1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2013
Though informative, this book is totally misleadingly labelled "100 essential CD's". I was rather bemused to find that the greatest portion of the book comprised of obscure pre-war blues and that very few contemporary artists were included. In terms of popularity and influence, the choice of artists represented is rather bizarre. For example, you won't find Rory Gallagher, Peter Green, John Mayall, Paul Butterfield, Johnny Winter or Eric Clapton, presumably because they're white and thus not "authentic" blues. But guess which white artists do appear? Captain Beefheart and Elvis Presley, not exactly your most authentic bluesmen. Of course the writer, who is obviously a blues fan, is entitled to his own choices and I do understand the historical value of the recordings he does include. But how can you choose 100 "essential" albums from an era that preceded the album as we know it? The writer has simply chosen to fill his book with compilations instead of single albums, which totally defeats the purpose of such a book. What, prey tell, makes these particular compilations essential to my collection, when the same recordings have been endlessly repackaged in other forms? Even worse, the compilation solution is also used when there are perfectly good stand-alone albums to choose from. For example instead of choosing 1 of the 5 Buddy Guy Silvertone albums, we're directed to a compilation of the 91-99 era called Buddy Guy's Baddest.
That said, the biographies are well written and full of interesting details. I'd rate it higher if it was presented in some other form rather than as a CD guide.
on 1 July 2013
Inevitably there are some omissions that each individual reader will notice : for example, no mention of Furry Lewis whose Presenting The Country Blues is essential but there you go. Overall this is a good overview, lovely to dip into and a useful introduction to the Novice. I've been buying Blues LPs since 1968 and I still came across artists/musicians I have not listened to before. Recommended.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This lives in my bathroom and is great for dipping in and out of. I wouldn't regard it as a guide as I disagree with some of its recommendations and feel that some things are missing.
It does contain some great arguements, assertions and anecdotes for anybody interested in blues music though. For a brief work is certainly packs in the information.