Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Elmore James - King Of The Slide Guitar - The Complete Trumpet, Chief & Fire Sessions (3 CD Box Set, Remastered)

Forty years ago, on 23rd May 1963, the blues world lost one of its most powerful figures, when Elmore James, the great singer, guitarist and songwriter died tragically at the age of just 45.

To commemorate this anniversary we are issuing a deluxe 3 disc 64 track set, which comprises his complete classic recordings for the Chief, Fire and Enjoy labels and also the original Trumpet recording of his immortal hit, 'Dust My Broom'.

James was the unchallenged king of the electric slide guitar, updating the legacy of the country blues to post-war Chicago, and his potent influence has been widely acknowledged by both blues and rock guitar heroes including Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Peter Green, Johnny Winter, Jeremy Spencer and Brian Jones. Musicians said the following about Elmore James: "Elmore James was a major, maybe even the main reason why the Stones came about", Bill Wyman. "Elmore is a Killer",  Ry Cooder. "I'd never leave the place where Elmore James was performing", Chuck Berry.

Alongside "Dust My Broom", his signature track, this box set features all of the tracks James cut between 1959 and 1963, when he was at his most potent and creative, recording for Bobby Robinson's labels; Chief, Fire and Enjoy.

It includes such blues classics as "Shake Your Moneymaker", "Everyday I Have The Blues", "The Sky Is Crying " and rare alternative takes of the awesome "Hand in Hand". Packaged in an attractive compact box, each of the three discs is housed in its own sleeve.

The accompanying 24 page booklet by blues authority Les Fancourt is lavishly illustrated and includes a full discography. [Charly-co-uk]

fantastic box set.

This reissue of the original 50-track "King Of The Slide Guitar" box set, with an additional 14 tracks, is magnificent. It presents every song Elmore James recorded for the Fire, Fury and Enjoy labels in the early 60s, with great sound and a few interesting rarities and alternate takes.

You'll need to hear Elmore's earlier recordings as well, of course (available on the fine "The Classic Early Recordings" box set, ASIN: B000000W62), but the fact that a few of his best early songs weren't re-recorded for Bobby Robinson's labels, and thus are missing from this collection, doesn't really detract anything from its greatness.
There are still so many blues classics here it's unbelievable - "Dust My Broom", "It Hurts Me Too", "The Sky Is Crying", "Shake Your Moneymaker" and "The Twelve Year Old Boy" are the best-known, obviously, but the rest of this material is not sub-par in any way...every song is good, most are great, and a lot of them are just magnificent, some of the most powerful electric blues you'll ever hear.

The brand of fiery electric blues that Elmore James played more than forty years ago packed an incredible punch. It is supremely gritty (in spite of the urbane arrangements featuring piano and saxophone), and Elmore had one of the greatest, most intense and expressive voices you'll ever hear. His slashing slide guitar playing has made him more influential than any other single guitarist.

"King Of The Slide Guitar" also includes several terrific instrumentals, like the smouldering "Up Jumped Elmore" and the dance-friendly boogie "Bobby's Rock". And even though most of the approximately fifty different songs aren't well known outside the circle of fanatical Elmore James-fan, there is an incredible number of high-quality cuts here.
The tough raver "Rollin' & Tumblin'" easily matches anything Cream or the Yardbirds ever did, "Done Somebody Wrong" is virtually hard rock, and the slide leads and saxophone fills on the funky "Can't Stop Loving My Baby" all blend together to create the kind of blues song you normally only dream about.

This wonderful collection of music can easily match any of the great Chess box sets, and that is saying something! Elmore James and the Broomdusters rock incredibly hard on their definitive reading of Robert Johnson's "Dust My Broom", and they smoulder on the ultimate slow blues, James' own "The Sky Is Crying".
There are so many excellent songs here that rarely or never show up on various Elmore James-compilations: "Got To Move", "Person To Person", "Strange Angels", "You Know You're Wrong", "Hand In Hand", "I've Got A Right To Love My Baby", "She's Got To Go"...well, just get it, allright? [Amazon user review]

Track List:

Disc 1:

1. Dust My Broom (I Believe My Time Ain't Long)
2. Twelve Year Old Boy
3. Coming Home
4. It Hurts Me Too
5. Knocking at Your Door
6. Elmore's Contribution to Jazz
7. Cry for Me Baby
8. Take Me Where You Go
9. Bobby's Rock
10. Sky Is Crying
11. Baby, Please Set a Date
12. Held My Baby Last Night
13. Dust My Broom
14. Rollin' and Tumblin'
15. I'm Worried
16. Done Somebody Wrong
17. Fine Little Mama
18. I Need You (Baby)
19. I Can't Stop Lovin' You
20. Strange Angels
21. Early One Morning
22. She Done Moved

Disc 2:

1. Something Inside Me
2. Stranger Blues
3. Anna Lee
4. Standing at the Crossroads
5. My Bleeding Heart
6. My Kind of Woman
7. Got to Move
8. So Unkind
9. Person to Person
10. One Way Out
11. Strange(r) Blues [Alternate Take]
12. Shake Your Moneymaker [Take 1/2]
13. Look on Yonder Wall
14. Go Back Home Again
15. Mean Mistreatin' Mama [Take 3]
16. Sunnyland Train
17. You Know You Done Me Wrong
18. Mean Mistreatin' Mama [Take 1]
19. Mean Mistreatin' Mama [Take 2)
20. You Know You're Wrong
21. Find My Kind of Woman [Take 1]

Disc 3:

1. My Baby's Gone
2. Find My Kind of Woman
3. Look on Yonder Wall (Look Up on the Wall)
4. Dust My Broom
5. It Hurts Me Too
6. Pickin' the Blues (Manhattan Slide)
7. Everyday I Have the Blues
8. I Have a Right to Love My Baby
9. Twelve Year Old Boy
10. Got to Move (She's Got to Go)
11. I Gotta Go Now
12. Talk to Me Baby
13. Make My Dreams Come True
14. Hand in Hand [Take 4]
15. Can't Stop Loving My Baby
16. Dust My Broom
17. Elmore Jumps One (Up Jumped Elmore)
18. I Believe
19. Back in Mississippi [Conversation]
20. Hand in Hand [Take 1]
21. Hand in Hand [Take 3]

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