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After buying this compilation, I listened to what might be the complete discography of Robert Johnson. I found his voice somewhat shrill for a blues singer and his guitar-playing, while ground-breaking, a bit high-pitched. The speed of the guitar-playing obviously inspired the myth about Johnson's deal with the devil at the crossroads. Now, I had read that, in the early shellac days, recordings would sometimes be speeded up – either to get songs to fit on a disc or to make a performance sound more exciting. So, I tried an experiment. Purely for my own use, I utilized some software to slow down the music a little, allowing the pitch to lower accordingly. Listening to my slower version of the recording, I heard an excellent, rich baritone voice and well-phrased guitar-playing which was complex and melodic and well within the capabilities of today's better guitarists. So, I have a choice. I can listen to the discs as they sounded to buyers in the 1930's; or I can listen to what I like to think live audiences heard in the 1930's. I listen to the slower versions. Pure magic!
I did not appreciate the blues and only now after years of slowing down and relaxing, my taste of music has expanded and listening get to the delights of these great musicians of old makes me realise this was great music especially the pitfalls they had to endure. When I listen to Robert Johnson's tracks - it melts my heart into a zone of where I want to stay and never leave. Great music- each track has a different meaning but together, it transforms into Genious melodies of the blues. It is a shame and disgrace that most of the blues players of that era was not considered. It's time for recognition of the highest excellence.
This two CD set arrived within 48 hours of ordering, and went straight into my car for the commute. I'm a sixties kid, and faithfully trooped around the various folk and blues venues in Manchester to see visiting American bluesmen when they toured. Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Sonny Boy Williamson, Taj Mahal, all great musicians, and all, at least once in a set, playing a Robert Johnson blues. This set doesn't disappoint me in the least - As Mr Davies-Jones has stated so admirably in his review, all his recordings are here, some stacked one on top of the other so you can get a feel for the way his music developed in the short time he was recording.
And Kevyns comment about "Come into my Kitchen"? The opening 30 seconds on the first take made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Absolutely electrifying, and the words are well..... you'll have to buy the set because simply writing them down can't do them justice. £4.46 for 40 tracks? I didn't have to think about it. If you like early American acoustic blues,and you don't have it in your collection, this set is well worth the money.
I don't know how it took so long to discover Robert Johnson, but great that I did via Keith Richards/Vintage TV. A fantastic album made by an intriguing individual and is well worth the money for an insight into an exciting era. You must add this to your record/CD collection.
This is my first cd i have owned in a Mono format, for me it suits the artist and the time period that these recordings were produced. If like me you're a American R&B listener then Mr Johnson is a must have, not only for the music but the history aspect. When listening to his guitar and vocal styles it is so easy to see how later American R&B artists were influenced by him. Being a Stones fan i was particularly interested to hear the original verion of Love in Vain, which for me illustrated just how much technology the stones had at their disposal when they recorded it compared to when Johnson put it out. Imo if Johnson had not died at such an early age he would have gone on to be loved by an even wider audience.
As you will probably expect, not all of the recordings are exactly pristeen but that is what makes this what it is. Robert Johnson is a legend in the blues genre and anyone with an interest in blues should get this. As Keith Richards explained, he makes it sound like there are multiple guitarists playing when in fact it is just him. How did he do it ? He lived a short life but was able to achieve more than most of us will in double or even treble the time.
Well let's see, if you took away Robert Johnson, you'd not have Gary Moore, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Paul Kossoff, Peter Green and many more, that would not be a bad thing as far as Eric Clapton is concerned, I think he has just ripped everyone off anyway, but RJ is the business. You cannot get better than this, and you will see where most of our wizz kids have nicked their work from.
Yes it is a scratchy recording, but just as when you read a tatty book, you still are able to get the context, so to with this recording, everything is clear. Some tracks actually sound like they were recorded yesterday too!
I bought this as i have a great interest in this particular artist following on from Eric Clapton's fascination with him - Eric did an album based on Roert Johnson's recordings callled "Me & Mr Johnson".
The opportunity to get all of the recordings, especially for such a low price was irresistible.
It's great to have & there are quite a number of "Two Takes" of the sam songs. Obviously made on old, worn equipment, it is nevertheless an important set of recordings.