Robert Johnson - The Centennial Collection
 
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Robert Johnson - The Centennial Collection

Today $15.91
Item #: 13491569
    Liner Note Authors: Stephen C. Lavere; Ted Gioia. Recording information: 11/23/1936-06/20/1937. Photographer: Robert Johnson. In practical terms, there's not much need for Robert Johnson's The Complete Recordings: The Centennial Collection. There are n......more

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Artist: Johnson, Robert
Description:
Liner Note Authors: Stephen C. Lavere; Ted Gioia. Recording information: 11/23/1936-06/20/1937. Photographer: Robert Johnson. In practical terms, there's not much need for Robert Johnson's The Complete Recordings: The Centennial Collection. There are no undiscovered master or alternate takes, new remastering can only improve the original acetates and 78s so much, and apart from the sequencing of alternate takes after the masters, a debatable merit for listenability, the original 1990 box set The Complete Recordings did everything right. So, The Centennial Collection exists to celebrate Johnson's 100th birthday, and to offer improved sequencing and sound, both of which are evident on the double-disc set that provides the foundation for this entire reissue project. As strong as this compilation is, what's really noteworthy in this centennial celebration is the box set designed for the very wealthy among us, a handsome, lavish fetish object for collectors coming complete with a hardcover book containing 45-rpm replicas of the original 78-rpm singles; a double disc of Johnson's originals; a double disc of Rarities from the Vault that places Johnson into the context of his times by offering a disc of blues cut between 1928-1932 and a disc of Texas country, folk, and Mexican music; and then a DVD documentary of Johnson's legacy. Naturally, this luxurious item is more attractive and interesting than its bare-bones companion, but it doesn't necessarily offer greater musical insight than its slimmer cousin. Johnson's legacy can fit onto a mere two discs, so the rest of the set is essentially well-dressed extras, with the two CDs of contemporary blues, country, and folk offering a nice sampling of Johnson's peers even if they're by no means extensive. And when you spring for a set of this magnitude, what matters isn't the content so much as the presentation -- and in that regard, the four-disc set is impeccable. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
See Also:
King of the Delta Blues Singers, Vol. 2, The Complete Recordings, King of the Delta Blues [Columbia/Legacy], King of the Delta Blues Singers
See Influences:
Kokomo Arnold, Mamie Smith, Alberta Hunter, Lucille Bogan, Charlie Poole, Charley Patton, Son House, Bessie Smith, Lonnie Johnson, Skip James, Ma Rainey
See Contemporaries:
Big Bill Broonzy, Big Joe Williams, Lead Belly, Tampa Red, Sleepy John Estes, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Louisiana Red, Elmore James, Blind Willie McTell, Mississippi John Hurt, Bukka White, Tommy McClennan, John Hammond, Jr., Rev. Gary Davis, Josh White, Muddy Waters, Tommy Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson, Johnny Shines, Furry Lewis, Washboard Rhythm Kings, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller), Walter Roland, Ed Bell
Track Listing:
Disc 1:
  1. 1 Kind Hearted Woman Blues
  2. 2 I Believe I'll Dust My Broom
  3. 3 Sweet Home Chicago
  4. 4 Ramblin' on My Mind
  5. 5 When You Got a Good Friend
  6. 6 Come on in My Kitchen
  7. 7 Terraplane Blues
  8. 8 Phonograph Blues
  9. 9 32-20 Blues
  10. 10 They're Red Hot
  11. 11 Dead Shrimp Blues
  12. 12 Cross Road Blues
  13. 13 Walkin' Blues
  14. 14 Last Fair Deal Gone Down
  15. 15 Preachin' Blues (Up Jumped the Devil)
  16. 16 If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day
  17. 17 Kind Hearted Woman Blues
  18. 18 Ramblin' on My Mind
  19. 19 When You Got a Good Friend
  20. 20 Come on in My Kitchen
  21. 21 Phonograph Blues
  22. 22 Cross Road Blues
Disc 2:
  1. 1 Stones in My Passway
  2. 2 I'm a Steady Rollin' Man
  3. 3 From Four Until Late
  4. 4 Hell Hound on My Trail
  5. 5 Little Queen of Spades
  6. 6 Malted Milk
  7. 7 Drunken Hearted Man
  8. 8 Me and the Devil Blues
  9. 9 Stop Breakin' Down Blues
  10. 10 Traveling Riverside Blues
  11. 11 Honeymoon Blues
  12. 12 Love in Vain Blues
  13. 13 Milkcow's Calf Blues
  14. 14 Little Queen of Spades, A
  15. 15 Drunken Hearted Man
  16. 16 Me and the Devil Blues
  17. 17 Stop Breakin' Down Blues
  18. 18 Guitar Figure [Test Groove Before Traveling Riverside Blues]/Traveling Riverside Blues
  19. 19 Johnson Speaks [Test Groove Before Love in Vain Blues]/Love in Vain Blues
  20. 20 Milkcow's Calf Blues
Type:
Performer
Genre:
Blues
Subgenre:
Delta
Label:
Columbia Records
Producer:
Don Law; Stephen C. Lavere
Number of Discs:
2
Format:
Compact Disc
Mono or Stereo:
Stereo
SPARS Coding:
n/a
Runtime:
110 : 55
Editorial Reviews:
Billboard (p.30) - "The overall sound quality is quite good and the otherworldly detachment in Johnson's voice as impressive as ever."
UPC:
886978590725
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