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The 1930's Recordings Box set, Import


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Audio CD, Box set, Import, July 11, 2000
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$24.99
$19.08 $16.97

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Frequently Bought Together

The 1930's Recordings + The Ultimate Collection + Sing Their Great Hits In Stereo [ORIGINAL RECORDINGS REMASTERED] 2CD SET
Price for all three: $47.97

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 11, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 5
  • Format: Box set, Import
  • 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: JSP Records
  • ASIN: B00004TFO2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,984 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Nobody's Sweetheart
2. Tiger Rag - The Mills Brothers
3. Nobody's Sweetheart
4. Tiger Rag - The Mills Brothers
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Old Man of the Mountain
2. Bugle Call Rag
3. Old Man of the Mountain
4. It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got...)
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Put on Your Old Grey Bonnet
2. Sleepyhead
3. Lazybones
4. Nagasaki
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Lulu's Back in Town
2. Sweet and Slow
3. Old Fashioned Love
4. Lazybones
See all 23 tracks on this disc
Disc: 5
1. Organ Grinder's Swing
2. Let Me Dream
3. Caravan
4. Little Old Lady
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

It's difficult to pinpoint the most phenomenal detail of the Mills Brothers' five-CD 1930s Recordings. Is it the audio? The unbelievable genius of the Mills family from Piqua, Ohio? The tune selection? Rest assured that you get gobs of genius from this set--in performance, in audio quality, in scope of music. In terms of sound, John R.T. Davies, whose work on the Louis Armstrong Hot Fives and Sevens JSP 4-CD set makes that set the premier Satchmo set, remastered these 116 tracks meticulously. In terms of music, the package's scope comprises virtually all the Mills Brothers' great early hits, from 1931's "Tiger Rag" and "Dinah" (a duet with Bing Crosby) to 1932's "Bugle Call Rag" and Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," and more than 100 other cuts recorded between 1931 and 1937.

The Mills Brothers were originally billed as "Four Boys and a Guitar," and their utterly unique sound shines under Davies's light, with the bass thump of oldest brother John resonating deeply beneath Harry (baritone), Herbert (tenor), and Donald (lead). They mimic horns beautifully, so much so that when real orchestras back them, it sounds richer but also more tricky--where does Cab Calloway's band kick in on 1932's "Doin' the New Low Down" and where do the mock horns end? Ditto for the mesmerizing mix of Louis Armstrong and the brothers on 1938's "My Walking Stick," where Herbert's trumpet squares up beautifully with Satchmo's. They were still unassailable even in the late 1930s, and the last volume here catches the Mills Brothers as their popularity was waning. Perhaps it was the advancing power of swing big bands as the Depression eased, or perhaps their material was becoming tiresome. Whatever the cause, the Millses' approach begins to sound more like standard pop-cultural fare on "My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii," but they hadn't even come close to the height of their enormous fame--that would come with 1943's "Paper Doll," 1952's "Glow Worm," and an overall impression that the Mills Brothers were an institution. Here you get what came before, sometimes simple exuberant talent taking on silly little ditties, and sometimes inspired brilliance adorned only by a nice ditty and flabbergasting vocal chops. --Andrew Bartlett

Customer Reviews

JSP has done it again!
"Gimpy" Peach Johnson
Hearing the song as it develops in each take is really a treat for for anyone who truly loves music.
Phill862
Yeah, a few of the songs are repeated now and then, but it's all good.
Patrick Madigan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
My reason for not giving this five stars is due to the large number of alternate recordings of duplicate songs, but this is really due to the utterly documentarian approach the folks that put this CD together followed. Every single recording from the Mills Brothers earliest years are here (in stunningly good sound), presented in chronological order, which means that the listener is subjected to multiple recordings of "Caravan" and others. If you are a Mills Brothers fanatic (as I am), this is an indispensable set to own. If you are a more casual fan, pick up one of the greatest hits CD's listed here.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "Gimpy" Peach Johnson on February 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD
JSP has done it again! I'm a big fan of their CD box sets--I've got the Jelly Roll Morton set, the Louis Armstrong set, and the Carter Family set. They're all excellent! This one is no exception. The remastering is by John R. T. Davies, so naturally, the sound is superb. From the earliest 1931 recordings through the 1938 sessions here, the recordings are crisp, clear, and rich-sounding. Each piece is a gem. The Mills Brothers voices blend so smoothly together, I could listen to their records for hours. And with this 5-disc box set I *can* listen for hours! Each disc is packed full, and I appreciate having the alternate takes. Occasioanlly on these discs, the Mills Brothers are joined by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Alice Faye, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Dick Powell, and a few others. The liner notes are good, and for five CD's, you can't beat the price. My only complaint--and it's a small one--is while the recording dates and master numbers for all selections are given, no indication is made of the original record labels or numbers.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Madigan on May 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What a great collection of music! I knew very little about the Mills Brothers prior to buying this set, and pretty much found this item by accident (you know how it is on Amazon). But I have purchased JSP sets before, and was familiar with their high quality and value. So I took a chance on the Mills Brothers, and since getting these I've listened to the set over and over, I never seem to get tired of it. Yeah, a few of the songs are repeated now and then, but it's all good. I have to say that this is one of the best music purchases I've ever made. I'm just glad that CD's don't wear out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Watters on December 14, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Like all box sets, this may be too much of a good thing, but a good thing it is, too, and a lot of great music is included herein at a tremendous price. The Mills Brothers would soldier on into a proto-doowop pop group in the 1950s, but it's these early days that were really interesting, when the brothers were initially billed as Four Boys and a Guitar. Their act was not only swinging (and funny) group vocals in the manner of the Boswell Sisters. The Mills Brothers could also replicate the sound of an entire horn section with their mouths, creating the effect of a jazz ensemble with only their voices. With complex, contrapuntal charts like Ellington's "Caravan" or Hoagy Carmichael's "Skylark", or complex wordplay like "Nagasaki", the effect was exhilirating, and it's happiness that would remain the Mills Brothers stock-in-trade throughout the decade, whether on their own or providing vocal backup to the likes of Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong, who are both represented here. While this set is too much to digest in a single sitting, smaller helpings are sweet and help nourish the soul.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. Robinson on June 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I am a big Mills Brothers fan and thought I just couldn't live without this 5-disc set of their earliest recordings. Frankly, I've become bored. The producer decided every recording, in chronological order, even those recorded twice, three times, even four, should all be included. I've struggled to listen all the way through, and am still working at it; after all, I paid $60 bucks for this set. At the same time I purchased THE ANTHOLOGY (1931 to 1968) which is nothing short of delightful. That's the one I recommend!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By nobody on July 14, 2013
Format: Audio CD
This is a great box set. I've owned this since 2001 and realized that I needed to add to the reviews since there were only 7 of them. Obviously if you prefer the 1930's Mills Brothers this is a must have item, and a great deal as well.

Check out the version of Sweet Lucy Brown from 1943 that's on youtube. Incredible!
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