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ABC of the Blues: The Ultimate Collection From The Delta To The Big Cities [Box set]

Robert Johnson , Willie Dixon , B.B. King , John Lee Hooker , Bo Diddley , et al. Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £39.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 May 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 52
  • Format: Box set
  • Label: Documents
  • ASIN: B0041IFTE4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,710 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 52 CDs - Value For Money 4 Mar 2012
Format:Audio CD
If you want an instant collection then this is for you. Is it perfect? No because although it boasts 100 artistes there are dozens of every ones favourite blues singer is missed out. There are some little niggles such as Sonny Terry but no Brownie McGghee. Howlin Wolf features but no `smokestack lightnin'. Smiley Lewis but no ` I hear you knockin'. Robert Johnson features on one cd boasting 20 tracks, so you get at least two thirds of his entire output, whereas on the other hand Charley Patton arguably one of the most influential blues players only gets 10 tracks. But hey there these are only little niggles and as for quality it passes ok and as value for money, whether you pay £50 or £100 just think of the compilers who got this thing together, YES IT IS VALUE FOR MONEY.

Kokomo Arnold
1. Backfence Picket Blues (James Arnold) (03:06)
2. Fool Man Blues (James Arnold) (03:06)
3. Long And Tall (James Arnold) (02:46)
4. Sally Dog (James Arnold) (02:48)
5. Cold Winter Blues (James Arnold) (03:09)
6. Sister Jane Cross The Hall (James Arnold) (02:39)
7. Wild Water Blues (James Arnold) (03:13)
8. Laugh And Grin Blues (James Arnold) (03:09)
9. Mean Old Twister (James Arnold) (02:57)
10. Red Beans And Rice (James Arnold) (03:03)

Billy Boy Arnold

11. My Heart Is Crying (Billy Boy Arnold) (02:08)
12. I Wish You Would (Billy Boy Arnold) (02:41)
13. I Ain't Got You (Billy Boy Arnold) (02:13)
14. Here's My Picture (Billy Boy Arnold) (02:10)
15. You Got Me Wrong (Billy Boy Arnold) (02:39)
16. Prisoner's Plea (Billy Boy Arnold) (02:49)
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Now this is a BIG box 2 Nov 2010
By Tramps like us VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
52 CDs for about £52 - now that represents damn good value in my book plus a baby Hohner "Puck" harmonica too (well in the first edition anyway).
I'm not going to pretend to have listened to everything yet - I do have to eat and sleep you know but there's a wealth of stuff here from the well known (B B King and Howling Wolf) to the less well known (Son House and Scrapper Blackwell. All of the CDs I have listened to so far are good quality recordings devoid of the hisses, crackles and pops that blighted some of the earlier releases of blues CDs.
As a sort of "instant" record collection of the blues this really cannot be beaten and at about £1 per CD it's a cheap way of bringing the blues to the masses and that cannot be a bad thing at all.Hopefully people will treat this as a taster and go on to order more stuff by those artists that they like. There's a nice booklet too - all in all a good quality package that I am enjoying working through
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars don't look this gift horse in the mouth 12 May 2013
By freewheeling frankie TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
For the price this looks like an astounding deal - less than £1 per CD AND a free (very small but good quality - a genuine Hohner) harmonica thrown in; this harmonica is on sale here for about £11 so in fact you're getting 52 CDs for about £37 - assuming you actually make good use of the harmonica.

It's produced by Membran Media, a German company I've never previously heard of, who've clearly done some sort of deal with fellow German company Hohner, arguably the best-known makers of the kind of harmonicas used by blues artists - they not only supply the harp but also get (fairly subtle) product placement on the front of the box.

So to the contents. They called it ABC rather than A-Z because there's no Z - the whole set is in more or less alphabetical order with Volume 01 featuring the two Arnolds, Kokomo and Billy Boy, and Volume 52 finishing up with Jimmy Yancey. Each disc features 20 tracks by between 1 and 3 artists (except see note about Volume 35 below), with the whole set featuring 98 artists (if you count the potted biogs in the booklet) or 100 (if you believe the box) or 103 (if you add the 5 uncredited extra artists on Volume 35 that don't appear elsewhere in the set) with between 1 and 20 tracks from each. This makes a mind-boggling total of 1039 tracks - one Son House track appears twice, see below. There's nothing from later than the early 1960s because they're clearly surfing the EU 50 year copyright rule. Given that limit, there's an incredible variety of music on offer, from 1920s urban (Bessie Smith) and country (Charley Patton and others) blues artists through Chicago mainstays like Wolf, Muddy and Little Walter to rhythm & blues stars of the 40s and 50s such as Charles Brown, Little Willie John and Richard Berry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It's a great bargain, buy it 10 April 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent collection of blues music. Their are many artists and tracks that are new to me. The format is a bit odd, usually two artists on each cd. The sound recordings are very good. At such a cheap price it's a bargain if you are into the blues : )
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
By Stuart Jefferson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
52 discs-all ranging between 50+ and 60+ minutes, with 1 disc (Vol. 38-Jimmy Rushing and Tampa Red) clocking in at 79 minutes+ and 1 disc (Vol. 25-Little Willie John and Smiley Lewis) in the 49+ minute range. The sound (both mono and stereo) varies from artist to artist (and sometimes track to track) depending on the (vinyl) sources used. Audiophiles will not be enamored with the sound in places, but blues lovers used to slightly inferior sound from old sources will find the music takes precedent over the sometimes rough sound. I initially listened to this set through a good quality pair of headphones which puts everything front and center, and since it's not stated, I'm assuming this music has not been remastered in any way. This isn't a case of the music fighting background hiss, like old Paramount recordings-these are just older analog sources used for the music. Good quality tracks, for example, by Tommy Johnson or Skip James (Vol. 20), are harder to find, so background hiss, and snaps and crackles are inevitable. There are also occasional short sonic anomalies on a few tracks throughout the set, but nothing that really gets in the way of enjoying some great blues. The upside is that the music has a real warmth and straightforward honesty to it, which is sometimes absent from digital mastering. Anyone familiar with the 10 CD box sets like "Diggin' Deeper", "Rhythm & Blues", or "Goin' Mad Blues" (released by the same company-with duplications here so beware) will have some idea of the sound. But the chance to have so many fine early recordings in one, single collection, for blues lovers (like me), is to good to pass up. For the most part, each disc has two performers, with artists like Bo Diddley, Jimmy Yancey, and Robert Johnson each having an entire disc to themselves.

Each disc is in a fairly thick cardboard envelope with artist, song title, and song length on the back. The outer box (approximately 10"x10") is substantial cardboard, with a lid that slips completely off. The back of the box lists the performers, and has the (I'm assuming) caveat "Incl. Historical Recordings", which to me means the sound is less than pristine. But I didn't purchase this set thinking the sound was perfect-older recordings are what they are-it's the music that's important here. The photograph on the front of the box is carried over on all the CD sleeves. The box is divided into fourths, with the discs stacked in three compartments. The fourth contains the Hohner Puck harmonica, made in Germany, which is in it's own (1"x3") box-a nice touch. There's also a 4 page advertising pamphlet on Hohner Harmonicas included. The 27 page booklet (which is just slightly smaller than the outer box) contains some nice information (not always accurate) on the artists in alphabetical order. There are a few (b&w) photographs of artists included with their write-ups. However, it would have been nice (especially for blues newcomers-and easy for the record company) to have a photo of each artist next to their respective essay. But for those interested, photographs are found easily enough both on the internet and in stand alone books on the blues. A quick thought for newcomers-I recommend learning more about the blues, the era (s) and blues artists-it makes the music much more interesting and exciting.

This is an overview of the blues, from the country to the city. All the various styles of blues, featuring over 100 artists, are represented-acoustic country blues (Kokomo Arnold), New Orleans style (Huey "Piano" Smith), swamp blues (Arthur Gunter), big city electric blues (Buddy Guy), jump blues (Roy Milton), piano based blues (Jimmy Yancy), jazz/blues (Jimmy Rushing), religious (as opposed to true gospel) blues (Blind Willie Johnson), and some blues bordering on early r&b (Richard Berry-"Louie Louie"). Every style of blues has a number of representatives, from well known artists (Bobby "Blue" Bland, Bo Diddley, John Lee Hooker, Skip James, Elmore James, Little Walter, Magic Sam, Charley (Charlie) Patton, Bessie Smith, Jimmy Reed, Son House, Junior Wells, both Sonny Boy Williams 1&2, Robert Johnson, and so on), to a quite a few that may be new (Blue Lu Barker, Barbecue Bob, Cousin Joe, Tommy McClennan, Frankie Lee Sims, Peetie Wheatstraw ("the Devil's Son-in-Law"), Big Maceo, Big Maybelle, Robert Nighthawk, Eddie Taylor, as examples) to the casual listener. To list all the artists would be quite a chore-so refer to the Amazon page, which lists the artists. As often happens, songwriting credits are sometimes a bit loose, but the music is still great, no matter who claims credit. The performances are not arranged chronologically according to when they were recorded, so this is not a disc to disc history of the blues as such. The artists are arranged more or less alphabetically, which makes for some aural jumps from style to style, but the music is so fine that that's a minor consideration.

The music is from the early years (even the big city blues artists), with nothing contemporary, which helps with the focus of this set. The country/acoustic blues are pure and straightforward, and the city/electric blues have some scorching performances. The sheer time that could (and will) be spent listening to this set is truly staggering. There is so much good music that demands to be heard that many people will find themselves going back for another listen to a favorite artist or possibly someone new to them. This is a box set bordering on overwhelming in it's scope and size. But the music is so good, so honest, so intense and passionate, that it makes this collection a valuable addition to virtually anyone's blues library.

Anyone who has a distinct bias towards the blues, no matter if you're a long time listener or are fairly new to the blues, will enjoy this collection. There will be tracks that are familiar, but there will also be unfamiliar music here (unless you're a deep collector) that will help fill in a number of areas of blues styles. This music has a deeper feel if you listen to it very late at night/very early in the morning when everything is quiet. The warm, sometimes slightly distant, (vinyl) sound of these tracks gives this music real atmosphere-at times you feel as if you're listening to one of the old radio stations that plays classic old blues records, which you've somehow stumbled across and picked up late at night-and that late night sound and feel gives this music even more magic.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Big and Sloppy 7 Jan 2011
By Michael Page - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
An amazing collection, and an amazing value. But other than the discs themselves, there's not much here. No musician credits, no dates or discography, sloppy and badly written commentary, and (worst of all) consistently wrong songwriting credits. I'm sure it will come as a surprise to Clarence Carter's ghost that Mary Lou Reed wrote I Ain't Got You (and Big Boss Man as well). But at seventy-odd bucks for 52 full discs of classic blues, it's tough to complain.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues = Good for the Soul 28 Jan 2011
By D. McKenzie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I bought this to flesh out my collection of blues music that I had already acquired from friends, purchases, etc. I had previously looked for a box set that would open me to more than the usual suspects (Muddy, Wolf, Son House, Robert Johnson, etc) but not be limited to labels (like chess, etc). I just happened to look on amazon one day and found this before it was even available. I bought it as a pre-order and it arrived a week later.

The songs and artists are varied but when there are over 50 cds and over 1,000 artists what else would you expect. I have started to dig my way through this and I am very satisfied. There are artists I had never heard of and those who I am very familiar with. The songs are mixed with the songs you know (Big Mama Thornton - hound dog, T-Bone Walker - stormy monday, Jimmy Reed - ain't go you, etc) but they do a good job mixing it with songs you've never heard (little walter - blues with a feeling, elmore james t.v. mama, etc.).

The sound quality varies but it's never horrible. There is a minimal amount of static in some of the older artists but nothing unbearable. I am very satisfied with this purchase. It has provided me with a way to continue my learning of the blues - I'm only 30 - and get deeper than the mainstays of Muddy, Wolf, Buddy, and the Three Kings. It's a joy to hear a song you've heard by someone else (example: Elvis sings "baby what you want me to do" on the '68 comeback but it was Jimmy Reed's song) and know where it originated from. I would recommend this to anyone in a heartbeat.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Blues Box Set 14 Jun 2012
By A1945 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I'm new to blues so I thought this box set would be a great way to get to know some blues and boy was I right. Recordings aren't the greatest but I didn't think the ones from the 1920's would be, that said it's a great box set, the box isn't the greatest for getting the cd's out but it works. If you are just getting into blues, I would highly recommend this box set.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beast Blues Set Available 23 Oct 2011
By Thomas A. Overstreet - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've had this set for nearly a year now and have been though it several times now and it's really wonderful. I can't say these are the best quality selections by the artists but they are of nice quality and with such a huge collection put in one box it's well worth the money for the education weather you've been into the blues for a long time or just starting. The last few years I've been getting into what many call "Old Time Music" or "Medicine Show Music" and really Pre-WWII Blues is all wrapped up in it. The history and depth of it all is in here. All the greats and many of the unknown are here so there is plenty for everyone and the booklet is very educational so what are you waiting for?
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