This handsomely packaged 4-disc box set brings together the vast majority of B.B. King's 50s and 60s recordings for the various labels in the Modern family.
King's many excellent 50s singles are often overlooked by compilers, which means that those who "only" own, say "The Anthology" or MCA/Chess's "Greatest Hits" will find that 95% of this material is new to them.
The large 76-page booklet is thoroughly researched and well-written, and each individual CD focuses on a theme of sort: Disc one concentrates on hits like "Sweet Little Angel", "Sweet Sixteen", "How Blue Can You Get" "3 O'Clock Blues", "Did You Ever Love A Woman" etc, and it is the best and most varied, with numerous highlights and only a couple of clunkers (two boring, saccharine ballads).
The disc titled "Memphis Blues 'n' Boogie" is probably the least exciting...the material is consistent but unvaried with very few real highlights. The third disc is devoted to King's more or less succesful forays into soul, gospel, doo wop, and rock & roll, and the final one, "King Of The Blues", focuses on King's urbane 60s recordings.
Serious B.B. King fans will want to add this set to their collection right away, but more casual fans will probably find that five hours of B.B. King is just too much. You can get the best of these 106 recordings on "Do The Boogie: B.B. King's Early 50s Classics" and the twofer CD reissue of his first to LPs, "Singing' The Blues/The Blues", and most people will be happy with that, especially since much of King's output in the 50s and 60s (and 70s, 80s, and 90s output for that matter) was more consistent than varied.