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Blues Run the Game [Import]

Jackson C. Frank Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Feb 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Castle U.S
  • ASIN: B0007TFH0M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,320,565 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
95 of 96 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
The last word from a truly tragic artist, 'Blues Run the Game' is the definitive collection, comprising Frank's sole album and all the available demos from the 1970's and 1990's, along with numerous 'lost' recordings of civil war songs and originals, which have surfaced seemingly from thin air. Chilling, stark, passionate and beautifully intense, this is as authentic as it gets. Another reviewer used the term "integrity" to describe Frank; I can't think of a better one.
You couldn't make it up. Badly injured in a fire as a child, Jackson C. Frank received a sizeable insurance payment and came to England to buy a Jaguar, subsequently making a big impression on the London folk scene way before Dylan. His debut album sold well in the UK but subsequent attempts at a follow up failed, and Frank lost touch with his contemporaries. Fate then ran him up a thoroughly depressing tally of bad fortune, including but not limited to the loss of a son to Cystic Fibrosis, bouts of clinical depression, parathyroid malfunction, misdiagnosis for paranoid schizophrenia and subsequent institutionalisation, chronic poverty and, after his luck looked like it was finally coming round, being shot in the face by a stranger leaving him blind in one eye. This last disaster came after his 'rediscovery' in the early '90's by a fan called Jim Abbott who helped him recover lost royalties and record some new material, resulting in an upsurge in interest in his work. His debut album was re-issued once again, to an appreciative audience, but Frank died in 1999, aged 55. When he wrote 'Blues Run the Game' on a boat to England as a young man it was as though he somehow already knew what was coming.
Frank's work is better known through its coverage by other artists, including Bert Jansch, Nick Drake and Sandy Denny.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful music 6 Sep 2006
Format:Audio CD
I have recently discovered Jackson C Frank and cannot now understand why his music isn't more well known. OK, he only released the one album but what an album! This music is quite simply beautiful, inspiring, well written and well performed. He does not do anything too fancy but instead sticks to playing a good range of music that is obviously written from the heart. If you read more about his tragic life and listen to many of his lyrics it brings even more poignancy to the music.

The highlight on this album for me is Milk and Honey, which was later covered by Nick Drake. I have rarely heard such a haunting song and the lyrics are superb.

If you like the more well know artists such as Donovan or Dylan then you would be a fool not to buy this album too.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars another wasted talent 5 Oct 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
frank is an important figure in the singer/songwriter world, being as he was one of the earliest in the field along with dylan and simon.

but how does his work stand up 40+ plus years later in the cold light of day? surprisingly - very well. the title track is worth the price of admission alone being a very nice song indeed. the other two highlights are 'milk and honey' (beautifully covered by bonnie dobson. havent heard nick drakes version if there was one)and 'dialogue' (the definitive version of which can be found on julie felix's 'flowers' album) - the rest of the material is not quite as strong but theres some nice stuff going on throughout.

as a debut album for a young, fledgling songwriter then, this was a solid effort, and we can only speculate on where he would have gone with his writing as his life took such a downward curve soon after. certainly the later material on here, recorded after years of abuse, shows that he had plenty left to offer. but unfortunately his voice had become as frayed as his health by then and the songs suffer as a result. the rest of the boxset consists of demos , most of which sound very similar and are of such poor quality that they are barely listenable.

from the evidence, it seems that this guy, had he kept on track and matured naturally as a writer, could have been a major player as the years went by. but alas, history tells the rest of the story

well worth getting as an historical footnote (and an important one), and for at least 2 or 3 great songs
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why wasn't he a star? 24 Jun 2011
Format:Audio CD
I'm well into my 50s and, shamefully, only recently encountered Jackson C Frank when my son played and sang 'Blues Run the Game' at a delightful little festival we attended. He told me some of the heartbreaking story of his life and times and I resolved to find out more about the man and his music. After some tearful reading I arrived at this album and was delighted to discover some beautiful songs from both the early and later years. I'm determined to learn a couple of them for guitar and to spread the word - he deserves to be remembered as the fine musician he was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Nearly Forgotten Singer-Songwriter 13 May 2011
Format:Audio CD
Other reviewers have outlined Jackson C Frank's troubled and eventually tragic life, and there's much more in the sleevenotes about him.

What we have here is pretty much all there is of Frank's output: the original LP of 10 songs from 1965, both sides of a single from that time, nine tracks from 1975, and on the second CD seven tracks, mainly traditional numbers, from 1960, and 16 tracks from after Frank's remarkable rediscovery after many years of illness and vagrancy.

The original LP has four songs, 'Blues Run the Game', 'Milk and Honey', 'My Name is Carnival' and 'Here Come the Blues', that are easily as good as the very best songs written by 1960s singer-songwriters, and indeed have been variously covered by Sandy Denny, Bert Jansch and Nik Drake. Most of the rest are pretty good too. Although the 1965 LP contained a some numbers with at times disturbing lyrics -- 'Here Come the Blues' in particular -- the 1975 songs are mainly very sombre. This isn't easy, happy listening, but who wants to be comforted by music all the time? This CD is one of my favourites of its genre, and much of it still sounds great today, all those years after its original release.

The second CD doesn't get so many playings, as the later material is largely rather rough demo tapes. There are some songs, however, which do deserve more than just a quick hearing. 'October' could have fitted in well on his 1965 LP. Perhaps these songs could have been refined to produce a pretty good album had Frank not died in 1999. The songs from 1960 are from a very worn acetate that almost defied rescuing, with a great deal of hiss and distortion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and interesting
I bought this after hearing a BBC Radio 4 programme about the sad story of Jackson C Frank's life. This CD appears to have his full recorded output and the songs on the first CD... Read more
Published 17 months ago by David Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A just and fitting tribute to an artist who never quite achieved his...
Burt Jansch said of Jackson C. Frank:

"He was an absolute genius. A lot of the music that came out of that period was most certainly due to him. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lara
5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked folk singer
Jackson C Frank had escaped my radar. Having heard the very sad documentary about him on BBC Radio 4 and Blues run the game, time to catch up on his recordings. Read more
Published 18 months ago by jeep
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues run the game
A beautiful classic album.. every lover of 60's folk should own it !!! An excellent buy... 2 cds.. many tracks.
Published 18 months ago by Susan Cameron-Khoshdel
4.0 out of 5 stars Folf and blues
A good blast from the past, very evocative especially the title track - both versions. Well worth the time invested in listening
Published 18 months ago by ac
4.0 out of 5 stars What a life!
Jackson, Jackson.... Could have had it all; inspired many of my heroes: Paul Simon, Al Stewart and many more. The old story, I'm afraid - too much, too young. Read more
Published 19 months ago by M. J. Wolff
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, evocative, flawed
I discovered Jackson C Frank via a radio programme on him which was absolutely fascinating. He was a creative, flawed, and eventually tragic figure. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Julia
5.0 out of 5 stars A tantalising glimpse of genius
This double album contains all the known recordings of a tragic genius.
I had the great fortune to be introduced to his first and only album by a school friend Robert Ede back... Read more
Published on 3 July 2012 by Opher
5.0 out of 5 stars A forgotten gem
This is a safe buy for anyone who likes melancholic sing and song writers like Nick Drake, even though (or maybe thanks to) Jackson C Frank is sadder than anyone else.
Published on 2 Mar 2009 by Ingemar Rödin
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