town" where Nakai's "Canyon Trilogy" was being broadcast outside one of "Old Town's" quaint stores. The music was so relaxing I found myself "drifting off" into a semi-conscious state between awareness and sleep...it was the most relaxing experience that I had had since beginning law school. I immediately went into the store where I purchased the CD. Being interested in Native American culture and spirituality I find Nakai's music to be truly a "spiritual experience" and would highly recommed it! I plan on purchasing more...

    4-0 out of 5 stars Thanks For The Introduction To Mehdi
    I've always enjoyed Nakai and this album is no exception, but while reading some of the customer recommendations posted on this page I discovered an artist by the name of Mehdi (pronounced meddie). After some investigation I found his site (SoothingMusic.Com) and listened to the samples...
    I was instantly blown away by the quality of this music and so I gave it a try and now that I have listened to his CDs several times I really must say that although I'm still a Nakai fan I find Mehdi to be a tad more interesting. I have them both in my multi-disc CD player and love the way they compliment each other. I highly recommend that you give this artist a try or atleast just go listen to the samples, I have a feeling you'll be glad you did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kick back
    After a long days work, this is what I pop into the cd player, when I just want to relax. Beautiful and soothing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enthralling!
    Of all the many CD's I own, from classical to pop rock to New Age, this is one of the most beautiful I've ever heard! Uplifting, ethereal, and soul-expanding, I recommend it highly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Takes Care of My Day
    I am so pleased to have this CD in my collection. I listen at work when stress builds to overload, at night when I have difficulty sleeping. A few minutes of Mr. Nakai music and my soul is restored. The flute, in the hands of an artist like Mr. Nakai, is a gift to everyone trying to survive today's mad pace. ... Read more


    6. The Complete Recordings
    list price: $24.98
    our price: $20.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000002757
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1214
    Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    This two-CD box contains all 41 recordings Johnson made, including 12 alternate takes, and each cut remains a classic. This set's release in 1990 caused quite a stir, selling more than 500,000 copies, and, on the basis of endorsements from Eric Clapton and Keith Richards, introduced a great number of rock fans to Delta blues. Amazingly, Johnson built his enormous legacy on the strength of just two recording sessions: the first session, in November of 1936, produced among others "I Believe I'll Dust My Broom," "Sweet Home Chicago," "Cross Road Blues," and "Walkin' Blues," making it perhaps the most influential single session in blues history.--Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

    Reviews (84)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Invaluable document of a great talent
    The irony of Robert Johnson's superstar status is hard to miss. He was almost completely ignored by the music-buying public of his day, even in the market his records were aimed at. Yet in the present day, he's practically the only country blues artist most people know about. On one level, this is because of relentless championing by other blues artists, not least Eric Clapton. On another level, Johnson's fame rests on the fact that he was able to write, or more properly pull together from his various mentors and influences, his songs and make them complete unto themselves. His songs have made an impact, and have been covered time and again by countless artists. That counts for something.

    Part of who Robert Johnson was as a singer and songwriter is obscured by his legend, which has been retold so often it borders on cliche. But even after the hype has been dismissed, this box set shows Johnson as a powerful, innovative, soulful blues man, a great performer and a great songwriter (in the context of blues songwriting) with his own unique sound.

    Johnson was not without his influences, and if he had lived he would have told you that himself. However, the interesting thing was that he managed to transform his influences and personalize them into his own vision of the blues, a blues that was one of the first steps away from country blues toward city blues - a vision that would eventually become Chicago blues.

    It has been fashionable in blues circles to put Robert Johnson down recently, and to gripe about how Johnson's influences should be as well known as he is. This is a valid point. However, Johnson became an influence himself, and as such, he still deserves a good deal of respect. This box set, which contains every recording he is known for, is a just tribute to a brilliant singer, songwriter and performer.

    The remastering is surprisingly good, considering the sources. Johnson's voice and guitar playing come through vividly and illustrate his wealth of talent. The only possible drawback to this box set, for the casual listener, is the number of alternate takes included. They show that Johnson was an adept performer, because a lot of the alternates are similar to the "released" versions. This showed that he was no closet bluesman or flash-in-the-pan, but was adept at entertaining an audience. And to this day his guitar playing is astonishingly fluid and innovative. However, the repetitiveness of the alternate takes can become trying to people who are not students of the blues, and for the casual listener a single-disc set would probably be sufficient.

    This box set, is, and remains, a worthy overview of a talent that received its due far too late. I would advise the listener not to be put off by people who would place Johnson's influences over him, but to listen to Johnson on his own merits. My guess is that he'll win you over, as he has generations of listeners.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the 29 most influential songs of the 20th century
    Robert Johnson is most emulated of the Mississippi bluesmen and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. His inovative guitar style was extensively copied by the early rock stars and and has continued to influence modern musicians. When a country hick named Elvis Presley was auditioning for Sun Records in the early 50s he played several Robert Johnson tunes. Other musicians deeply influenced by Johnson include Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, Fleetwood Mac, the Rolling Stones and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

    Johnson had very large hands so his songs are almost impossible to immitate due to the incredible difficulty of fretting them. Keith Richards said "I was hearing two guitars, and it took me a long time to realize he was actually doing it all by himself." According to legend Johnson got his amazing guitar skills by selling his soul to the Devil at a Mississippi crossroads one evening in 1930. People say the evidence is in songs like Crossroad Blues, Up Jumped the Devil, Me and the Devil Blues, and Hell Hound on My Trail. Johnson had only recorded these 29 songs before he was poisoned by a jealous husband in 1938 when he was only 26 years old.

    Johnson's songs are characterized by an intensity of raw emotion and incredible creativity. The lyrics are haunted and really stick in your mind. My favorites are Crossroad Blues, Last Fair Deal Gone Down and of course, Love in Vain, one of the most beutiful blues songs ever written. No true blues fan would deny that Robert Johnson was the greatest bluesman of all time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best blues I have ever heard!
    This is one of the first blues C.D.s I ever bought, and it is the best. I have since perchaced C.D.s by Muddy Waters, Charley Patton, Son House, Skip James, Blind Lemon Jefferson and several others, and while they are all very good none of them are as good as Robert Johnson. I definitely recomend this to anyone even slightly interested in the bles.

    I would like to point out that the reviewer calling himself Tony Thomas is RACIST. I have read several of his reviews and he uses the term "bleus lovers" derisively put into quotes to refer to whites. When he says real blues people he obviously is talking about blacks. These slightly hidden racist slurs and his general tone is elitist and offensive. I would have thought that amazon would be ethical enough not to post this sort of RACIST PROPAGANDA!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Music Ever!
    In ''Robert Johnson : The Complete Recordings'', you will hear the most powerful blues there is. Robert Johnson's music is more than great, it's magic, it's indefinable. I've never heard anything like that and I know I never will find anything similar. He creates a blues world of his own where everything is possible. He brings you in his visions, his fears, his joys, his hopes, his loves, his travels... Also, his guitar skills are fantastic, his emotion is truely unique and his lyrics really define the everyday life of a traveling black blues musician in the 30's and also visions (or not) he had (Me And The Devil Blues, Hell Hound On My Trail, Cross Road Blues), inspiring incredibly dark and superb lyrics of an artist who died way too young.

    Most people know Robert Johnson's story, so I'm not going to write it A G A I N, but I would just like to say to people who think Robert Johnson's music sucks because 'his singing is bad, he plays acoustic, he sings stupidities and the sound quality is awful' that they prove their lack of musical culture. Robert Johnson is without a doubt an icon in blues music, and music in general. He's - to me - the greatest musician ever (whatever the time period or the style). This Complete Recordings is definitely an item you should own, but we aware that the sound quality isn't as good as modern CDs (that box set was issued in 1990, and the tracks come from 78's of the 30's), but the music inside is extremelly powerful. Also be aware that this box set, who's said to contain each Robert Johnson's takes, actually doesn't contain 'Traveling Riverside Blues (take 2), which does appear on a more recent compilation called 'I'm A Steady Rollin' Man' (who also has the 41 other tracks available here). But that's a very small complaint, since they haden't yet realized - back in 1990 - that the second take of that song was on the 1961 LP : King Of The Delta Blues Singers.

    However, this item is great and is one you should have in your collection. Whatever the kind of music you listen to, you will find yourself in admiration before the legacy a certain Robert Johnson left more than sixty-five years ago...

    1-0 out of 5 stars Statistics for statistics buffs, not music
    Look: There are forty-one tracks on this album, but only twenty-nine songs. How to account for the discrepancy? Well, I can't. All I can say is that someone who wants to listen to multiple takes IN A ROW of the same songs EVERY TIME he listens to an album is NOT interested in music. Next time, if we really have to have alternate takes, let's confine them to a separate disc, please. Thank you very much. ... Read more


    7. Damn Right, I've Got The Blues
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B0007VBF24
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2376
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    This guest-studded CD relaunched Buddy Guy's career and set him toward the pinnacle of contemporary blues. Despite turns from Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, and others, it's Guy who burns brightest--and loudest. He delivers roaring, exuberant performances of classic R&B ("Mustang Sally"), old-time blues ("Black Night"), and house rockers ("Where Is the Next One Coming From"). Most poignant, though, is his seven-minute instrumental "Rememberin' Stevie," which not only rekindles the fiery spirit of his own youth, but pays sensitive tribute to his late friend and admirer Stevie Ray Vaughan. This is the blueprint for Guy's current performing style. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where's Jeff Beck???
    This is the expanded edition of what is already a classic blues album. All in all the expanded edition is OK. It was remastered by George Marino, who has remastered a lot of catalogs, most importantly the Led Zeppelin catalog. This edition sounds a little better than the old CD, but not that much. The two extra tracks are really outstanding. One is an instrumental jam where Buddy really lets loose and the other is a nice cover of Guitar Slim. No horns or big production, just Buddy and the band on these two. The big letdown: in 'Mustang Sally' Jeff Beck's contribution has been edited out completely!!! All the fills and his solo. Why, what happened???

    5-0 out of 5 stars How About Ten Stars
    Next to B. B. King, Buddy Guy is the greatest living bluesman, and this is his finest album. When he is on his game, as he is here, Guy is an absolutely astounding electric guitarist. Some of his solos suggest what Jimi Hendrix would have sounded like if he had lived past his twenties. But that is really beside the point. Guy doesn't need Hendrix comparisons to validate his work. Guy, who remains the epitome of Chicago blues, playsguitar with all of the vitality, sorrow, humour, passion, anger, pain, and transcendance that he can muster, and the end result is just marvelous, thrilling music. And there is not a throwaway song on the entire CD. If there is a better blues CD out there, I don't know what it could possibly be. This is a CD that will never age. ... Read more


    8. Nine Lives
    list price: $16.98
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    Asin: B00080Z5S4
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1869
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    Album Description

    Sacramento-based blues, swing and jump masters Little Charlie & The Nightcats have much in common with their feline counterparts. They take great (musical) leaps and always land on their feet, they’re constantly on the prowl (gigging all over the world), and, with all of the various styles of music they play, they seem to have many lives.Their new CD, NINE LIVES, is the ninth album of their remarkable career.

    It’s been over 30 years since world-class musicians guitarist Little Charlie Baty and harmonicist/vocalist/songwriter Rick Estrin first teamed up and took hard Chicago blues, jump, Texas swing and jazz and mixed it with rockabilly, proto-rock’n’roll, jumping jive, bebop and Estrin’s sharply original lyrics, creating a sound one critic described as "Charlie Christian playing in Little Walter’s band." Their utter mastery of American roots music is fueled by Baty’s jaw-dropping guitar acrobatics and driven by Estrin’s captivating original songs, cutting vocals and brilliant harmonica playing. The new CD, NINE LIVES, features 13 original songs—including three smoking instrumentals—and showcases the band’s constantly growing repertoire and chops. ... Read more


    9. Can the Circle Be Unbroken?: Country Music's First Family
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B00004RC8J
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 10067
    Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    Like so many Americans during the Depression, the Carter Family found themselves forced to stay in motion throughout the 1930s. Rural economies, the locales where country music had taken root, were hit unusually hard by the economic crash. The Carters left their original record label just prior to recording the first 17 of the 20 tunes on Can the Circle Be Unbroken, joining ARC for long enough to prodigiously churn out material they'd previously recorded. The 17 ARC songs here were recorded over 3 days in May 1935, and all reveal a Carter Family growing musically comfortable with their execution on these tunes--especially the slight dronelike quality in Sara's voice, which sounds settled and at times almost languid. Maybelle's voice and guitar emphasize the appropriately unhurried pacing (this was the Depression, after all). As for the closing trio of tracks, they come from a post-Decca session during their short tenure at Columbia, and all bear the mark of greater vocal harmonies between Sara and Maybelle, as well as an increased pitch in the vocals that quickens the pace a tad. These are vitally important recordings, to be sure, a fine, more multihued complement to the band's '20s-era recordings. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Had enough of Britainy, Madona, Jacko and his sister?
    I recently discovered an alternative in Sara, Maybelle, and 'Doc'. Carter family songs have become an art form from an era when our country and its culture were great. Their music is familiar, simple, direct, down-home and unpretentious without a trace of immorality. Probably not for everybody and certainly a hard-sell to contemporary mainstream America, but I play the Carter Family continuously at work and home.

    The recordings on this CD are from their latter years, mid-1930's, and are superlative; among their best. The tempo is slower than their first records, and Sara's (lead singer's) natural pitch has dropped to alto; both very suitable to the music.

    The recording quality wasn't great in 1930, but the '78-record effect', quickly becomes unnoticeable. Sara's got The Voice, and Maybelle, of course, the guitar Style. Pure diamond from southwest Virginia!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Key to all subsequent country and folk records...
    These tracks were laid down in 1935 and 1940, mostly re-recordings of their first hits from 1927-34 with a different record company. So the trio had more confidence in their talents, but perhaps less spirit, as another reviewer noted. Recording quality is a tad better than the earlier stuff, as another reviewer mentioned. And since the group was active until the early '40's, this collection is limited...they preserved about 250 performances, and here you get 20. But if you only want one Carter CD for your collection, it's a fine choice. And if you care about roots music, how can you not have a Carter disc on the shelves? Founder A.P. Carter scoured the hills of Southern Virginia throughout the 20's and 30's, collecting mostly old songs from his neighbors, and copyrighting them with his arrangements. The original writers have mostly been lost to history, but the songs remain. Many of these can be found with different verses on recordings by other artists: "Worried Man Blues" eventually became "It Takes a Worried Man" for the Kingston Trio in the late 1950's. Woody Guthrie put some of his best lyrics to tunes found or written by the Carter Family, such as "Wildwood Flower" which was used for "Ballad of the Reuben James." Woody's song "Hesitating Beauty" on Billy Bragg's "Mermaid Avenue" collection, carries the tune of the Carters' "Lulu Walls". Whether Woody chose that, or Bragg, I don't know. But the Carter Family archive is still important, still enjoyable. There is a five-CD set of the Carters available for only twice the price of this one disc, so look up other offerings if you want an even better bargain. But if one hour of these country pioneers is all you think you need, don't worry about this one...it will serve you well. Maybelle Carter's guitar playing alone would make this a good buy, but add Sara's voice and autoharp and A.P.'s bass vocal accents, and it's a treasure.

    5-0 out of 5 stars TRUE!
    The Carter Family officially had 3 chart country hits-according to Billboard. Their legend goes far beyond that meaningless statistic. This CD features the original group (A.P., Maybelle and Sara) before their series of breakups and reformations with new family members. This particular album was recorded mostly in 1935 and is an absolute treasure. Others may complain about the quality of the sound-it comes across as old, perhaps even scratchy. To this reviewer, that only adds to the luster. It sounds authentic! One can just imagine the group playing in a roadside inn- on a rainy Saturday night- deep in Virginia just before WW2. The tight harmony and guitar work is timeless. High points here are "Wildwood Flower", "The Storms Are On the Ocean" and especially "Keep on the Sunny Side". It is easy to be subjective on that score. Others may have their own favorites among the 20 tracks. ... The group goes back so far and is so unique, so real, so basic, so early country that "true believers" should expose themselves to the Carters. It is just that simple.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Back to the basics of good music
    I've been a fan of Americana, Bluegrass, and folk music since childhood courtesy of my grandmother who introduced to me such wonderful artists such as The Carter Family, Roy Acuff, Grandpa Jones, Johnny Cash, and many others. This collection of the original Carter Family is a superb trip down memory lane and soothes the tortured soul with its simple vocals. I wish I could find some good documentaries or biographies of Carters on DVD or VHS.
    Every song is a wonderful piece of history and some even brought tears to my eyes as I recalled how grandma loved so many of them.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Stuff!!! May I Recommend Another Though
    Long before Victor dragged their wire recorders into the hills to record the Carters, Marion Try Slaughter had been recording music and some classics under the name of Vernon Dalhart, that were and still are the "original" country music torch bearers. He had the first million selling recording. I recommend his recordings, the ones grouped into country music genre, as he recorded 1600 songs, not a misprint or typo, one thousand six hundred songs between the years of 1916-1937.

    I beg all of you to try his recordings and Ernest V. Stoneman and family also. Least we not forget Bob Wills and his great band, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Bill Monroe, Johnny Western, Johnny Bond, Jimmy Rogers, etc. and of course the Carters.

    I find this type of music should be listened to often, and should be played in our homes so all can listen to these recordings. God only let these people such as Alvin Pleasant Carter and his family adorn his Earth for just an eyeblink. As we are all here for just that much time really, enjoy the finer things that we can---this record is one of those things. ... Read more


    10. Capitol Collectors Series: Louis Prima
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
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    Asin: B000002UWF
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1854
    Average Customer Review: 4.93 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    Band leader and lounge kingpin Louis Prima will be best be known for the classic, "Just a Gigolo," immortalized by David Lee Roth for a whole new generation of swingers. But Prima's output went much further: in his day he recorded for Capitol, acted in a movie or two, even owned a golf course. Prima's genius is infectious: lounge, swing, and Dixieland all fuse together into medleys that are fun, dance-worthy, and upbeat. Prima's duets with Keely Smith are the obvious highlights here: "That Ol' Black Magic," "Hey Boy! Hey Girl!," and "I've Got You Under My Skin" are essential Prima tracks. Sure, the cheese factor occasionally runs high, but it is a fun trip. --Jason Verlinde ... Read more

    Reviews (59)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The joy of life!
    This disk rocks, and is packed with great, upbeat music. It brims with humor and spirit. Even though it runs for well over an hour, I feel let down when it's over.

    Unlike many of the people who have posted here before me, I have no particular interest in the swing revival, and I did not come across Louis Prima via Brian Setzer. Brian Setzer is, however, as good a link to Louis Prima as any. Prima was a mysterious figure who played heavily in the otherwise fictional 50's period Italian food film "Big Night" (1996). Intrigued, I bought this disk after seeing "Big Night" in the theatre.

    True, the song "Beep Beep" is dated and corny, but it differs from the rest of the disk only in its space-age subject matter and "otherworldly" slide-guitar sound effects. It was topical during the late-50's space race. Everything else holds up perfectly well over 40-plus years.

    Prima's band is tight, yet spontaneous and not sterile. He has a great onstage comic rapport with cohort Sam Butera, and also with his then-wife and straight-woman Keely Smith.

    Example on "Won't You Please Come Home" --

    Keely: (singing) "Won't you come get your baby..."

    Louis: (stage whisper aside to audience) "Call from 'The Point'."

    This disk is a must for any non-classical music lover with a pulse. This is in my top 5 CD's, out of perhaps 300 I own, and is certainly a "desert island disk." Deservedly, almost everyone on this page has given it 5 stars. It doesn't get any better than this, kids.

    5-0 out of 5 stars AN ALBUM YOU WILL TREASURE FOREVER!
    Long before Brian Setzer did "Jump Jive N' Wail," and David Lee Roth did "Just A Gigolo," there was Louis Prima. He is one of the most underated and unappreciated American musicians of the 20th century! Just listen to Setzer's and Roth's (but don't waste your money buying their CD's) versions of those songs, and then listen to Prima's. Not only did Roth and Setzer literally rip off Prima (because they did little to embellish on what Prima had already done), but Prima was making this music 40 years before them! However, this is a testament to Prima's immense talent because his music is as hip today as it was 40 years ago when he was one of the greatest shows in Vegas. Prima was also a gifted songwriter and trumpet player. His voice is unique and no one else has a style like him. The music on this CD covers Prima in his prime and the sound qaulity is excellent. There is a remarkable timelessness to this album because the recordings sound so spontaneous. This album will kick any party into high-gear and will always put a smile on your face. If you really want the real Mcoy when it comes to swing, then Prima's music can't be beat. Prima was a pioneer in swing/jazz who's time has come. He deserves more than just Gap commercials and soundtracks to movies. His place in American music needs to be redefined as one of the greats whose genius was just as immense as Sir Duke's and Dizzy's. Get this album and you'll see what I'm talking about and then tell your friends where the real Swing comes from.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Music Goes 'Round and Around
    Songs are performed between 1956 and 1962 by Sam Butera and The Witnesses and by Luigi's wife Keely Smith. All the classics are here "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody" gave Dave Lee Roth a hit, "Jump, Jive, An' Wail" was a big hit for "The Brian Setzer Orchestra", "Sing, Sing, Sing" for Benny Goodman Orchestra. This is goddamn great Jump Blues!

    5-0 out of 5 stars BOOM!
    If California has another power outage, just hook the generators up to this Louis Prima CD and pow!-- no energy crisis here! Louis is like that other Louis-- Satch of course-- juiced up on rocket fuel. Then you've got Sam Butera blowing the living daylights out of that howling sax. Keely Smith's clear smooth voice mellows it out a bit, but this thing jumps, jives, and wails all the way.

    With that crazy New Orleans-- or is it Neapolitan?-- rhythm going on behind him, and Butera growling for a few bars, it doesn't matter if this is jazz, lounge, or whatever, it's just infectious as can be. Oh, and by the way, Prima plays a mean trumpet himself. And he wrote "Sing, Sing, Sing"

    So for some screaming, super-hyped music, you simply can't pass this disc up.

    5-0 out of 5 stars so much fun
    Louie Prima was a true original. He's been copied but no one has quite matched this level of joyous lunacy. Buy this and have a blast. And catch his wife Keely in concert if you have a chance. ... Read more


    11. His Best (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection)
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B000005KQM
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1718
    Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Chester Burnett's ferocious growl was a staple of Chicago's electric-blues heyday. This 20-song compilation ranges from his 1951 debut "Moanin' at Midnight" with Willie Johnson on guitar to 1964's "Killing Floor" with Buddy Guy on guitar. His scratchy, sawed-off vocal approach and his energetic harmonica grace original classics such as "How Many More Years" and "Smokestack Lightnin'." By 1960, he became, along with Muddy Waters, the foremost interpreter of Willie Dixon's songs, lending his coarse voice to legendary Dixon cuts such as "Wang Dang Doodle," "Back Door Man," "Spoonful," "The Red Rooster," and "I Ain't Superstitious." Wolf's style was based on primal raw power, and he ranks among the genre's most distinctive performers. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

    Reviews (26)

    5-0 out of 5 stars essential
    Howlin' Wolf was already in his forties when he arrived in Chicago in the winter of 1953 and started recording for the Chess label. He quickly became Muddy Waters main and only rival on the city's club scene. With his six foot three, weighing well over 300 pounds, he had the stage presence of a mountain. Or perhaps a volcano is a better word, as he would regularly erupt, fall to his knees and howl at the moon. All his Chess recordings are essential listening for any serious blues lover, but if I had to pick one song to represent the Wolf in an anthology of the best American music from the 20th century, my choice would probably be Smokestack Lightnin'.

    It's a simple song, just a few chords in a row actually, but it might be one of the greatest recordings ever recorded by a recording artist. I kid you not. Just as the Carmina Buruna belongs in the background of a classic, Freudian nightmare. Smokestack Lightnin' is the perfect soundtrack to a wild and sweaty one. It has a swampy feel bundled with images of trains and "little bittie boys". And the voice that sings it is just huge. I mean, the Wolf must have made the people around him feel like insects. It reminds me of the sound of a Harley, if you have the right pair of ears, you will only need to hear it once to remember it for the rest of your live.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best single-disc overview of an amazing career
    If you're only ever going to buy one Howlin' Wolf-album (why? why would you want to to that?), this is the one to get.

    Howlin' Wolf recorded some two hundred songs during his long career, and with room for 20 only, some hard choices must have been made by the compilers.
    Chester Arthur Burnett, the Howlin' Wolf, stood about 6'4" and weighed close to three hundred pounds in his prime, and his huge, gravelly roar of a voice sounds positively frightening on early cuts like "Moanin' At Midnight" and the clanging, piano-driven boogie of "How Many More Years".

    The songwriting credits are shared about equally by the omnipresent Willie Dixon, who plays bass on most of the cuts as well, and the Wolf himself, and "Hidden Charms" features perhaps the greatest guitar solo ever comitted to tape, courtesy of the hugely underestimated Hubert Sumlin, Wolf's right-hand man for more than twenty years.
    Other highlights include "Forty-Four", "Smokestack Lightnin'", "The Red Rooster" and the phenomenal "Killing Floor", written by Howlin' Wolf, shamelessly stolen by Led Zeppelin and covered by several others, but never surpassed, and featured here in the ultimate version, sporting an incredibly catchy guitar riff by Hubert Sumlin, and Buddy Guy on acoustic rhythm guitar.

    This CD is a corner stone in any serious blues collection, hard-rocking, bone-crunching electric blues, burning with the sheer ferocity of Chester Burnett's incredible voice. There was never anyone like the Wolf, and it doesn't seem likely that there will be.
    Oh, and while you're at it, get "His Best vol. II" as well.

    3-0 out of 5 stars His Best Chess
    This CD was not what I was looking for. He played one item on the CD that was with the FULL sound, the others I didn't care for. I heard a song by him pertaining to a dope addict. I was told this was it - it was not. It was full and mesmerizing. Please recommend the CD I am looking for.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A unique Voice In The History Of Music
    Yes, a totally unique voice in the history of all music. There is no one that sounds like The Wolf. My tastes in music are primarily classical, but the voice and music of this hulk of a man taught me to appreciate the blues.

    This is music that can grip you emotionally. The pure rawness of it can even be on the scary side sometimes. No analysis is needed, all you gotta do is listen! What a performer he must have been in person!

    A required disc for blues lovers, and might I suggest for all music lovers. Every time I listen to his music, I marvel. Most highly recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Some of the Howlin' Growlin' Wolf's best.
    This is a comprehensive collection of some of Howlin' Wolf's best music. The master of gravel voiced, gut bucket blues. A must have if you want to listen to Chicago electric blues....... ... Read more


    12. Riding with the King
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $9.99
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    Asin: B00004THAY
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 825
    Average Customer Review: 4.29 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    It sounds like the beginning of a story: "So, Slowhand and the King of the Blues were riding in a car ..." If this is a musical journey, it's the kind that rolls down long, empty stretches of country highway at 80 miles an hour, with the top down and the stereo blasting. Clapton and King may be more city than country, but this collection has the relaxed, laid-back feel that only comes from a pair of veterans doing what they do best. What they do here is cover 12 classic blues songs, many of them staples of King's repertoire, so the title of this album makes sense. Whether it's the rollicking rock & roll of the title track, or the acoustic shuffle of "Key to the Highway," or the sweet notes of "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer," a real sense of pleasure comes through on this album, the kind of pleasure one gets from jamming late at night with a good friend. --Genevieve Williams ... Read more

    Reviews (325)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A superb blues collection from two blues giants
    "CLAPTON RULES!" As a huge Clapton fan, I say that a lot. After listening to his newest album, a collaboration with blues legend B.B. King, I'm considering changing that to "CLAPTON AND KING RULE!" Simply put, this is a very good blues album! The album opens with the kickin', blues-rock title track and the magic continues from there. One of my all-time favorite blues songs in particular, "Key to the Highway," makes an appearance on this album. This is a cool, laid-back, acoustic version of the song. (For the BEST version, though, check out the version on the 1970 classic "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs" by Derek and the Dominos, which clocks in at over 9 minutes!) Another highlight is yet another laid-back, acoustic version of "Worried Life Blues." (Again, the BEST version can be found on Clapton's 1996 "Crossroads 2" 4-CD box set. For those who can't afford the set, it is also available on the 2-CD "Blues" collection, also by Clapton.) But not all the songs are re-done versions of my favorite Clapton tunes; "Help the Poor" can best be described as a "swampy" blues song, kind of like what you'd expect to hear out on the bayou. Excellent! But even at (6? 7?) minutes, it isn't long enough! For me, the album kind of peters out from tracks 9 thru 11 (hence, the 4-out-of-5-star review). While those songs ARE good, I think I need a little more time for them to grow on me. The album ends on a BEAUTIFUL note with the WAY too short "Come Rain or Come Shine." I was truly disappointed when it (and the album) ended! To sum, this is a very good blues album, released by two of the greatest blues-guitar legends. Clapton is a longtime "friend" of mine, but I hadn't really listened to much B.B. King. I think that's about to change as a result of this album. I hope you, the reviewer/listener make a new discovery or two as a result of listening to this jewel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Two Master Produce a Contemporary Blues Gem !
    Ok, I'm a tad biased as I'm a huge Clapton fan (heck, he's still "god" in my book). The disc shows how to giants in the guitar world can show restraint and taste by sharing guitar and vocals. Clapton's tone is so sweet, pure strat and BB, well, he's the best at those short, jabs and staccoto licks. The playing is never over the top, which is a good thing, but adding the true bite or smooth emotion each song deserves. This album combines old blues gems like "Ten Long Years" & "When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer", with Derek and the Dominoes "Key to the Highway" (done acoustic, a real treat) along with a few contemporary R&B covers penned by Doyle Bramhill II "Marry You" and "I Wanna Be" (Doyle also plays rhythm guitar on this disc...he's gotta be smiling !).

    Texas blues great Jimmie Vaughan adds a few biting solos to "Help the Poor". The backing band is also very tight and some of the finest around...Andy F. Low (guitars, EC's sideman) Nathan East (bass), Steve Gadd (drums), Joe Sample (piano) and Tim Carmon (B3 Organ.

    The overall feel of this is "good time" blues, bouncing rhythms and the two blues guitar masters having fun. It's not the heavy sound of EC's "From the Cradle", but more like BB's "Blues on the Bayou".

    A great cd that will no doubt win a Grammy and delight millions of blues fans (not to mention guitar players, like me).

    Super summer driving tunes like the title track or "Marry You" will have their melodies locked into you head for days.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not the second coming, but a nice listen while it lasts
    This album opens with a great rendition of John Hiatt's 1983 rocker "Riding With The King", which has very little to do with blues, but who cares...B.B. King is entitled to a bit of a break now and again, I suppose!

    There is a lot of genuine blues here as well, however, and the eight-minute "Three O'Clock Blues" burns with long and (usually) excellent guitar solos from both men. Other highlights include a good rendition of Big Bill Broonzy's "Key To The Highway", a song which Clapton has recorded again and again for over 30 years, a nice, acoustic "Worried Life Blues", a seven-minute version of King's own "When My Heart Beats Like A Hammer", and the best song on the album, a delightfully swinging "Help The Poor", Charles Singleton's 60s classic.

    There are some clunkers here..."Marry You" and "I Wanna Be" are a couple of bland, repetitive dime-a-dozen rock songs, and the novelty-like "Days Of Old" isn't destined for classic-status either, but most of the album works really well, although a whole handful of weak songs are too many.
    It's not the grittiest blues record I've ever heard (or the bluesiest), but it's a nice listen while it lasts.
    3 3/4 stars. Good enough.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Riding with the King (...and his grovelling apprentice)
    Hmm, so big anticipation for this record and it lived up to it, i guess. It starts strong with Riding with the King, and immediately shows who's in charge here - BB's in control. For Clapton this is a chance for direct comparison to his hero. Listening you get the impression that he's going all out to impress but even on BB's average days he'd still lose.

    Nevertheless, there are some outstanding blues on this album. The Big Bill Broonzy favourite, Key to the Highway, previously covered by both men, shows a rare acoustic treat on BB's behalf and seems to be a favourite with previous reviewers. The seven minute reworking on 3'o clock Blues is awesome as well; it features some great BB vocals and delicate guitar work by both men. My favourite track however is Days of Old. An up tempo Chicago blues, it shows a comfort between the two that perhaps is lacking on some of the slower tunes where Clapton flags.

    Low lights are Help the Poor (see BB's Live at the Regal for a better version) and I Wanna Be which doesn't really seem to fit in with the blues genre. Overall, had Clapton not been quite so in awe of his recording partner here a better effect would have been acheived (even his liner notes seem rather incoherent compared to B's.) Having said this, for an introduction to the blues and BB King for fans of Clapton's rock legacy, this album is a good place to start. It shows what the two legends love to do and despite weak moments it is genuine and proves that Pop Idol is not the be all and end all of 21st century music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspired music from two Greats
    Okay. I have just purchased the new Eric Clapton's CD called Me and Mr. Johson. And boy, did I dislike that CD for its lack of inspiration.

    I wrote a review of it. Gave it a 3 star.

    Then I got to thinking... when has EC made some decent music in the past ten or so years? Well one recording is THIS ONE.

    This recording has passion, great singing, and some fantastic interplay between two guitar players.

    I totally enjoy every song, and perhaps the presence of BB KING EC found that he must be on good, inspired behavior since he does not sleep walk through this recording like he seemingly did on some others.

    Another great recording to grab onto, From The Cradle. Perhaps the best EC release in 20 years. ... Read more


    13. Super Session
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
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    Asin: B00008QSA5
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 5775
    Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (15)

    4-0 out of 5 stars jammin'
    My brother brought home a vinyl copy of 1968's 'Super Session' sometime around 1969, and the presence of one performer caught my eye. I was already overindulging myself on the debut Crosby, Stills and Nash album, and had taken special notice of Stephen Stills contributions, especially his exquisite guitar work. After the first play through, I never heard the first 5 tracks of 'Super Session' again... I played side two over and over until the needle had worn clean through side one! Well, I'm kidding of course, but the point is that this 15 year-old was much too young for the cutting edge blues-rock being composed and performed by Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield on side one, but primed and ready for the country and psychedelic rock being offered up by Stills and Kooper on side two.

    Hearing this album (remastered) for the first time in about thirty years was a real treat. I still prefer side two, but did a jaw drop over Bloomfield's stunning blues guitar solo's on the first five tracks, and on two of the bonus tracks ('Blues For Nothing' and 'Fat Grey Cloud', the latter recorded live at the Fillmore West). On the downside, Bloomfield was so strung out on heroin that Kooper couldn't keep him around for more than one night of recording. On the upside, certainly no artist can sing or play the blues better than someone living the blues, and this recording proves the blues was Bloomfield's lot in life. Heroin claimed him for good in 1981.

    With only half an album in tow, Kooper turned to Stills, orphaned from the recently disbanded Buffalo Springfield, to complete this most unusual endeavor. Stylistically Stills and Bloomfield have radically different approaches. On the opening cut of side two, Stills layers a country-fied guitar over Bob Dylans 'It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry', and follows this with his trademark wah-pedal guitar on an 11-minute version of Donovan Lietch's 'Season of the Witch'. My favorite song on the album follows with Stills and Kooper producing a psychedelic cover of 'You Don't Love Me'. Oddly, though Kooper is the only artist featured on all the cuts, the work is clearly owned primarily by Bloomfield, and secondarily by Stills. Kooper's most notable contributions are songwriting (one solo, and three with Bloomfield), and all the vocals (5 cuts). But the vocals are incidental, to say the least.

    There are several odd selections on 'Super Session'. The third cut, 'Man's Temptation' is a soul number penned by Curtis Mayfield. It's a pleasant listen, though quite sexist by our standards today, and out of place among the heavy blues orientation of the other Bloomfield cuts. Track four, 'His Holy Modal Majesty' is a dreadful cut, with Kooper playing an electric piano called an ondioline, which comes across as electric bagpipes, and it's every bit as bad as that sounds. At 9 minutes in length, it is a clear waste of vinyl. The other odd number is the lush 'Harvey's Tune', penned by Harvey Brooks who played bass on the 'Super Session' sessions. Brooks and Barry Goldberg, who plays electric piano on the first two tracks, had been bandmates of Bloomfield's in the band Electric Flag, which also featured drummer Buddy Miles. The tune again sounds out of place, and Still's guitar is nowhere to be found.

    The bonus tracks are valuable on this disc, to hear more of Bloomfield's playing, and to hear both Stills and Bloomfield's guitar work without the distraction of the brassy overdubs. These artists have abundant skills that deserve to be displayed, not dressed up, or God forbid, hidden. In the liner notes Kooper talks about his perception that the 'naked' tracks were "dynamically impaired", hence the original decision to 'enhance' them. Despite his perception, this seems to me to be a clear case of less being more.

    So while you may be hitting the 'skip' button once or twice while taking in this CD, there is a great deal of unique and wonderful late-1960's music to be had on this, the first and perhaps greatest 'jam session'.

    2-0 out of 5 stars What is so Super?
    The answer is Mike Bloomfield of course(star #1). He does lay down some of the finest blues guitar I've ever heard anyone play--black or white on this (Albert's Shuffele 5 stars). Also, if you are a bassist--you have to check out Harvey Brook's playing on this--unreal, creative stuff(Star #2). So yeh, he and Bloomfield are the musical Ubermench here...but the contributions of Kooper and Stills are just pathetic...suffer through an anemic Season of the Witch and you'll know what I mean..the only interesting thing on this cut is the bass. Kooper is no singer..nore is he that outstanding as a keyboard player. The extra cuts scans horns don't add anythig other than to point out how bad they are without them. This was hardly a Super Session..really..Bloomfield by this time was a sick, strung-out heroin addict..and left Kooper in a learch after recording 5 cuts allbeit 2 career toppers. So Kooper flounders around and comes up with Stills to record a few forgetable tracks and wella the fabled SS album. There isn't a track where the three of them are jamming together. Anyway...if you really dig Bloomfield it's worth it to get Albert's Shuffel..but the rest is dated drivle.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 4 IN A HALF STARS!
    This is great stuff man. i'm really into blues-rock stuff like BLUES IMAGE, or ALLMAN BROS. BAND. This is great blues. good guitar. good organ. good vibe. rock. mike bloomfield plays a great guitar, and stephen stills fills in great on guitar and vocals. al kooper is classic. fantastic! rock it, in the pocket buddy!

    3-0 out of 5 stars super!? yes but...
    i agree with boogaloo jeffs review,especially the last line... GET "my labors" {nick gravenites/mike bloomfield} this album no doubt highlights mr. bloomfields guitar work better than any other....hands down. there are a few lame studio tracks by nick alone but the other half of the record is some of the best 60s white boy blues ever recorded... along with fleetwood mac, that you will ever hear! just do it, buy it!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Super Session
    If you like the real Blues rhythm, if you like hearing great musicians playing it, and if you love music, then there is no doubt! This is the album you have to own!
    Al KOOPER, Stephen STILLS and Michael BLOOMFILED made an outstandin' job in just two days of recordings. They used every great element there is in Blues music, which can be found in BB King's music and in other blues legends.
    This is a five star album, five-star music, five-star producing, five-star work and five-star musicians. ... Read more


    14. His Best: 1947 to 1955
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B000005KQH
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1250
    Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    One of the best recordings in Chess Records' 50th Anniverary series is the first of two bookend Muddy Waters collections, His Best 1947-55. Documenting Waters's most creatively and commercially successful years at Aristocrat/Chess, this CD begins with his formative years and ends with Waters at his peak. So you're in for a lot of terrific bottleneck slide guitar work as well as electric Chicago blues. What's to criticize? Superb remasterings of "I Can't Be Satisfied," "Rollin' and Tumblin'," "I'm Ready," and "Mannish Boy" are simply beyond reproach. With simple bass accompaniment from Ernest "Big" Crawford, Waters's bottleneck tracks are spare, haunting and, quite frankly, perfect country blues. And listening to Waters, Little Walter, Willie Dixon, and Jimmy Rogers piece together (and perfect very quickly) the classic Chicago sound is pure blues epiphany. At the very least, this collection shows you why Waters's rollicking stop-time classics like "Mannish Boy" and "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" have sparked endless imitations over the years--and why nobody has played them better since. --Ken Hohman ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

    5-0 out of 5 stars ESSENTIAL EVEN FOR NON BLUES LOVER
    These are the songs that the BRITISH INVASION groups played to death in the sixties;here's your chance to hear the originals in this wonderful collection.In fact to be frank,this can be the only blues record you ever need when your friends want to hear that kind of music.Just for the record ,let's enumerate which songs were recorded by the likes of THE ROLLING STONES(I CAN'T BE SATISFIED,I JUST WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU,MANNISH BOY);CREAM(ROLLIN AND TUMBLIN,I'M READY)and THEM(BABY PLEASE DON'T GO)and this is only a partial list.MUDDY WATERS was more than anybody else the best performer of the CHICAGO blues.If you like it, you can go with the follow up which completes this anthology perfectly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars this is the one !
    I was looking for the definitive Muddy Waters CD, and I found it here. The best songs from his best period with the best musicians. To me this is a CD that will always be heard. All 20 songs are masterpieces but I could single out "I'm Ready", "Mannish Boy", "can't be Satisfied" for their outstanding quality. Little Walter was an amazing Harmonica player who was at his best playing with Muddy Waters. His piercing solos gives the music here an edge I found nowhere else. The sound is very good, and the number of song (20) lets you enjoy the music thoroughly without being abraptly cut. This is a CD for the "deserted island" list.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Blues from heaven
    This album blew my mind and is essential listening for any lover of blues, rock or any form of music(interested listeners are requested to also check out Howlin' Wolf 'His Best' CD issued simultaneously by Chess Records).

    Nearly 50 odd years later the music sounds as fresh as yesterday. If this isn't where all the rock maestros of later years got their sonic ideas, it should have been.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Classic Music
    These are the seminal years of the second, the electric wave of Chicago Blues. Muddy Water's collaborations, especially with Willie Dixon here, created the modern Chicago blues which replaced the older acoustic style represented best by Tampa Red and Big Maceo, and by Lil Hardin Armstrong and Lonnie Johnson collaboration.
    The older smaller tighter, more person (and it is hard to talk about anything more personal than even the least well prepared Muddy sides),blues. The performances are breathtaking in their strength. You know this man, and you know more about yourself after you hear this.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent compilation
    "Excellent compilation", eh? So why only four stars?
    Well, the track selection is really good, bringing together almost all the best of Muddy Waters' rough, muscular blues. Or rather, the best of 1947-55, which is why this is "only" a four star-compilation: It's not a career spanning retrospective, and it doesn't work all that well on its own.

    But get this CD along with its companion volume, "His Best: 1956-1964", which also features 20 tracks, and you'll have a really fine career overview, second only to the three-disc "Chess Box" set (and perhaps the 50-track "The Anthology: 1947-1972").

    This CD only has one significant flaw: A production error means than a sloppy alternate take of "Hoochie Coochie Man" is included instead of the master. Otherwise, it's just about as fine a compilation as you could wish for, including Muddy's first single, the slashing acoustic slide guitar blues "I Can't Be Satisfied", and tough, electric Chicago classics like "Honey Bee", "I'm Ready", "Trouble No More", and "I Just Want To Make Love To You".
    Just remember that this isn't the definitive word on Muddy Waters - he made superb songs after 1955 as well. ... Read more


    15. Lightning in a Bottle
    list price: $19.98
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    Asin: B0002YCVH4
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1313
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    Amazon.com

    This soundtrack to the movie features an astonishing array of blues artists from three generations. Recorded during one long night at NYC's Radio City Music Hall on Feb. 7, 2003, the electricity is in the air and on stage. While it may not have been the finest blues show in history, the collection of founding fathers such as David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Buddy Guy, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Larry Johnson, Hubert Sumlin, Solomon Burke, and the ubiquitous B.B. King along with their spiritual offspring (Gregg Allman, John Fogerty, and Steven Tyler) and some usual suspects like Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, andKeb' Mo', makes it arguably the most significant blues session ever captured on film.

    Beginning acoustic, the double disc builds momentum and volume as we hear the blues mutate to electric and finally hip-hop with Chuck D. exploding on a rap version of John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom." The crackling house band led by drummer Steve Jordan provides foundation for gritty, roof-raising pieces like the unusual collaboration between former New York Doll David Johansen and guitarist Sumlin on Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor." Not all of the film's music is included but there are enough magnificent performances for established blues fans and to entice those first experiencing the genre's abundant riches. --Hal Horowitz ... Read more


    16. The Very Best Of John Lee Hooker
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B0000033I0
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1776
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    A million or so collections, all from different record labels, document this Detroit blues guitarist's influential boogie-woogie career. This 16-song Rhino CD is an excellent starting point, with definitive versions of Hooker's classics "Boom Boom," "Boogie Chillen'," "I'm in the Mood," and "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer." It's interesting to hear the singer's voice progress from a deep, growling slur to the more polished later material, such as his collaboration with slide guitarist Roy Rogers on Robert Johnson's "Terraplane Blues," but he never lost his bottom-line rawness. --Steve Knopper ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Stuff Legends Are Made Of!
    Every once in a while, a budget disc comes along that is surprisingly good. Such is the case with Rhino Records release of "The Very Best of John Lee Hooker." On this release, Rhino combines 16 stand out tracks and some nice liner notes which briefly describe the man as well as the origin of each of the tracks. The selection of songs range from Hooker's signature "Boogie Chillen'" recorded in 1948 through "Terraplane Blues" recorded with slide man Roy Rogers in 1987. This is not a comprehensive collection nor was it ever intended to be. Instead, you get a flavor for a younger John Lee Hooker and his amazing guitar work. The recording quality is excellent especially considering the age of the songs. Well worth the purchase.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 16 John Lee Hooker classics all in a row!!!
    This great CD from Rhino collects 16 classic tracks from John Lee Hooker's awesome career!!!Includes:Boogie Chillen',Crawling King Snake,Boom Boom,Big Legs,Tight Skirt,Shake It Baby,One Bourbon,One Scotch,One Beer,Terraplane Blues(with Roy Rogers!),and more!!!An awesome collection!!! Two thumbs up!!! Five stars!!! A+

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fine starting place
    This single-disc compilation actually does a better job than Rhino's double-disc "The Ultimate Collection (1948-1990)", from which these tracks are taken. It's not a complete career overview, of course, but where "The Ultimate Collection" tries and fails to be definitive, "The Very Best Of John Lee Hooker" doesn't strive to be "ultimate", but only to provide a good introdution to the daunting legacy of the Hook.
    And it does a superb job, collecting sixteen of Hooker's best song, including "Boom Boom", "Dimples", "I'm Bad Like Jesse James", "Big Legs, Tight Skirt" and "It Serves You Right To Suffer".
    A perfect introduction for the curious.

    5-0 out of 5 stars simply and absolutely Blues
    It's the best way to enter the world of the blues and the finest way to realise why the man with the guitar is the one make you feel good everytime you want to relax.It's the combination of that electrical tone and the rough voice that relax you during or after a dificult day.It's simply and absolutely blues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars pioneer of the blues
    There is nothing like drawing the shades close, putting on a set of headphones, and listening to a good John Lee Hooker disc. Whether it be something from the late 40's or his newest releases back in 2000 with John Lee Hooker and Friends. That is what was great about this man, he just got better as time went on. To start out, The Very Best of John Lee Hooker is a great way to get into him if you are interested in the blues. You wont be dissapointed. The Classic Boom Boom, One Scotch, One Beer, are great, but the others that you may never heard of are just as good. It serves You Right To Suffer, Burnig Hell, and Crawlin' King Snake are just a couple on this cd that will grab you. I give this disc 5 stars and then some. ... Read more


    17. Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan
    list price: $24.98
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    Asin: B00006L3J4
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3968
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (10)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent value for the newcomer...
    Yeah, I read the review below by a 'music fan' who says there are an overabundance of Vaughan comps and while that's true, this one has one thing that the earlier Greatest Hits doesn't have: VALUE.

    This two CD set comes in at a price considerably cheaper than if you bought the two earlier Greatest Hits CDs, separately.

    And unless you are a Vaughan completist who HAS to have the four studio albums, the 'live' stuff plus "Family Style" with Jimmie or the SRV box, then this one is a pretty good value, price-wise for a beginner new to Vaughan's work.

    This is all a part of Sony's 'Essential' series that's coming out during 2002-2003 year and for them not to do an 'Essential comp on SRV would, I believe, be quite noticed by SOME fans out there. After all, SRV was an important artist for Columbia/Epic in the 1980s and that's what this series is about.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for Newcomers to SRV/DT
    The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan is an outstanding introduction to the greatest guitarist of the last 30 years. Being an SRV/DT completist, I already have these songs in one form or another, so I would have liked to have seen some additional, previously unreleased tracks. If you're new to SRV, pick up this collection first, then work your way backwards from In Step (his masterpiece) to Texas Flood for some incredible album tracks not included on The Essential SRV. Then get Live at Montreaux 1982-1985 for a pair of absolutely blistering live sets.
    Just ensure that Voodoo Chile (Slight Return) is played at MAXIMUM volume for greatest enjoyment!
    RIP, SRV - there will NEVER be another musician of your calibre.

    3-0 out of 5 stars I'm not too big on live performances over studio cuts
    The one thing that disappointed me on this collection was that they opted for the excessively long 12 minute live version of Hendrix's Voodoo Child. Why not the superior 8 minute studio version found on the Greatest Hits 2 collection? It seriously rocks and was one of the reasons I purchased this set. Wished I had just opted for Greatest Hits 1 & 2 instead of this bloated collection. Most of the other songs on this collection are the same versions found on the others. Why the change-up on this one song? I thought I was getting a better deal by going with this double-disc set. Greatest Hits and "Best of" collections are for the casual listener, like myself, not the hard-core fan who likely has the individual albums to begin with and has little use for a compilation. Why throw in alternate takes of the hits? Just one man's opinion. Still, I'm disappointed I spent this much on a CD with which I'm not entirely happy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan REMASTERED
    I own every SRV CD I did not buy this one but a friend lended it to me. This CD sounds better than the orginal the sound quality is out of this world. This is a must have for an SRV fan who does not own that much of him. If your looking to buy a SRV Cd this one if for you. This includes all his hits like Texas Flood, Pride And Joy, The Things We Used To Do, Change It, Voodoo Chile, and some rare recordings of some live stuff. This is a must have buy this on amazon and you will love it!!!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Solid Overview Of Influential Guitarist's Career
    Arguably the greatest blues guitarist of the last quarter century, this is two-and-a-half hours of his best work. The 33 tracks are presented essentially in chronological order beginning with a 1980 live performance of Willie Dixon's "Shake for Me" and ending with the stark performance of the autobiographical "Life By the Drop" taken from 1991's posthumous release THE SKY IS CRYING. Also included are a couple of tracks ("Telephone Song" and "Long Way from Home") from FAMILY STYLE, an album he cut with his older brother Jimmie just months before his death.

    While there are no previoulsy unreleased tracks on this compilation, this is a solid overview of the most influential guitarist since Jimi Hendrix. If you can't afford his entire catalog, this is an excellent alternative. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ... Read more


    18. Texas Flood
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $8.99
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    Asin: B00000ICN5
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 3980
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com essential recording

    This legendary 1983 debut by the fallen torchbearer of the '80s-'90s blues revival sounds even more dramatic in its remixed and expanded edition. Stevie Ray Vaughan's guitar and vocals are a bit brighter and more present on this 14-track CD. And the newly included bonus numbers (an incendiary studio version of the slow blues "Tin Pan Alley" that was left off the original release, and live takes of "Testify," "Mary Had a Little Lamb," and the instrumental "Wham!" from a 1983 Hollywood concert) illuminate the raw soul and passion that propelled his artistry even when he was under the spell of drug addiction. Texas Flood captures Vaughan as rockin' blues purist, paying tribute in his inspired six-string diction to his influences Larry Davis (who wrote the title track), Buddy Guy, Albert King, and Jimi Hendrix. His own contemplative "Lenny," a tribute to his wife at the time, also suggests a jazz-fueled complexity that would infuse his later work. --Ted Drozdowski ... Read more

    Reviews (66)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE
    TEXAS FLOOD is STEVIE RAY VAUGHN'S first album and every song on this album is a hit. Now that it is remastered, the songs are fresher and sound better, and we have some bonus live tracks that show where SRV really earned his reputation, and that is by playing live back in Austin. We have classic tracks such as LOVE STRUCK BABY, PRIDE AND JOY, MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB,I'M CRYIN, which are uptempo blues rockers, and we also have the slower tempo blues classics TEXAS FLOOD,and DIRTY POOL. LENNY, TELL ME, and RUDE MOOD are classic blues instrumentals that are a must listen to. This remastered and reissued album is great and we be enjoyed by all fans of the blues and will be a great way for new fans to be introduced to SRV music

    5-0 out of 5 stars RIP SRV
    Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble blew us all away with the blues debut Texas Flood. Blues-rock was never any better- not when the Rolling Stones had their glory years or even when Led Zeppelin released their amazing debut. This is an essential blues-rock album, and the key to enjoying it is the guitar. Stevie rips through each song with a long solo or addictive riff while howling into the mike. The best song would be Texas Flood, a song that was amazing on stage. The entire album is his most consistent with not a single mediocre song, and blistering instrumentals, including the soulful Lenny that will turn your heart blue. This is blues rock done better than ever. If this doesn't convince you that Stevie Ray Vaughan is, next to Jimi Hendrix, the greatest guitarist ever, nothing will. If you have a thirst for Texas blues rock buy this right NOW!

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the few truly magnificent blues records of the 80s
    Rarely does a year go by without some new artist being proclaimed the greatest thing since music's birth, and when I first heard of Stevie Ray Vaughan, I was a bit weary. With so many people talking about him as if he was the second coming of Jimi Hendrix, something had to be amiss.

    Well, it isn't. The late Stevie Ray Vaughan was actually every bit as great as he was made out to be, and his debut album is by far the best collection of blues-rock and contemporary blues of the first half of the 80s, holding up wonderfully more than twenty years later.

    This record brought the blues back into the limelight. It spent some seven months on the American charts (an extremely rare feat for what is essentially a blues record), and it includes several of Stevie Ray Vaughan's very best songs:
    The blistering rockers "Love Struck Baby" and "I'm Cryin'" are here, as well as the magnificent slow blues "Texas Flood" and "Dirty Pool", an excellent rendition of Buddy Guy's blues-slash-nursery rhyme "Mary Had A Little Lamb", and of course Stevie Ray's most famous song, the sublime "Pride And Joy".

    And the guitar playing is masterful. Vaughan had an incredibly ability to keep his solos sounding fresh and innovative, even when they went on for several minutes at a time, and he was a more than adequate singer as well, switching effortlessly between rock n' roll and slow, soulful blues tunes.

    This CD reissue adds five bonus tracks, one of which is a short interview snippet. The other four include a very good live take on "Mary Had A Little Lamb", and the otherwise unreleased instrumental "Wham" (unreleased except on compilations, that is).
    And everything here, rockers, blues, instrumentals and bonus cuts, is worth a listen. Many listens. "Texas Flood" is a magnificent blues record, probably Vaughan's finest original album, and it should appeal to fans of both blues and rock.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bow down to the master
    It's very simple: SRV was the greatest electric blues guitarist ever, and one hell of a singer too. This was one of his masterpieces. Buy it, or I'll be forced to hunt you down.....

    5-0 out of 5 stars Want To Here Some Talent?
    Texas Flood is Stevie Ray Vaughan's first debut album including the opening track Love Struck Baby with a beautiful texas tone. Then their is the songs that most guitarist never forget including Stevie Ray Vaughan's greatest hit Pride And Joy, and Texas Flood. Lenny is the softer track on the album dedicated to his wife Lenny. I think one of the coolest Blues Shuffles is on Rude Mood. I think Stevie Ray Vaughan had a wonderful talent doing what he did he was one of the greatest guitarist the ever lived. Their are some old great blues songs on here like the Lonnie Mack orginal Wham. The greatest guitar song on the album is Texas Flood. This album has got plenty of radio play that it deserved. Any guitarist should buy this you will not be disapointed. Highly Recomened! Only The Best ... Read more


    19. Lie to Me
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $13.98
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    Asin: B000002G6A
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2578
    Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
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    Jonny Lang cut his debut album in Memphis when he was just 15, and, upon its release in 1996, the guitar prodigy from Minneapolis instantly became one of the leading lights of modern blues. He's a fast and flashy player whose approach rests equally on technical assurance and musical intelligence. Sizing up a dozen songs, he gets a pleasing, razor-sharp sound out of his ax while building excitement in his lead lines--thankfully, he steers clear of cliché and bombast. As a fledging singer, he acts out the lyrics of Ike Turner's age-old shuffle "Matchbox" and his own romantic ballad "Missing Your Love" with surprising poise and believability. Kudos to producer David Z for surrounding Lang with alert, first-rate sidemen and for helping select good material from Turner, Sonny Boy Williamson, Tinsley Ellis, and others. --Frank-John Hadley ... Read more

    Reviews (120)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Jonny "Lie To Me" Anytime
    When I first heard this CD I could not believe that it was a 15 yr old singing and playing guitar. Jonny's voice and guitar playing is amazing. The CD is great! The more you listen, the more you like. With a mix of songs like "Lie to Me" and "Hit the Ground Running" which are blues based rock songs, to "I Wonder" and "When I Come To You" where you can feel the emotion in his voice. It's amazing to think that this kid could even understand that kind of emotion at his age. Jonny Lang has made me a believer that "age means nothing" when it comes to the blues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What does age have to do with it anyway?
    I recently read through all the reviews, both editorial and customer, and offer the following thoughts. First of all, anyone who believes this kid lacks talent, either as a guitarist or a vocalist, is simply living in an alternate reality. As I read the negative reviews, what came through loud and clear was jealousy. How dare a mere "kid" try to be good?......Well, guess what?.....He is.... The kind of raw power Jonny demonstrates at the tender age of 16 on "Lie To Me" is nothing short of truly amazing. And while it is certainly true that you can hear the influences of bluesmen like Albert King, Albert Collins, and Luther Allison (I don't hear much Stevie) on "Lie To Me", it is also true that his own unique style is emerging. This is most noticable on the tracks, Missing Your Love and When I Come To You. His follow-up release "Wander This World", reaches down into the soul and literally drags the listener through an emotional rolley coaster ride. For the record, he plays a telecaster, not a Strat, a totally different sound. And would everyone PLEASE get off of this thing about his age! For God's sake,...who cares? Everybody's gotta start somewhere. Talent is talent, and the fact that he is so young only makes him that much more special. Think about where he will go with his music in the next 20 or 30 years....... Way to go Jonny! You will be in San Antonio on January 19 at the Majestic Theater, and I can't wait!

    5-0 out of 5 stars He's the Real Thing
    This kid is the real deal. A natural talent if there ever was one. The maturity in this album is amazing, since it was recorded when he was only 15-16! Are his guitar solos melodic and well phrased? You bet. Some very nice work in that regard. But for me, the real magic of Jonny is those vocals - tortured, rich, raw, real and - dare I say it? - SEXY. His voice as an instrument is a very sensual sound. I love the blues - but I ADORE the sound of this kid's voice. If I had to take one album to a deserted island, this might be it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hey Jonny Lang... please do a dvd?
    Just hoping my wish will come to reality.... check the reviews, beg borrow or steal a copy of this cd.... it's awsome..... I'd love to see Mr. Lang do a dvd. Being a father of two very young kids, I don't have the time to breath, yet alone see him in concert..... A dvd would surely be appreciated by more than just myself..... anybody reading this, and agree that the man should do a dvd, please find a way to let Mr. Lang know.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Jonny Lang
    Lany is a master 6 string player no doubt. This recording documents the facts. His voice is young and his age leads one to wonder if he has had time to feel that pain. Jonny Lang and the Big Bang is a much better compliation of his abilities. ... Read more


    20. Hoodoo Man Blues
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000004BI9
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2337
    Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (25)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Greatest Blues Album Ever?
    Junior Wells isn't my personal favorite as a harpist (Sonny Boy is), but this album is one of my absolute favorites in the blooze. This album is really HOT, with Junior struttin' his stuff with his mates from Chicago, including the one & only Buddy Guy. Buddy really gels with Wells on this album, not by taking solos, but by accompanying him & the actual song being played. His presence really steps up Junior, & brings out the best in him here.

    While Junior is a terrific blues harpist & singer, he has a real funky style that resembles James Brown. You can really hear it from the get go in "Snatch back & Hold It". The cover of "You Don't Love Me" from this album will influence a bunch of guys in Macon, GA. a few years later.

    I believe this was also one of the earliest "full" blues albums released, rather than a collection of singles from vinyl. Hence, the greatest blues "album" ever recorded. Yes, that is my personal opinion, but the Chicago blues rarely gets better than this. Essential for any blues collection!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Junior Wells' Showcase
    I have been hearing about this album for 20 years, but only got it recently. So naturally I compare it with what I have listened to in the past 20 years.
    Earlier Wells albums featured a larger group - with horns, piano etc... The sound was heavy and I loved it. This CD has Wells, Buddy Guy on guitar, plus bass and drums. The sound is lighter, and the band goes for jumping, funky kind of blues. Wells' harmonica gets much more room here than it did before.
    As a Chicago harpist, I rate Wells second only to Little Walter, but Wells is a better singer ! Wells is a great singer and performer, and deserves the showcase this CD affords him. He was young and fresh, and felt like jumping much more than laying back. As a result, the best tracks are the fast ones - Chilli Con Carne, Snatch It Back etc...
    I love Buddy Guy's playing on the CD - he lets Wells have the main stage, and behaves like a true friend and musician - thinking only about the overall result.
    To conclude - this is a great blues CD, worth having to any blues fan.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As good as an album can be.
    Listening to this album with the lights out puts me "there" more than just about any album I've heard. In a smoky room where musicians and audience are connected. This album is real.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest
    In case there's any confusion, this isn't just the greatest blues album of all time, this is the greatest album of all time. Don't doubt it. It's perfect. As good as it will ever get.

    5-0 out of 5 stars must have blues album
    The greatest blues album ever recorded.. A must have!
    B.B. King at the Regal has nothin on this, a classic. ... Read more


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