Customer Reviews: Goodbye, Babylon
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Customer Reviews

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on December 9, 2005
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.
22 comments| 68 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 7, 2008
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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on January 12, 2010
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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on May 13, 2006
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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on January 4, 2007
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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on January 11, 2013
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 very strong point for the magnificence, color-blindness, and time-defying power of music. Sound quality is as good as any such collections comprised of old 78 transfer. The moron who left the only non 5-star review of this extraordinarily revelatory set, claiming this is atrocious sounding, has clearly never heard old recordings. Ignore his ignorance and buy this now. It is a must-own for all or any who cares about American music.
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on February 4, 2014
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 American Folk Music" leaves off. A few of the songs here do appear on the Smith collection, but for the most part, Goodbye, Babylon uses Smith's work as a springboard into the deeper realms of spiritual music from the first half of the 20th century.

Practically every note of the collection is a highlight and serves as a wonderful launchpad for deeper investigation into the amazing world of early 20th century gospel music. Some of the tunes are by well-known folks (Hank Williams, Uncle Dave Macon, the Carter Family) and some are by completely obscure names that you'll never see anywhere else.

If you're an amateur (or not-so-amateur) musicologist or blues/folk/race/hillbilly record nut, this is a phenomenal collection of tracks. Lovingly assembled, lavishly-packaged, and beautifully annotated, "Goodbye, Babylon" can be the start of a million explorations, or the focus of a single deep dig.
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on September 18, 2011
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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on January 26, 2016
My experience was similar to the reviewer who found the cds would not play except some played at least a little. I too had to return the set. This is a shame because the music that did play was great. The book was also fine and the wood box the cds and book came is was a nice touch. All that said if the cds don't play what good is it I contacted the producer of this cd set to see if they could help but they never responded to me
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on November 2, 2009
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.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse