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Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B [4 CD Box Set] Box set

4.3 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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$44.60 & FREE Shipping. Details Only 15 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B [4 CD Box Set]
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Product Description

Those owning one or more greatest-hits collections by this band won't get fooled again-this is the definitive collection, a 79-track anthology that artfully mixes classics and rarities and documents them all with a 72-page, full-color, photo-packed booklet containing a discography and group chronology. Among the many highlights: 14 unreleased musical tracks, including High Numbers tunes and hotly sought-after songs like Early Morning Cold Taxi , 14 live performances, advertisements, studio and stage chatter (like Pete Townshend's bashing Abbie Hoffman off the Woodstock stage) and a largely remixed sound quality. F-f-f-fantastic!

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This exemplary four-disc box takes the high road, attempting nothing less than an honest reconstruction of the Who's stormy, adventurous, uneven pilgrimage. While offering an evenhanded cross-section of single hits and classic album tracks, 30 Years garnishes the expected high points with B-sides, alternate and live versions of familiar tracks, and the quartet's earliest singles as the High Numbers. Reinforcing the package's documentary agenda are interview and stage-patter sound bites. What emerges is a fascinating chronicle of how the Shepherd's Bush mods journeyed from the giddy, explosive concision of their January 1965 debut single, "I Can't Explain," to the discursive, knotty sweep of creative architect Pete Townshend's "rock operas," Tommy, Quadrophenia, and the uncompleted, unreleased Lifehouse. The Who's swift evolution into rock visionaries is traced chronologically, meaning the band's original immersion in "maximum R&B," which forged their earliest club dates, doesn't surface on record until midway through the sequence, on key tracks from their thundering Live at Leeds album. Fans may quibble over the relative weight given specific albums, but the shape of the Who's career and their passionate identification with their audience are rendered faithfully. So, too, is Townshend's skill at mingling issues of faith and identity with generational manifestoes and sly broadsides. And there's ample evidence of the quartet's outsize musical power; the sheer volume and violence that earned them notoriety early on is matched by a lyricism that deepens by mid career. Given the candor of the presentation, it's not surprising that 30 Years reaches its zenith midway through the set or that the last song (a reunion of the surviving trio covering Elton John) can't help seeming anticlimactic. --Sam Sutherland
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Disc 3
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 5, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: July 5, 1994
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • 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: Geffen
  • ASIN: B000002ORU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,370 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
You would have to spend a lotta money to get all these songs on their original discs. This is the best "best of" compilation ever...but at the cost of superior sonics. The sound quality on these discs is horrible. Listen to any track on the box's discs from WHO'S NEXT and then listen to the remastered WHO'S NEXT from just a few years ago and the difference will amaze you. I can stand for the sound to be a little wooly on the older stuff but for the tracks on disc 3 and 4 to sound the way they do is a crime. The box is only worth it to me for the hard to find tracks like JOIN TOGETHER and LONG LIVE ROCK and THE KIDS ARE ALLRIGHT. Other wise save your money and by the remasters of WHO'S NEXT and LIVE AT LEEDS.
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Format: Audio CD
For a band to obtain such a high status as the Who have, they sure had some crummy treatment from their record companies with numerous substandard compilations. 30 Years Of Maximum R&B was an honest attempt to try to set the record straight but there are some problems with it. There are 79 songs on the box set but at least five of them are edited down from full length. They are: Jaguar, Shaken All Over, Bargain, Dreaming From The Waist, and Who Are You (which is NOT the single version it proclaims to be; I know because I have the single). Furthermore, A Quick One, While He's Away and See Me, Feel Me both alternate between live and studio versions in the same songs. Happy Jack also is not the single version but an alternate version with a different drum track. And for those who are looking for the studio version of Substitute you won't find it here. On the plus side there are a number of unreleased live tracks where the Who really shines, among them Naked Eye, Dreaming From The Waist, and My Wife. There are also unreleased studio tracks, studio banter, and live verbal diatribes with the audience (there's even the assault, both verbal and physical, between Pete Townshend and Abbie Hoffman at Woodstock!!). And there's the awesome full length version of The Kids Are Alright which is finally available in the U.S. Personally, I would drop a couple of unreleased tracks to get the full length version of the above mentioned songs. Still, I suspect it will appeal to completists who have everything else and will want the unreleased stuff. But for those who want the hits I suggest picking up My Generation-The Very Best Of The Who which delivers the hits, and then explore other cds (Tommy, Who's Next, Live At Leeds) to get better examples of what this great band has accomplished.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a big pill to swallow. It is a huge pill. Five hours of a band that has built the reputation of being the hardest rocking band out there. The Who have been around since the early sixties, and this box captures it all. Not every track, but plenty enough to capture an acurate picture of the band at every stage of their career from The High Numbers through the 1989 Reunion Tour. In addition to the unforgettable and unforgivable songs in their illustrious catalogue, this collection is peppered with amusing snippits of concert dialogue, comedic radio sitcoms, and studio false starts. Alternate versions of already familiar songs help keep this collection fresh, and the book that comes with it is detailed and enlightening. There is more than enough here to introduce the uninitiated to The Who, and there is certainly enough unreleased material to keep the ititiated interested. This is comprehensive. It is what a box set is supposed to be. However, don't expect to be listening to it start to finish repeatedly. Rather, it is like a cherrished book that is lovingly read every once in a long while and fondly remembered in between.
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Format: Audio CD
The "Thirty Years" title of this collection is misleading. Though released to coincide with the band's 30 year anniversary, it had already been 15 years since the death of drummer Keith Moon and 12 years since the release of the band's last studio album. Only one track was recorded after the band's 1982-83 "farewell" tour. Chronological nitpicking aside, this four disc box set, while indeed containing a ton of terrific music, suffers from an identity crisis.
Who exactly is its target audience? I ask that question because it is about evenly split between rare tracks/alternative versions and original recordings from the band's studio and live albums. As such, the collection is too lengthy to be of interest to casual fans and contains way too much repetitious material for ardent fans who likely already own most if not all of the Who's catalog. Confusing things even more are a generous helping of "dialog" tracks (including Pete swearing at the audience during a live show, the band members making disgusting phlemetic noises prior to recording "Behind Blue Eyes") that do more to damage the band's legacy than enhance it.
All of that said, the music itself remains tremendously powerful. For all of its flaws, "30 Years" is still well worth repeated listenings for those with a little extra money to spend.
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Format: Audio CD
It's not that this is bad material (with some exceptions, like the horrible alternate "The Real Me" that should have stayed unreleased), just that there are a LOT of little mistakes and annoyances that really add up. One or two mistakes or annoyances would have been understandable and easy to ignore, but not when they keep happening over and over again. The constant seguing of the songs is by far the worst error. This technique only works well when the end of the first song and the beginning of the following one sound enough alike to phased in and out simultaneously. Many times there isn't even one single nanosecond of breathing space between songs. There are also a few songs which are a mix of studio and live versions, like "A Quick One" and "See Me, Feel Me." Other big errors are mislabelling "Sparks" (the live Woodstock version) as "Underture." They never did "Underture" live. The live "Bargain" on here is also shortened by about a minute; the full-length version of this particular live rendition is found on the rarities compilation 'Who's Missing,' which was released some years before this boxed set came along. There are also a number of errors in the booklet, like giving incorrect chart positions for some songs and reinforcing the common but incorrect belief that Keith Moon was born in 1947; he was born in 1946 but lied about his age so people would think he was younger.
Besides the constant seguing, the other most annoying thing on here is the inclusion of way too many songs from 'Sell Out,' a total of eight of the original thirteen. There's also too much material from 'Who's Next' and the original LAL.
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Thirty Years Of Maximum R&B [4 CD Box Set]
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