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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bluesy Soul, 27 Mar. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Voice (Audio CD)
Not out and out blues, more like bluesy soul or somehwere in between. Wherever it is, it's excellent. "Shoes" is my all-time favourite Bobby Bland track. If I was gonnae be picky I would have added "Poverty" and "Getting Used to the Blues" to this compilation but then again my taste is more soulful than bluesy......If you like BB King (his old mate) then buy this too !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turn on your Lovelight, 19 May 2011
By 
Dangerous Dave (Berkhamsted, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Voice (Audio CD)
Bobby Bland, who is up there among the Soul Singer all-time greats, recorded from 1952 to 1969 (when the label was sold to ABC) for the Duke/Peacock label out of Houston, Texas. In the eyes of many commentators, self included, his best work was produced during this timeframe. Those geat people at Ace have produced two best-of sets, the first of which, "Bobby "Blue" Bland: The "3B" Blues Boy: The Blues Years 1952-1959" covers the period up to 1959, and the second, "The Voice: Duke Recordings 1959-1969", up to the end of the Duke sojourne. Broadly these split between the more traditional guitar-led and horns driven, Texas blues, on the first, and his, probably more familiar, soul material, on the second. I should add that the usual excellent Ace Notes are included.

This is the second of those sets. As a soul album it's awesome and a match for a best-of from any of the better known names in the soul genre. Brown was firmly based in the blues territory but even when singing conventional blues of a style not unlike, say, Gatemouth Brown, his voice stood out as something else entirely. Joe Scott, the arranger and band leader gave him a backdrop that was a match for "THE VOICE" (as Ace term him) in full flight. In addition the sheer range of material is way, way, beyond the numbers collected on the first album.

Up-tempo "hits" such as, "Turn on your Lovelight", "Yield Not to Temptation" and, "Don't cry no more" (with a fabulous latin rhythm) are included. I've apostrophised "Hits" since they climbed the US R&B chart but rarely, if ever, the Pop chart. And, outside a small band of admirers, his work was totally unknown in the UK. Since then, "Lovelight", in particular, has become far better known as the years wear on with covers from almost everyone of note, up to, amazingly, the Grateful Dead. I would imagine that every bar band in the Southern states used to play these numbers. Absolutely rightly, they are considered classics. However as another reviewer has stated, rarely, if ever, do you hear his records on the radio outside of the specialist shows.

"Who will the next fool be", "I'll take care of you", "Cry, Cry, Cry" are a few of the slower numbers I would single out as highlights, but there are plenty more.

"I Pity the Fool", "Ain't doing too bad", "Ain't that loving you" and the Bobby version of T-Bone Walker's, "Stormy Monday Blues" are slow blues but they're blues with loads of extra colouration and drama provided by Joe Scott and his boys.

Buy this one and you won't go wrong. For a best-of, I can't fault it, and I do have quite a few of the original singles and albums. I don't think anything of great importance has been omitted (and how many times can you say that of a best-of?). If you're getting into 60's Soul and you've already sampled the Stax/Atlantic wares then try Bobby the Blues Boy, next. Very different but very worthwhile. After this you'll probably want the companion set.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Blues Singer We've Never heard Of?, 13 July 2009
This review is from: The Voice (Audio CD)
Bobby Bland is one of the Great Unknowns in the UK. Most of his 1960s recordings - covered in this compilation - were originally released on small labels that received little radio play and were hardly heard outside the clubs. Despite many of them being big US hits, they hardly show up on today's oldies shows, or CD compilations. Back then, if you knew Bobby Bland, then you knew your music, and you were cool with it.

This Ace Records compilations brings together all of his finest recordings from 1959 to 69, and there is not a single duff track or filler amongst the 26. Every time it's played, a different song emerges as the favourite, then each becomes equal first. Bland was an innovative blues and R&B singer, his gospel background apparent in the particular style he developed, one that's proved almost impossible to copy.

This is an essential album that anyone with a passing interest in blues should have. Play it daily, it never tires, and never fails to lift your mood.

And if any cynic is wondering: no, I don't have any connection with Ace Records, and I even paid for my copy. In fact, I paid for both of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 May 2015
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This review is from: The Voice (Audio CD)
A true legend with a great voice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 Dec. 2014
By 
Tim Wells (London, England Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Voice (Audio CD)
Superb
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