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The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988 Box set

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, November 11, 2013
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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).

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.

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 11, 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: #67,662 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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.
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Format: Audio CD
As Bob Beldon writes in his notes for the 200 page book that accompanies this 34 disc collection of albums, the trend setting and following Herbie Hancock was like a chameleon “in the sense of an evolving, inclusive entity that flows with the waters and rhythms of life, embracing each moment for what it is.” Hancock made his name as a leader in the post bop format of acoustic jazz in the sixties. But, from 1972 to 1988, the era that this gigantic gold mine of album sleeved set of discs actually covers, Mr. Hancock set, jumped on, re-defined and transcended genres, trends and styles with a variety of sounds and bands that ranged from post modern acoustic to synthesized funk. And everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, in between.

One of the hooks on this boxed set of the 31 different releases (3 are double discs) that Hancock released during those 16 years (essentially putting out 2 albums a year!) is that 8 of these musical entities have never been available in the US before, having been released in only the Japanese market. Those eight delights are Dedication (1974), Flood (1975), The Herbie Hancock Trio (1977) Tempest In The Colosseum (1977), Five Stars (1979), Butterfly (1979), and Herbie Hancock Trio With Ron Carter + Tony Williams (1981). Any self-respecting Hancock fan will salivate for joy over what his ears have been missing with these bathing beauties.

Going over each disc individually would be like going on a tour of the Louvre-it’s just overwhelming and exhausting. The easier route here is to put Hancock’s releases into various categories.
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The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988
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