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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!
At first it didn't seem possible that Chris Rea could follow on from Blue Guitars with anything as good or original - but he has. The Return of the Hofner Bluenotes see's Chris Rea create the perfect vehicle for his unique style of blues. There's something for everyone. For starters the book is well crafted containig some teriffic photographs and striking artwork. The...
Published on 15 Feb. 2008 by S. Prangley

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a rip-off
Not bad, but not in the same class as Chris Rea's "Blue Guitars". The package is a bit of a rip-off, in that the content of the 2 vinyl mini-LPs is duplicated on the 1st of the 3 CDs, which is pointless, and makes the set overpriced. The artwork & photos in the enclosed book are nice, though.
Published 21 months ago by P.T.


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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 15 Feb. 2008
By 
S. Prangley (Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes (3CD+2x10" Vinyl) (Audio CD)
At first it didn't seem possible that Chris Rea could follow on from Blue Guitars with anything as good or original - but he has. The Return of the Hofner Bluenotes see's Chris Rea create the perfect vehicle for his unique style of blues. There's something for everyone. For starters the book is well crafted containig some teriffic photographs and striking artwork. The pictures and narratives weave together to tell a story of a group of young men who form a band (The Delmonts - Disc 1)who break onto the scene with a Shadowesque brand of music. It's young, fresh, vibrant and well received. But the band quickly mature and split and from the ashes comes The Return of the Hofner Bluenotes (Disc 2 and 3). Here the music has changed, it's soulful, bluesey and trademark Chris Rea - fantastic slide guitar, stirring melodies and, of course, that incredible voice taylor made for the blues! Fans of Rea will detect faint echoes of Espresso Logic, Blue Cafe and Blue Guitars - it's all there in the mix and held together with Rea's intuitive picture-painting lyrics. Chris Rea is an extraordinary talent and this wonderful piece of work comes highly recommended. If your into blues - buy it. If you're not - buy it anyway - you will be afterwards!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PURE MAGIC, 3 April 2008
By 
Mrs. L. Edwards (Co. DURHAM) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes (3CD+2x10" Vinyl) (Audio CD)
We received our Boxed Set yesterday morning,and last night went to see Chris Rea & The Hofner Blue Notes at Newcastle City Hall. The MUSIC was FANTASTIC.The more you hear this album the better it gets.The cover on the boxset is so authentic,all that is missing is a teacup stain.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius, 13 Feb. 2008
This review is from: The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes (3CD+2x10" Vinyl) (Audio CD)
The mans gone and done it again, a brilliant concept and well excuited, this album is a must for all music fans. Mr Rea should be praised for the packageing and general presentation, it takes me back to the old days of album buying when we bought sometimes LP's on the strenth of the album cover (remember Roger Dean's covers). The great thing about this production is that it not only looks good it sound good, no no no, not just good, Brilliant!.

If you like good music don't waste any more time reading my waffling, Order It Now.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His finest work?, 14 May 2008
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This review is from: The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes (3CD+2x10" Vinyl) (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful project that Rea has worked on and so utterly compelling. The whole set is very listenable but thought-provoking whatever your mood and wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

It is worth taking time out just to explore the quality of the packaging, pictures and photography which so beautifully evoke the era that the music represents before you lose yourself in the music. As soon as you have done that, you will realize with intrepidation and excitement that this 3CD set is a fine addition to the collection of any self-respecting music lover and is a necessity for any Rea fan.

Following fairly soon after the Magnus Opus 'Blue Guitars' in 2005 (less effective, overall, than this, in my opinion) one might have some reservations about how good this new project could be. Fret not. It is perhaps his finest work. For me, at least, it's certainly up with Chris' best releases and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The first CD consists of 16 short guitar-led instrumentals which represent the 50s era during which Rea's fictional band 'The Delmonts' were founded. The tracks can be compared perhaps with The Shadows. The story continues with 'The Delmonts' dispanding and most of the band members re-forming to become 'The Hofner Bluenotes' who take us through the sixties throughout CDs 2 and 3. The musicianship is superb, not over-produced, and Rea's guitar playing is, of course, outstanding. From the menacing beat of 'I can't wait for love; at the start of CD2, the powerful and satisfying 'Legacy Blues' to the gorgeous 'Meet Me On a Mountain'on CD3, this is pure listening pleasure of the highest calibre from a brilliantly talented musician.

I am a relative new-comer to Rea's work and I have been catching up on what I've been missing. I saw him live in Plymouth in March and I was blown away by this man, by his guitar playing and by his performance. Even my wife, who is not as 'into' music as I am, loved it.

I can't wait to see what he does next.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chris Rea Presents The Return Of The Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes - A concept album that really delivers, 19 Aug. 2010
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes (3CD+2x10" Vinyl) (Audio CD)
Following the mammoth Blue Guitars [11CD + DVD] album, I heard many rumours that Chris Rea was retiring and would not be releasing any more albums. Which seemed fair enough: Blue Guitars was a magnificent album and a fittingly grand finale to his career. Then all of a sudden this classy little number slipped out, right under my radar so I haven't heard it until now. I wish I had heard it earlier, as it is truly a fantastic piece of work.

At the heart of this release is three CDs packed full of classy music. The central conceit is that the music presented is the recorded output of a fictional band, the Delmonts. In their younger days (Disc 1) they burst onto the music scene with bright and brash guitar based rock'n'roll, sounding very much like the shadows. The band soon split up, and in later years reform and start recording again under the name `The Hofner Blue Notes' (Discs 2 and 3). The music here is more mature, a melting pot of blues and jazz very much in the same strain as Rea's more recent releases (Hofner Blue Notes, Blue Street (Five Guitars), The Blue Jukebox,Dancing Down The Stony Road).

Musically this is a treat. Clearly a tribute to Rea's musical influences and heroes, there is track after track of foot-tapping tunes, slow reflective jazz and moody blues numbers, all held together by Rea's classy slide guitar, unmistakeable vocals and unique story telling writing. After the 12 disc Blue Guitars set I am amazed there is anything left in Rea's creative tank, but somehow he has conjured up 3 discs worth of marvellous music.

But that's just the music - that is just the start of this great set. It is presented in the form of a hardback book, with the discs tucked in the back cover. The book is 80 pages, and tells the story of the band in words and pictures. There is some wonderful photography, especially the shots of life in the North in the late `60s. There are also many of Rea's paintings and lyrics to all track with words. The art and pictures are a visual feast. And then, to top it all off the three CDs are reproduced and presented on two 10" vinyl LPs. I do not have a turntable so have not listened to these, but just the smell when I opened the book and detected the vinyl was so evocative and brought back so many memories!

A really magnificent set, with something here for everyone to enjoy, from uptempo foot tappers to smokey, jazzy blues. I loved it and have no hesitation in awarding 5 stars. Here's hoping there is still more to come?
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUSICAL EVENT!!!, 21 Feb. 2008
By 
David J. Stash (MCKEESPORT, PA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes (3CD+2x10" Vinyl) (Audio CD)
I RECEIVED MY COPY OF THIS WONDERFUL RELEASE YESTERDAY (HERE IN THE U.S.A.). IN ADDITION TO BEING A MOVING AND STIMULATING LISTENING EXPERIENCE, THIS PACKAGE HARKENS BACK TO MY BOYHOOD DAYS OF LOVINGLY OPENING A VINYL DISC RELEASE AND READING THROUGH THE ANNOTATIONS AND APPRECIATING THE GRAPHICS AND THE EFFORTS THAT WERE EXPENDED ON THE
ARTWORK. THE PURCHASE OF MUSIC IN THE OLD DAYS WAS AN EVENT TO BE SAVORED, NOT LIKE THE QUICK FIX OF DOWNLOADING EASILY DISPOSABLE "NOISE" GOING ABOUT TODAY. MR. REA CONTINUES TO BE A MULTI-TALENTED ARTIST PRODUCING WONDERFUL MUSIC AND ART. IT IS A PITY AND A SHAME THAT HE GOES MOSTLY UNKNOWN HERE IN THE BRITNEY SPEARS WORSHIPPING USA WHERE JUNK PASSES AS JEWELRY. MR. REA IS TRULY A GEM IN THE WASTELAND OF MUSIC BEING
ISSUED CURRENTLY. SIMPLY PUT: IF YOU LOVE GREAT MUSIC....IF YOU APPRECIATE AN ARTISTIC ENDEAVOR.....IF TALENT MATTERS....THEN YOU MUST ABSOLUTELY ORDER THIS SELECTION RIGHT NOW...IMMEDIATELY....YOU CAN THANK ME LATER!!!!
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Return of Hofner Bluenotes, 3 Feb. 2008
By 
D. E. Jager "Mutts fan" (The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes (3CD+2x10" Vinyl) (Audio CD)
I went to the Amsterdam concert last night, and bought the book-album there. Listening to the 3 cd's in the car on the way home, I cccan only concluded that Chris Rea is a very true live artist. The voice and the sounds on the album as during the concert are genuine and strong. No meddeling in the recording studio, just pure music.
The Book consists of 3 Cd's and vinyl records as well as many pages on Hofner and all the lyrics.
The cd's actually look like vinyl records too, so much attention has been given to details.
It is a lovely keepsake!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars retro brilliance, 1 April 2008
This review is from: The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes (3CD+2x10" Vinyl) (Audio CD)
For us old blokes the packaging is part of the whole,digital downloads just don't do it! The music is outstanding,guitar playing as good as ever. Buy it now!!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Class, 28 Feb. 2008
By 
Matt B "Cally" (Motherwell Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes (3CD+2x10" Vinyl) (Audio CD)
I have just received the latest offering from Mr Rea, it is a stunning CD set, full of great songs which the more you listen to them the better they get. I have been a fan since 1986 seen him in concert many times and have all his CD's, this latest addition has built on his last masterpiece Blue Guitars he is without question a great songwriter and blues guitarist Pure Class.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Stuff, 24 Feb. 2008
By 
J. MOORE (Tokyo, Japan) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Return of the Fabulous Hofner Bluenotes (3CD+2x10" Vinyl) (Audio CD)
In this era of downloads and digital music comes along Chris Rea with this splendid release for the true music fan - the packaging is a joy for the eyes and the music is fab. Totally agree with the other comments made before me. Mr.Rea is a rare musician that cares about his craft and its audience. I do recall seeing him on his first tour with Lindisfarne some 30 years and have followed him since although he hasn't been in Japan for along time I do hope this may bring him sometime in the future! If you have not bought the previous release 'Blue Guitars' it is essential. A simple thank-you to everyone involved in this a beautiful project.
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