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Goodbye, Babylon [Box set]

Various Artists Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Price: $91.19 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Goodbye, Babylon + Nuggets of Golden Age of Gospel 1945-1958
Price for both: $116.17

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 27, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: October 27, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • 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: Dust-to-Digital
  • ASIN: B0000DBOCB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,019 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Debut release on this label, an incredible package of early gospel music, in a deluxe handcrafted wooden box (designed by Susan Archie, who was previously responsible for the Grammy-winning Charley Patton boxset on Revenant). 5 CDs featuring 135 songs (1902-1960), 1 CD featuring 25 sermons (1926-1941). Notes and essays by musicologists and scholars. Contributors include Lynn Abbott, David Evans, Ray Funk, Anthony Heilbut, Kip Lornell, Luigi Monge, Paul Oliver, Opal Louis Nations, Bruce Nemerov, Guido van Rijn, Ken Romanowski, Tony Russell, Doug Seroff, Dick Spottswood, Warren Steel, David Tibet, Gayle Dean Wardlow, and Charles Wolfe. 200 page book with Bible verses, complete lyric transcriptions, and notes for each recording, plus over 200 illustrations. Reverently packed in raw cotton and housed in a deluxe 8" x 11" x 2.5" cedar box. "If you're not sure where you'll stand on judgement morning, we have five CDs of guitar evangelists, holiness string bands, jubilee gospel quartets, sacred harp choirs and sanctified jug music to rock your soul plus one CD of shouting sisters and powerful preachers to deliver the message about your starry crown." According to Greil Marcus: "The best country-religious music collection I have ever heard."


"Goodbye, Babylon" is one of the most impressive collections of gospel recordings ever assembled. -- Will Hermes, Spin, March 2004

...we should study and cherish collections like Goodbye, Babylon. -- Matt Labash, Weekly Standard, March 15, 2004

This fantastic box of holy ruckus is the greatest anthology of antique Southern sacred song and oratory ever assembled. -- David Fricke, Rolling Stone, January 22, 2004

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A piece of America December 9, 2005
Format:Audio CD
I have had this set for over a year and I still have not listened to it all. 135 songs of such diverse and interesting variety and styles. The music is so raw in most cases that it speaks to the gut first, then the heart.
Dust to Digital is the best outfit in the world for locating and assembling such massive historical recordings. This is the most pleasureable set of gospel (if you can limit it to that genre) music, ever. Thank you DtoD.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy. July 7, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Look up. Does it say "in stock"? It does? Buy it! The hell with the damn money - life's short, and this jewel from Dust To Digital is worth every cent. Goodbye, Babylon is a rich, deep vein of mixed ore - plenty of utilitarian coal, a good leavening of gold, and a double handful of diamonds. For starters, the box set itself is a beautiful object, made with respect and love. For musical trainspotters, there's plenty here to enjoy and mull over - by far the larger proportion not found on any of my other compilations. And for people like me, who are trawling for that elusive and rare combination of passion and melody, humanity and heartbreak, yearning and joy - it can be found here. I distilled the six CDs down to a compilation that I listen to as I would any good music, and as frequently - it's a great Sunday morning CD and, if you live in the suburbs like I don't, it'll freak the neighbours. Oh, unless you live in the southern states of the US, of course. Ahem. Anyway, sift through and you'll find beautiful songs that will lift your spirits, old weird America stuff that'll make you smile and sing along, and a wealth of really interesting music that draws from many traditions. This one is special, and worth it. Enjoy.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is A Must-Have May 13, 2006
By Alias
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This set includes 5 music CD's plus 1 preaching CD. All six are good ones and each individual CD is put together according to a single theme; salvation, judgement, etc. I listen to this over and over again and I never tire of it. Maybe this is a bit pricy, but still it's worth every cent.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly splendid collection January 4, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is one of the most wide-ranging and wonderful collections of early roots music I've found. The performances range from gospel quartets and choirs through blues and jug bands, pulling together influences from gospel, bluegrass and country, jazz, and blues. And then there's an entire disc of sermons, with such gems (no pun intended) as "Black Diamond Express to Hell". Great stuff, and a wonderfully eclectic collection of early roots music, gospel or not.

The sound quality is very good, especially given the age of many of the sources.

There's not a ton of historical/biographical info in the 200+ page book, but the inclusion of all the lyrics of every song is a huge win. The packaging is as cool as it looks, but isn't terribly practical for day-to-day use. That wasn't a problem for me, as I ripped all six CDs and have primarily played them off my computers, but could be a nuisance for some.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars deeply moving January 12, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
i haven't a religious bone in my body, but this boxed set has provided me with one of the most moving listening experiences of my life. a good deal of this music is full of an intense yearning, coming from men and women who didn't have an easy lot in life. the sacred harp singing is a particular highlight for me. turn off whatever might provide a distraction and set aside an afternoon to listen. my budget prevents me from buying boxed sets such as these very often, but, to the best of my knowledge, there's no other collection of american religious music with this kind of scope and attention to detail - from mastering to liner notes (lyrics!) to packaging. i'm not usually one to care about packaging but the wooden box feels like a lovely personal touch - apparently the cotton comes from the label owners' farm. be forewarned that the discs can slide around in the box and out of their protective sleeves, though.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gospel the best and moving September 18, 2011
By opihb
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
If you'r looking for church music, Gospel, songs from the heart, then listen to this wonderful collection, starting from the early days in the 20th century. Wonderful !!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old times not forgotten November 2, 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The product was as expected. That means material from before the time I was born in 1950. It sounds like old time AM radio because the source media is in most cases at least that old and much of it is gramophone. If you want to know what music was like then go for it. Excuse me. It is rural music not New York City music. This is what my parents and grandparents listened to.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye, Babylon
I purchased this for my son and he loves it....I would certainly recommend it....Very high quality and excellent pictures as well...
Published 7 months ago by Teresa
5.0 out of 5 stars Where's the sixth star?
Five stars does not do justice to this magnificent collection. This set picks up where the second disc of the "Social Music" collection on Harry Smith's "Anthology of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by 3twenty6
5.0 out of 5 stars When George Jones was a Preacher Man
Yes that was well covered up-check out the Sermons CD
Actually Jones made a number or Gospel albums like Cup Of Loneliness. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing package, amazing music, as good as it gets
marvelous box, chock full of gems, some obscure some well known. Extremely intelligently sequenced, out of chronological order and with no regard to race or region, hence making a... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Y. Beauvais
5.0 out of 5 stars great gift
Bob Dylan gave a copy of "Goodbye Babylon" to Neil Young for Christmas one year. That's all you need to know.
Published on February 24, 2012 by carl racine
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this!
This a very valuable collection of gospel music. Be aware that is all gospel. Is is nearly all old time gospel, and it gives us a rich history of the passion that goes into this... Read more
Published on July 3, 2008 by David A. Brody
1.0 out of 5 stars Use Caution When Buying
Having read the enthusiastic reviews here and in the the New York Times, I couldn't wait for this boxed set to arrive. Read more
Published on December 5, 2007 by dobedo
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