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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best on the market, 9 Mar 2003
By 
Docendo Discimus (Vita scholae) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: History of... (Audio CD)
If you're wondering which Elmore James-album to purchase, look no further. This is the definite single-disc collection.
The CD starts off with James' first waxing, his lone 1951 single "Dust My Broom" with Rice Miller (Sonny Boy Williamson II) backing him up on harmonica. And all the best stuff is here. "The Sky Is Crying", "It Hurts Me Too", "Shake Your Moneymaker", "Sho' Nuff I Do", "Talk To Me Baby (I can't hold out)" and fifteen more.
James rocked harder than most other bluesmen, his voice was huge and intense, and his guitar playing feroicious. The arrangements are superb, the sound is good, and this is a definite must-own, even if you intend to limit your blues collection to just a handful of albums.
The true fanatic needs the box sets, of course, but for the slightly more casual Elmore James-fan, this CD is the very best choice. Even the lesser known tracks, such as "Done Somebody Wrong" and "Madison Blues" are fabulous.
Go buy it. Go, go!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first Elmore record to own, 4 Oct 2008
By 
Paul Rayson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: History of... (Audio CD)
Elmore's blues, of all the major blues, had in them the most rock & roll kind of excitement. This is the first Elmore record to own. Next, go for Charly's 3 CD compilation box set King Of The Slide Guitar: The Complete Trumpet, Chief & Fire Sessions, and finally another 3 CD compilation, The Classic Early Recordings 1951-1956 from Ace. This one though - The Sky Is Crying: The History Of Elmore James - still has several tracks, all mighty fine, unavailable on either of those other collections ("The Sun Is Shining", "T.V. Mama", "Madison Blues" and "I Can't Hold Out").
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An ideal introduction to the blues of Elmore James., 17 Dec 2012
By 
Jazzrook (Purbrook , Hampshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: History of... (Audio CD)
This is a wonderful cross-section of the recordings of blues singer and guitarist Elmore James(1918-1963) made between 1951 & 1961 for various labels including TRUMPET, CHESS, FLAIR, FIRE & CHIEF.
Elmore's impassioned vocals and his compelling slide guitar riffs are all here on classics such as 'Dust My Broom', 'The Sky Is Crying', 'It Hurts Me Too', 'Shake Your Moneymaker' and 'Standing at the Crossroads' along with less frenetic performances such as 'My Best Friend' and 'Sunny Land'.
All in all, this 21-track compilation is an ideal introduction to the great bluesman, Elmore James.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Blues, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: History of... (Audio CD)
Many artist's have covered so much of his work which reflects both the quality of the music and the man.
This is simply the Blues and if you are reading the reviews then you have an interest in the music and making a purchase, on that basis I do not think you will be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Elmore James - Blues legend, 26 Jun 2013
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This review is from: History of... (Audio CD)
Elmore James is central to the blues, a monumental figure in the history of the genre. This album is a marvellous show case for the great man's music. Even if you don't recognise the name then it's more than certain you've heard his songs by other artists - The Sky Is Crying (Stevie Ray Vaughan), I Can't Hold Out (Eric Clapton), The Sun Is Shining (Fleetwood Mac featuring Peter Green). James's signature tune, 'Dust My Broom', has become a blues classic.
'The Sky Is Crying: The History Of Elmore James' collects twenty-one songs cut by James - most of them written by him - and featuring a dazzling array of blues legends playing with him including Ike Turner, Sonny Boy Williamson, Johnny Jones, Willie Dixon, Big Joe Turner, Homesick James, J.T. Brown and many others.
All original tracks cut between 1951 - 1961 and, as the informative accompanying booklet says, recorded 'under wildly varying conditions and technologies'. But the music is so powerful and robust it shines through the situations in which it was recorded to make for a stunning expression of the blues. Beautiful to listen to and as vital as on the days these tracks were first laid down.
And of course you can hear George Harrison name check Elmore on 'For You Blue' from 'Let It Be'. What better recommendation can you have!
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