on July 9, 2003
I own tons of blues CD's and records but I find myself going back to this collection over and over again. The songs represent some of the strongest recordings by the masters of the blues. Whether your interest is delta blues, piano blues, jump blues, Chicago blues or smooth urban blues; you'll find plenty to peak your ear. If you're lucky as I was, you'll find some unfamiliar and great artists to lead you down new musical roads. Some of my personal favorites are: That's No Way to Get Along - Robert Wilkins, What's the Matter with the Mill? - Kansas Joe McCoy, Floating Bridge - Sleepy John Estes, Mother Earth - Memphis Slim, It Serves You Right to Suffer - John Lee Hooker- just to name a few. Since I've got a 1,000 word limit in this review it prevents me from listing every great track on the collection and all the reasons you should purchase it. Suffice to say, buy it now and you won't be sorry!
on March 11, 2004
The consolidation of record companies is generally bad, but this 3-CD box set was only possible because MCA acquired the rights to some outstanding early "race" record labels (Vocalion, Decca) and classy early R&B (e.g. Chess). The result is an intelligent, sequenced collection that is much more than a jarring, random assortment of songs by blues masters. Starting with the Delta blues, the mix seems subtly slanted in favor of bawdy, roadhouse-style blues performances--why it's the devil's music and you can't stay away from it. Whether it's Peetie Wheatstraw, Louis Jordan, John Lee Hooker or Etta James, these performances will seduce you. Good quality sound throughout (even the old stuff), with a handsome booklet.
on April 10, 1999
I have purchased a lot of Blues recordings recently, but for a single purchase, this collection would be the best. It has the one or two most recognized songs from the most prominent Blues artists from 1927 to 1969, without the "scratches" of the old '78's!!!