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The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988 Box set


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Audio CD, Box set, November 11, 2013
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Herbie Hancock is a true icon of modern music. Throughout his explorations, he has transcended limitations and genres while maintaining his unmistakable voice. With an illustrious career spanning five decades and 12 Grammy® Awards including the 2007 Album Of The Year for ‘River: The Joni Letters’, he continues to amaze audiences.

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The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988 + The Original Mono Recordings
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 11, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 2013
  • Number of Discs: 34
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Legacy
  • ASIN: B003M3UJIK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,570 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Gathered here for the first time are all of the recordings Herbie Hancock (b. 1940) made for Columbia Records U.S. and CBS/Sony Records Japan between 1972 and 1988--a stunningly creative, 17-year period, yielding 31 albums. Eight of the titles in this set have never been released outside of Japan. This collection of 34 newly-remastered CDs showcases Herbie's virtuosity in a dazzling display of musical styles. It is a testament to his fearlessness, innovation, and ever-evolving curiosity, as well as his significant commercial success--the platinum certifications of Head Hunters and Future Shock. Herbie's influence on countless musicians and musical styles has been and continues to be enormous. The elegant, highly-stylized 200-page book contains an insightful overview essay, complete discographical data, mini-histories of each album, an electronic instrument glossary, and dozens of striking images. The 17 remarkable years captured here find him at his very peak.
Includes 3 albums made for Columbia U.S. which have never been on CD - Sunlight, Magic Windows, and Lite Me Up.
Contains the only 2 piano trio recordings ever made by Herbie as a leader (both featuring Ron Carter & Tony Williams) + his only solo piano/solo keyboards sessions ever (The Piano and Dedication).
Other highlights include Herbie's Mwandishi band (Sextant); the platinum-selling Headhunters period (Head Hunters/Thrust/Flood); his enormously popular, MTV-pioneering Rockit band (Future Shock/Sound-System/Perfect Machine); and historical acoustic jazz recordings featuring Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Ron Carter and Tony Williams among others (the VSOP bands; his duet with Chick Corea; trio recordings with Ron Carter & Tony Williams; and his brilliant solo piano/solo keyboards recordings).

ALBUMS
1. Sextant (1973)
2. Head Hunters (1973)
3. Dedication (1974)*
4. Thrust (1974)
5. Death Wish /OST (1974)
6. Flood (1975)*
7. Man-Child (1975)
8. Secrets (1976)
9. V.S.O.P. (1976 - 2CDs )
10. Herbie Hancock Trio (1977)*
11. V.S.O.P.: The Quintet (1977)
12. V.S.O.P.: Tempest In The Colosseum (1977)*
13. An Evening With Herbie Hancock & Chick Corea (1978 - 2 CDs)
14. Sunlight (1978)
15. Feets Don't Fail Me Now (1978)
16. Direct Step (1978)*
17. The Piano (1978)
18. V.S.O.P.: Live Under The Sky (1979 - 2 CDs)
19. V.S.O.P.: Five Stars (1979)*
20. Butterfly w/ Kimiko Kasai (1979)*
21. Monster (1980)
22. Mr. Hands (1980)
23. Magic Windows (1981)
24. Herbie Hancock Trio w/ Ron Carter + Tony Williams (1981)*
25. Herbie Hancock Quartet (1981)
26. Lite Me Up (1982)
27. Future Shock (1983)
28. Sound-System (1984)
29. Village Life (1984)
30. Round Midnight / OST (1985)
31. Perfect Machine (1988)
* First time on CD outside of Japan.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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This is one purchase I am glad I made.
Robert Elwin Martin
In Columbia's effort to be "true to the originals," it printed the original LP sleeves on the CD sleeves exactly as everything appeared on the original LP sleeves.
Book-Movie-Music Lover
Hancock also found time to record more traditional jazz while creating more commercially oriented music.
Mr. Lonnie B.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Book-Movie-Music Lover on November 12, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Most Herbie Hancock fans, I'm sure, have long-awaited this impressive box set. A few dedicated fans purchased many of the individual Columbia CDs when they were first released. The problem is that, once they were released the first time, many of them were never re-released. As a result, many of these original-release Columbia CDs are available for sale at exhorbitant prices - sometimes $100 or more each, even in used condition.
The majority of Herbie's pre-Columbia releases (1962-1971) are still relatively inexpensive to purchase on CD, as are his post-Columbia releases (1994 to the present). Again, the real challenge has been finding many of his Columbia releases (1972-1988). (To my knowledge, he didn't release anything on any label between 1989 and 1993.)
To purchase all of his Columbia CDs individually these days could easily cost thousands of dollars, if you can even find some of the really rare ones at all. So, having access to all of them for under $200 in this box set is an incredible bargain.
The downside, of course, is that, if you have several of his Columbia releases on CD already, you will end up with some duplicates. Still, this might be a good opportunity to turn some friends onto his music by giving them your duplicates (as I will be doing).
Listening to these releases (many of which I haven't heard since I purchased the original LPs 30 to 40 years ago) is a real trip down memory lane.
There is only one complaint that I have, and it is a minor one. In Columbia's effort to be "true to the originals," it printed the original LP sleeves on the CD sleeves exactly as everything appeared on the original LP sleeves.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dean Monti on December 9, 2013
Format: Audio CD
I acquired all these separately, over 20 years, on LP and CD, and while that was fun and worth it, I probably paid a fortune. I can certainly attest that the Japanese CDs in this collection that have not been readily available in the US (at various times) will provide the biggest bang for your buck. If I did not already own these CDs, it would be a steal at this price to get these gems:

1. Dedication (1974)* (nice solo piano -- rare at the time for Herbie, and then some interesting solo synth explorations.
2. Flood (1975)* (the ONLY commercially released live Headhunters album is a killer. I remember ordering the original gatefold LP from Japan. It's been a favorite ever since)
3. Herbie Hancock Trio (1977)* (Hancock/Carter/Williams)
4. V.S.O.P.: Tempest In The Colosseum (1977)* (there will never be enough VSOP. This one's also a killer, with some nice tunes not on the US releases)
5. Direct Step (1978)* (not a killer, perhaps, but good funk. some Headhunters, but with Alphonse Mouzon).
6. V.S.O.P.: Five Stars (1979)* One of my favorite all time jazz releases ever, marred only by the fact that it's one tune too short! It's the only studio recording of VSOP and contains compositions by 4 of the five stars (still don't know why they didn't include a number by Ron Carter to make this complete. Hubbard's opening Skagly is a killer, but Tony Williams Mutants on the Beach with this band is beyond great. Beautifully full, clear recording. You will rarely, if ever, hear Ron Carter's bass so clear.
7. Butterfly w/ Kimiko Kasai (1979)* Not a killer, exactly, but good Headhunters backing.
8.
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15 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Agnes Andrea on November 19, 2013
Format: Audio CD
Much of this set, of course, comprises Hancock's synthesizer-heavy output for Columbia, and the disco/dance/funk stuff hasn't really aged so well.
Hancock and producer Rubinson probably set out to shape the sound of the future, but it was just the fad of the moment actually... Fairlight, Oberheim, Prophet, ARP synthesizers, the vocoder!... hardly any musician, any studio uses them anymore.

It's quite ironic that the music Hancock recorded during those years using a traditional, acoustic setting (piano solo, piano trio etc.) sounds more modern and fresh than the electronic music employing state-of-the-art technology of the day.

And this brings us to the good bits.
I was surprised to find how many beautiful gems you can handpick amid the funky/fusion sides. The acoustic records are uniformly great, confirming that Hancock's genius has always been there: the solo record "The Piano"; the discs in Trio (2 CDS) and the Quartet with Wynton Marsalis (1); the concert with Chick Corea (2); the V.S.O.P. quintet with Hubbard and Shorter (about 6 CDs), and the "Round Midnight" soundtrack, possibly the best record of the lot, which deservedly won him an Oscar.

Among the electronic records there is some valid stuff too: the Mwandishi Band's "Sextant" and the first Headhunters ("Head Hunters"); the beautiful solo-Hancock "Dedication" (one side acoustic, one side electronic, both highly enjoyable); the disc with Japanese singer Kimiko Kasai; the tasteful "Village Life" with Foday Musa Suso.

So, to my taste, at least half of these 34 discs are worth having... and you can currently find this set for about Euros 110 / $ 150.
Is it reasonable? Is it expensive? It's very subjective, I guess... the good stuff is really good, the funky stuff is often lame.
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