CDs

  • 1960 may have been the year that Instrumentals hit the charts in a big way, but it was in 1961, that their hold on the hit parade was consolidated with a good number of guitar or sax-led rockers and slinky organ groovers. These are the discs that teenagers wanted to hear in the juke joints: exciting, uptempo stompers with catchy, melodic riffs, and slow, soulful, down home blues. Our compilation throws the spotlight on instrumentals by artists who are more widely associated with vocals, along with more obscure musicians who may only have one or two releases to their name. We hope you enjoy these grooves and if you like what you hear from 1961, just wait till you find out what was on offer in 1959, and in 1960! RANDB038 Awesome R&B instro Cd's - well pleased and great to hear a load of new material. Just when I thought I'd heard it all! Graham Cann These are two mighty instrumental collections from R&B Records...with no real duds amongst them. A veritable cornucopia of fine sounds which will be of interest to all instrumentally minded fans of R&B. Fred Rothwell Blues & Rhythm
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    1960 may have been the big year for Instrumentals, but back in 1959, several white instrumentals acts were already making a dent in the pop charts, among them the Virtues, the Rebels, the Rock-A-Teens and the Fireballs. Duane Eddy had broken through in ‘58 but in 1959 he had no less than seven singles on the Hot 100. Johnny & the Hurricanes had their first success this year with three big hits. Black artists, however, had less mainstream success. Jimmy Beck sneaked in at #82 for two weeks with Pipe Dreams, Larry Kerrin’s The Hunch was a hit for both Paul Gayten and the Bobby Peterson Quintet; Bill Doggett had three discs in the R&B charts but apart from a couple of organ hits for Preston Epps and ‘Dave Baby’ Cortez, that was it for R&B instrumentals chart-wise. If you’re knocked out by what you hear from 1959, just wait till you find out what was on offer in 1960 and 1961. RANDB037 My gosh! Can compilations of great R&B instrumentals get any better? Joyous album full of unbridled passion...toe-tapping and dancey- great party or listening musicwith racey, funky guitars, rattling sax and rollicking piano. And the drummers all had fun too. Can’t recommend these two albums highly enough. New Gandy Dancer  
  • 1960 was the year that Instrumentals hit the charts in a big way with guitar or sax-led rockers and slinky organ groovers. Here are the discs that teenagers wanted to hear in the juke joints: exciting, uptempo stompers with catchy, melodic riffs, along with slow, soulful, down home blues. This compilation throws the spotlight on instrumentals by artists more widely associated with vocals, along with more obscure artists who may only have had one or two releases to their name. ...absolutely cracking double CD of 57 superb R&B instrumentals from a vintage year...we’ve just finished whipping through it and it’s going on again in 5 minutes! More please! New Gandy Dancer RANDB034
  • 1962 was the peak year for hit records instrumental-style, with no less than 123 discs scoring on the American pop charts. There wasn’t much in the hit parade to interest R&B fans though, apart from King Curtis’s Soul Twist, Booker T. & The MG's Green Onions and James Brown’s Night Train, but that’s where Mighty Instrumentals R&B-Style 1962 comes in. So what was new in 1962? A bit of surf, a bit of funk, a brand new rhythm on Boogie Twist. More slinky organ groovers, uptown dancers and late night smoochers for teenagers to dance to. And there you have it – 58 R&B scorchers with rhythm aplenty. RANDB044 These albums are full of big, fat chugging and swinging bluesy numbers…With their excellent sound and at such good value for money these CDs will delight fans of the genre. Alan Taylor Pipeline  
  • Just before the United States joined the Second World War, Jazz was at a crossroads. Big Band Swing was at the height of its popularity amongst white jazz fans, but black audiences were tiring of the bland, easy listening fare being served up by the likes of Glenn Miller. It was high time to put some excitement back into jazz, and the ‘honkers and screamers’ were in the right place at the right time to do it. Jazz purists hated it, but the public lapped it up. This set brings together all the jazz and R&B instrumentals that reached the R&B charts between 1942 and 1963 and draws a connecting line between Swing, Bebop, Boogie, Jive, Mambo, Rock’n’roll, culminating in the funky organ grooves of Booker T and Jimmy Smith. It still has the irresistible energy that seduced so many in the Forties, Fifties and Sixties and changed the character of popular music forever. We couldn't get all the hits even on to 4 CDs, so there is an extra 2CD set available as a free bonus set only available direct from us. RANDB050 With its comprehensive, almost scholarly approach, this is a fantastic project – just what the instrumental collector/historian ordered. But it also makes for good entertainment as the sequencing of the tracks is adjusted for listening pleasure. Alan Taylor Pipeline The extensive notes include recording dates, composer, artist, original catalogue numbers and chart entry number/date. There are just so many great tunes here that at times you could be overwhelmed but you’ll be dancing and smiling so never mind. GRAEME SCOTT Blues Matters Here’s a killer compilation of swing, jazz, smoochers, mild/wild rockin’ jivers to fill any sax-loving fan with delight and every one a hit. Compiler Nick Duckett has combed the charts of Billboard, Cashbox R&B, even Pop to come up with the goods, from número uno to a humble #128. You should have no difficulty with most, if not all of the acts, tho some of the titles may be unfamiliar. With bulging booklet, amply illustrated…if you're a sax maniac, you're in hog heaven…more than well worth a listen. Tony Martin American Music Magazine/NDT
  • Here’s a selection of cracking R&B instrumentals, and scarcely a chart hit amongst them. Guitar-led rockers from the West Coast, with fiery picking and heavy blues/rock riffs from Johnny Talbot, Travis Wammack and Roy Buchanan and some early fuzzbox action from Lou Josie of the Ho-Dads. There’s Louisiana sounds from Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack and Robert Parker with Mid-West guitar grooves by Tommy Tucker, Freddy King and Little Milton. Up in New York, you’ve got B.B. King, Wild Jimmy Spruill, and King Curtis blowing out on Soul Train. Dave Lewis and The Exotics were from Seattle and there’s even a Canadian group, future comedian Tommy Chong’s Little Daddy & The Bachelors. These are the records Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Dave Davies, Jeff Beck et al were listening to in 1964. An extra 2CD set is available as a free bonus only if bought direct from us. RANDB053 Sheer eye-opening delight…Its absolute playability is amazing. There’s little need to press the skip button, just sit back and enjoy. Alan Taylor Pipeline
  • This set brings together the finest R&B instrumentals recorded between 1956 and 1957, putting the spotlight both on long-forgotten records by established artists and fabulous obscurities by long-forgotten ones! It’s a cracking compilation from start to finish: Mid-West electric blues, Southern swamp rock, spicy New Orleans rhythms, sophisticated West-Coast productions and East Coast city blues, dominated by guitarists and saxophonists but interspersed with a few organists, accordionists, pianists, harmonicists and even a unitarist. All in all, 120 mighty instrumental stompers from 1956-57, R&B-style. Glorious stuff! An extra 2CD set is available as a free bonus only if bought direct from us. RANDB054
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    includes 32 page booklet RANDB021 Produced as CD-R (professionally manufactured recordable CD printed for short run) as opposed to CD-P (professionally manufactured pressed CDs made in quantities of 500+). All CDs whether CD-R or CD-P are 100% guaranteed error free. Discs will always be replaced if any problems are encountered.
  • Henry Glover was the first producer/writer in the American music industry, paving the way for a host of illustrious followers such as Phil Spector, Leiber & Stoller and Burt Bacharach. Composer, producer, arranger, publisher, talent scout, vocalist, trumpet player, engineer, A&R executive, and, later, a label owner in his own right, Glover was one of the most talented music industry entrepreneurs of the mid-twentieth century. The fact that he was black and working in an exclusively white executive environment makes his achievements all the more remarkable. Glover’s career illustrates the evolution of modern popular music from its beginnings in jazz and blues, through its mutation into rhythm and blues, rock’n’roll and pop, culminating in soul and rock music. His first compositions in the forties were for mainstream artists such as Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Washington in the big band and orchestral mould, but he established himself in the early fifties as a composer of risqué blues such as The Swallows’ It Ain’t The Meat (It’s The Motion), Wynonie Harris’s I Like My Baby’s Pudding and Bull Moose Jackson’s I Want a Bowlegged Woman as well as a host of drinking songs. Glover’s formative years were spent at Cincinnati-based King Records and the majority of hits on that label during its golden era from 1947 to 1958 were Henry Glover productions, most notably Little Willie John’s original 1955 version of Fever. He was equally at home with white country music and black sacred gospel music. His hillbilly song Blues Stay Away from Me has attained the status of classic in its field with versions by such diverse artists as B.B.King, Merle Haggard, Harry James, K.D.Lang and Tennessee Ernie Ford. His pioneering work with Moon Mullican and Hawkshaw Hawkins combining blues and country predates Elvis Presley’s Sun recordings by several years. His best-known song in the soul genre was Ray Charles’s 1960 number one hit Drown In My Own Tears. Towards the end of the fifties, Glover tried his hand at doo-wop and rock’n’roll music, but he found his greatest success in the dance craze era of the early 1960s with songs such as Peppermint Twist, Let The Little Girl Dance and California Sun, later covered by The Ramones. In later years, Glover channelled his energies into finding new artists and forming his own record label (he launched the careers of The Hawks, who mutated into The Band, and of the recently departed Nick Ashford). One of his last productions was Muddy Waters’s swansong The Woodstock Album, which won a Grammy in 1975. RANDB020 Produced as CD-R (professionally manufactured recordable CD printed for short run) as opposed to CD-P (professionally manufactured pressed CDs made in quantities of 500+). All CDs whether CD-R or CD-P are 100% guaranteed error free. Discs will always be replaced if any problems are encountered. 36-page booklet included
  • What is this glorious music we call doo-wop? It’s a style conveying naivete and young love in a way no genre did before. It’s an attitude harking back to the birth of the teenager in the 1950s. For a lot of us, it represents nostalgia for an era we may or may not have experienced. Technically, doo-wop is an amalgam of five key characteristics that are explored in the 24-page booklet that accompanies this CD and richly evidenced in the choice of recordings. This CD, the first in a set of six, covers the formative years of doo-wop, offering astonishing vocal harmonies, vibrant instrumentation and a fun collection of songs that will not fail to please the amateur while being of interest to the serious collector. Compiled and annotated by Anthony J Gribin & Matthew M Schiff, the Doctors of Doo-Wop. RANDB028 Produced as CD-R (professionally manufactured recordable CD printed for short run) as opposed to CD-P (professionally manufactured pressed CDs made in quantities of 500+). All CDs whether CD-R or CD-P are 100% guaranteed error free. Discs will always be replaced if any problems are encountered. 24-page booklet included
  • Outtakes, Stereo Versions and Album Tracks The accompanying 24-page booklet includes many rare photos and an exhaustive session discography by Claus Röhnisch. A collection for Coasters and early rock 'n' roll aficionados! The Coasters had the benefit of recording in the best studios, backed by the best musicians and produced by the top producers of their generation, Leiber and Stoller. Naturally, they were required to run through as many takes of each song as was necessary to satisfy the exacting demands of their mentors. Luckily for us, many of these alternate takes have survived. Mono was the standard recording format until the late 1960s, but many of the big selling artists also recorded alternate versions specifically for the stereo market, which was targeted to the discerning adult listener. Disc One features all the alternate stereo versions of Coasters songs that were issued at the time on album and subsequently on CD. Disc Two takes you deep into the heart of Coasters sessions with composite tracks which combine studio chatter together with the finest moments from various different takes. This disc contains several outtakes which have until now been unavailable anywhere and gives an invaluable insight into the genesis of many well-loved tracks and also into the character and working practice of the Coasters and of their producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. R002
  • Includes fully illustrated booklet. The Coasters are widely considered to be the pre-eminent vocal group of the original rock ´n´ roll era both in sound and attitude, and to have created some of the best vocal group harmonies ever waxed. They had made their musical debut as the Robins during the early years of rhythm and blues and as the Coasters they contributed to shape rock'n'roll with some of the most cheeky, exciting and entertaining songs of the 50s. The original line-up disbanded early but the crucial team of singers and their mentors Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, moved from California to New York and created most of the greatest hits we know today. They were important influences for many later artists who covered their songs, such as the Beatles, the Stones, the Who and the Kinks. This compilation includes 19 hits listed in the Billboard pop and R&B charts between 1956 and 1962 and an accompanying 24-page booklet with many rare photos and notes on the group's evolution. Superlative compilations of essential American music history Not many groups of any kind can claim to have such a distinct influence on pop and rock n roll music as The Coasters. Their lengthy string of iconic hits, mostly courtesy of the pen of their mentors and genius song writing team Leiber & Stoller, and also their unique blend of personality and vocal harmony, took the mixture of doo wop, rock n roll, soul and jazz to new territory, and put them at the pinnacle of the original Rock n Roll and R’n’B era. Covered by everyone from The Beach Boys, Elvis, Zappa, Leon Russell, Alex Harvey, the Grateful Dead, these tunes were also central to the Brit Beat boom of the early 60s (Hamburg-era Beatles’ live set was heavy on Coasters covers). In addition, it’s difficult to understate the sheer magnitude of their influence on popular music; Put simply; these are the explosive and innovative bricks and mortar of all the rock n roll and R’n’B you’ve ever loved. These two new lavishly packaged and annotated double CD collections from the ‘History of RnB’ stable certainly do justice to the legacy and the fantastic energy of this incendiary, funny, and entertaining music. This is energetic music that screams youth, attitude and sass, with jokes, wit, satire and risque humour in spades (the likes of ‘Little Egypt’ were banned on release) that even after all this time still leap from the speakers at full pelt. The Definitive Coasters – The A & B sides collects both sides of the groups first 30 7” singles from their faultless run comprising 1954 to 1962. As such, the crammed-full first disc of A-Sides is as damn near perfect as an 80 minute receptacle of music can conceivably be, and an essential inclusion for anyone with even a passing interest in the development of American music. The B sides disc, quite understandably, has a moderately lower strike rate, and features some less exceptional ballads when compared with the vibrancy of the revolutionary hits, however its hard to argue with the likes of the genuinely funky ‘Turtle Dovin’ and ‘What is the Secret of Your Success’ which both rank as high as any A-Side. Absolutely essential. Those Hoodlum Friends…Coasters in Stereo comprises 49 tracks of rare stereo takes of some of the hits and also key album cuts and out-takes, as well as a full disc packed with composite studio tracks and alternate versions and studio chatter from the archive, many of which have never been released before. Jazz standards like ‘Moonglow’, ‘Autumn Leaves’, ‘Moonlight in Vermont’ and ‘Sunny Side of the Street’ are recorded with orchestras and show a more polished traditional jazz and balladeering side to their style, which although perfectly good is not quite as exciting as their more forthright material. While many early stereo recordings are inferior to their mono comparisons, the mixes here are sharp, luxurious and well defined. Definitely one for the already converted, collectors and connoisseurs, but it’s a look at this important music from a slightly altered angle (‘Run Red Run’ and ‘The Snake and the Bookworm’ offer very fresh perspectives in their alternate forms). Both these generous collections are finely packaged, expertly compiled sets, that are lovingly annotated with encyclopedic attention to detail. History has never been so much damn good fun! Ian Fildes AmericanaUK 9/10 A simply fabulous collection! If you missed out on the limited edition four CD set issued by Rhino Handmade in 2007 the History Of RnB label comes to the rescue with two double sets featuring everything that this fabulous group recorded for Spark and Atco between 1954 and 1962 including a couple of items that were not on the Rhino set but omitting the post 1962 recordings which were generally not as good as the earlier sides. Set comes with 24 page booklet with informative notes, rare photos, label shots and posters. A fabulous set with great sound. Roots & Rhythm R001
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    An excellent invitation to this ground-breaking music. Well worth tracking down. Gary Von Tersch Big City Rhythm & Blues R&B records is one of those dedicated labels which just keeps on giving. The first five volumes of this assiduously researched and compiled series have been an utter revelation, opening up corners of R&B history many of us never knew existed. Seeing as the term ‘R&B’ wasn’t invented in 1938, some of us could be forgiven for imagining that the genre we later became familiar with didn’t stretch back past the 1940s. How wrong we’d be. Throughout this amazing collection there’s more great names than you can shake a stick at. Spending an evening in with this quartet of discs and a few beers is a fine way to spend your time - and there are new names here offering new thrills. And all this, before I was born. Those were the days, indeed. Essential listening! Roy Bainton Blues Matters Now here we are really talking about going back to the roots with World War II lurking just around the corner…there is a sense of early rock'n'roll with The Golden Gate Jubilee and Bob Wills…Big Noise From Winnetka with Bauduc & Haggard is really Big Noise with is a stand-up bass that any rockabilly bassist in the world would be jealous of…The raw guitar sound on Blind Boy Fuller’s "You've Got To Move It On" I think will never be recreated... After listening through the collection you should understand how everything is interrelated. How Chuck Berry got his sound and how, among other things, Beatles and Rolling Stones became what they became. A collection of canons in my opinion and a booklet accompanies the records where there is very good info about the artists and the groups. Jonas Andersson American Music Magazine I have listened to almost nothing but this chronology in the past evenings, but I still feel that I have only just been knocking at the door of a rich treasure trove. Famous names and well-known songs are alternated with rare and unexpected tracks on the four CDs. What makes these sets so special is that they are not a dry and dusty exercise in musical archeology. What they present will be a revelation even for the most enthusiastic R & B enthusiast. Eric Schuurmans Rootsville   RANDB047
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    With 8 page booklet ‘You might think that when you’ve been around for a long time and love music as much as we all do at Blues Matters, that we might become a little blasé receiving CDs to review. You’d be wrong...This is a staggering project, a sheer delight...You can stick a pin in anywhere and come up with a gem of a recording. What these records will present to even the most avid R&B aficionado is a revelation... lifting the lid on a buried treasure chest of arcane recordings, all in a style decades ahead of their time... Every one of these tracks is utterly satisfying. If you’re a true R&B fan, you will not experience a finer collection this year or any other. Exhilarating, educational, historical, but above all, extremely musical, a complete evening’s unforgettable R&B entertainment...Think you know your blues history? Think again. As this has taught me, you’re never too old to learn.’ ROY BAINTON Blues Matters RANDB031 DVD style casing Produced as CD-R (professionally manufactured recordable CD printed for short run) as opposed to CD-P (professionally manufactured pressed CDs made in quantities of 500+). All CDs whether CD-R or CD-P are 100% guaranteed error free. Discs will always be replaced if any problems are encountered.
  • ‘You might think that when you’ve been around for a long time and love music as much as we all do at Blues Matters, that we might become a little blasé receiving CDs to review. You’d be wrong...This is a staggering project, a sheer delight...You can stick a pin in anywhere and come up with a gem of a recording. What these records will present to even the most avid R&B aficionado is a revelation... lifting the lid on a buried treasure chest of arcane recordings, all in a style decades ahead of their time... Every one of these tracks is utterly satisfying. If you’re a true R&B fan, you will not experience a finer collection this year or any other. Exhilarating, educational, historical, but above all, extremely musical, a complete evening’s unforgettable R&B entertainment...Think you know your blues history? Think again. As this has taught me, you’re never too old to learn.’ ROY BAINTON Blues Matters RANDB030 DVD style casing Produced as CD-R (professionally manufactured recordable CD printed for short run) as opposed to CD-P (professionally manufactured pressed CDs made in quantities of 500+). All CDs whether CD-R or CD-P are 100% guaranteed error free. Discs will always be replaced if any problems are encountered.
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    Includes fully illustrated booklet. Clarksdale, Mississippi: birthplace of Ike Turner, Sam Cooke, John Lee Hooker and Son House and home to five taverns visited by Library of Congress researcher Lewis Wade Jones in 1941. In each of these taverns, the Chicken Shack, the Dipsie Doodle, Lucky's, the Messenger's Cafe, and the New Africa, a jukebox. In each jukebox, a choice of records, painstakingly listed by Jones, who figured it was worth it. And now, sitting down in the comfort of your own home, you can pull yourself a beer and listen to the sounds that a 29 year-old Muddy Waters from nearby Stovall might have heard on a night out in Clarksdale on 9th September, 1941. Thanks, Lewis! After reading the impeccable illustrated booklet, all that’s left is to close th eyes, leaving for Clarksdale in 1941, push open the door to any tavern and slip a coin into the music box...magic! Le Pied It’s a brilliant idea, but of course, it stands or falls by the quality of the music on offer. But it stands...boy does it stand...this is blues as pure unadulterated joy...the history crackles from the speakers and blues fans – and indeed fans of good music generally – should beat a path to this album forthwith. Jeremy Searle R2   This is not only a great collection of music it's a significant historical document. A delightful and truly fascinating collection. Frank Scott Roots & Rhythm Overall across the four discs (77 +, 76 +, 74 +, 75 + minutes each) the sound is good/bordering on very good--especially for so many recordings from several labels--recorded from 1938-1941. While the sound has been cleaned up it still has that period warmth and feel which adds to the authenticity. There's occasional surface noise but nothing that gets in the way of enjoying the music. The 18 page booklet has details for each single--title, composer, artist, label, recording date--plus an essay reprinted from 1971 that includes pertinent information about the music/era, and a few photos of performers and other pertinent ephemera. This set is worth five "stars" not only because of the music/artists found that day, but also for the Rhythm and Blues label having the foresight and the chestnuts to release something as important as this. Blues fans looking for authentic music, the kind that patrons of those five clubs listened to using their hard earned nickels in juke boxes, as they drank with friends will find many surprises found on those juke boxes. This collection is from a two year field study of culture in the Mississippi Delta region during the summers of '41 and '42 in conjunction with the Archive of American Folk Song--Library of Congress & Fisk University. If you're a deep blues fan read "Lost Delta Found" and there you'll see one section that lists "Records on Machines in Clarksdale Amusement Places", that lists all the songs. Obviously this collection is the real-deal authentic music heard in that region (and no doubt other areas) in the 1940's. There's no guess work, no random inclusion of songs/performers that fit comfortably in the "juke joint" mould of what people may envision as from that era. Because of the authenticity of the cultural study and Jones' work, this is one of the most important (and eye-opening) collections of music in the blues genre. Plus it makes for darn good listening. Blues fans/blues scholars will have a field day with this fine set--it upsets what many of us thought "juke joint music" was. But the juke box changed all that. It's the music that working people heard after a day of hard work while drinking and relaxing with their friends. On all accounts this collection has to be one of the most authentic, important releases in the blues genre for 2016. Many tracks aren't what people may think of as juke joint music, but the juke box ushered in a new era of music in taverns and local joints all across the South. But more than that--it's just great music. Stuart Jefferson Amazon RANDB036 BONUS CD available free if you order the set from us direct
  • Includes fully illustrated 68page booklet. What they said about Volume Three: 'Mind-bogglingly superb 4CD set ... too good to ignore...the definitive statement on the era...every cut is 100% juicy.' Johnny Black Hifi News 'Strongly recommended both because of the quality of its content and style of music and because of the loving care that has been applied Ian McKenzie Blues & Rhythm Brilliantly packaged with a detailed 68-page booklet, it's hard to think of a music fan who wouldn't want this in their collection.' Terry Staunton Record Collector R010
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    Includes fully illustrated 24page booklet. Well what a set this one is… it is not JUST the music that makes it so valuable (I nearly wrote important)…The 68 page booklet (fully illustrated with labels, photos and billboards) is an exemplar of how these things should be done. Each individual track comes with a textual analysis and full recording details…The wealth of information presented is both impressive and delightful. Impressive because of the volume of research that must have been undertaken to produce the text and delightful because of the fascinating information delivered to the reader, particularly in the context of the sequencing of the tracks…there is more information here than will often be found in some books purporting to discuss the genre. Ian McKenzie Blues & Rhythm Breathtaking collection of vintage greats...brilliantly packaged with a detailed 68-page booklet, it’s hard to think of a music fan who wouldn’t want this in their collection. Terry Staunton Record Collector Hugely entertaining…ease back and luxuriate in the warm flow of mostly black sounds. Geoff Brown Mojo A multi-genre, colour-blind, cross-label and highly inclusive collection… delivers a history lesson with a helluva backbeat… Essential music by any measure, in a box set which does it justice and best of all, it rocks like a mother. Elsewhere.co.nz RANDB011
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    Includes fully illustrated 24page booklet. There’s so little on this box set that I wouldn’t be overjoyed to play you… an absolutely essential purchase. Mark Lamarr BBC Radio Two Fellow addicts will already have many of the tracks, but purchasing them again to have them put in the context of blues development should be a joy rather than a hardship.… As a whole package, it is irresistible and should be an essential on the shopping list of all self respecting r’n’b junkies. David Innes R2 The History of Rhythm and Blues 1942-52 is just splendid, it's a labour of love and a work of supreme scholarship, put together by people who obviously care. From boogie men to boppers, hillbilly's to honkers it is beautifully programmed and has polished some dusty old gems into a relevant and modern work of art. Compilations of the music of any genre from history are ten a penny these days, thrown together with little thought for anything bar profit. This is something else, something very special indeed. It realises that recorded music has a place in social history, its own mythology, a narrative and in its four discs and lovingly annotated 68 page book, it tells that story. So as well as the fabulous and joyful music, we get thoughts on the development of radio, the race laws of early 20th century America and the migration of workers, the jukebox phenomenon and even technical information about patterns in the 12 bar blues form. The compilers of this set have created a desirable object every bit as a precious as a memory, as valuable as a necklace, they are heroes of the gramophone, the record player, the cd machine. Just buy it, you won't go far wrong. Ian Clayton Among a plethora of such comps…frankly, it’s probably the best of its kind. Whether you want to learn more about the genre or have been listening for years, this collection leaves others eating its dust. Laith Al-Kaisy Record Collector RANDB048
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    The History of Rhythm and Blues series of CDs brings you the accidental synthesis of jazz, gospel, blues, ragtime, country, pop and Latin into a definable form of black music, which would influence pretty well all popular music from the 1950s to the present. It is the first attempt to put together a cross-label compilation showcasing the most important and influential records in the rise of Rhythm & Blues. Includes fully illustrated 32page booklet. One of the finest box sets released in recent years… the reissue of the year by a country mile -Jeremy Searle, RocknReel It’s difficult to imagine any set doing a better job of tracing the roots of R&B -Steve Leggett, All Music Guide Cross-label set tells story better than anything before…offers wealth of insights into song origins -Johnny Black, Mojo RANDB008