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4.5 out of 5 stars53
4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 19 November 2004
As this collection of previously-released material does not go back beyond 1964, and BB King's first single came out in 1949, the claim that this represents his definitive greatest hits is a little contentious.
However, although BB King featured heavily in the R&B charts throughout his highly successful early years, it is a surprising fact that, apart from two appearances at the bottom end of the US Top 100 in 1957, he had not been troubled by the hit parade before 1964.
In 1962 BB King signed with ABC and appeared thereafter on their ABC Paramount, Bluesway and ABC labels. After they were taken over by MCA, his records appeared on that label, and these recordings are all taken from these periods, the most recent being Playin' With My Friends, with Robert Cray, taken from 1993's Blues Summit album. He had released little after that at the time of this compilation's release in 1999, instead concentrating on touring and performing.
Most of the songs chosen here were A-sides of singles, although some of these are in their lengthier album format. Quite a few others are taken from live performances, thus representing some earlier material recorded for other labels as well as showcasing contemporary material in an electric live setting.
BB King achieved his greatest mainstream success during this period and the price we have to pay is that alongside genuinely thrilling and innovative pieces such as The Thrill Is Gone there are a few too many bland-outs and celebrity guest appearances from Gary Moore, Leon Russell, Bobby "Blue" Bland and Dr John, which perhaps are not needed on a "best of" from an artist of the statuure of BB King. The U2 collaboration When Love Comes To Town was a Top Ten single in the UK and so its inclusion was mandatory, and it is a great record.
Now nearing eighty years of age, BB King is the greatest living blues legend, and this is a fair summation of his ABC/MCA years, if such a mighty output can be reduced to just two discs (it can't). If you enjoy this you owe it to yourself to go on to buy at least one companion piece representing his earlier years on the RPM and Kent/Crown labels
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on 16 March 2000
Having been fortunate enough to attend many of BB Kings concerts in Glasgow and Edinburgh, I always wished that he would do an album such as this one.I have numerous King albums containing different songs, but this really is one single collection of his lifes work. The album has his signature on the front under the words "this is music I enjoyed playing" and I can assure you it is music you cannot fail to enjoy hearing. From track 1on disc 1 "The Thrill is gone" to track 18 on disc 2 "Rock me baby" I was enthralled by this ageless masters talents. The album features Bobby Bland, U2, Bob Cray and Gary Moore and includes a number of live recordings of his best work. I cannot commend this album highly enough, it will become a collectors item I'm sure.
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This double album of BB Kings music offers a great introduction to his music and to the blues in general.

This has a mix of studio and live tracks although I would've preferred more of the latter and starts off with one of my favourites, `The Thrill is Gone' which has some amazing guitar playing, a wonderfully soulful feel and BB's melancholy soaked vocals.

`Help the Poor' is another favourite and the track that open the second disc, I simply adore the horns which compliment things perfectly.

Any compilation will have it's advocates and detractors, but I personally enjoy the running order of tracks on offer here and feel it gives a good taste of what BB is all about, which is all we can hope for really. You get some sublime guitar playing, searing blues and some classic tracks all in one place, well worth checking out.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 15 June 2011
Well I was listening to a review of his work on BBC R4. Fantastic music, I have a few of his tracks from different compilations dotted about my music collection and thought it would be nice to buy a CD of some of his stuff. So I read the recommendations on Amazon and felt this would suit my needs. I am so disappointed. The collection to me is so sanitised. It lacks all the raw grit that I had heard on the R4 review and of those few tracks I have. One advantage if you are happy with what might be late recordings (the copyrights date from '64 to '91) is that the sound quality is much better than the tracks I have in my collection.
So definitely a thumbs down from me.
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on 16 June 2015
This is a good comprehensive collection of B.B. King's output and saddened by his recent demise I thought that I really ought to get something by the man. It really does collect all the better known stuff together, including When Love Comes to Town and Into the Night and, of course, The Thrill is Gone. To me, there's a little bit too much of the almost disco stuff from the 80's on the 2nd CD but there's a nice run of 'live' stuff at the end of the disc (a couple with Bobby 'Blue' Bland). To me, his take on the blues was a little bit too polite but he was a good man who brought blues to the attention of a wider audience in the late 60's and early 70's. He will be much missed.
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The recent sad death of this legend finally prompted me to buy some of his music. This double CD was a 'two for £10' in HMV and I was very pleased to see that it had a very good overall review here amongst Amazon customers and by the music especially. Sound quality is great as are the bluesy brass and wind sections that really add a dimension to BB's distinctive growly vocals and superb soaring guitar flurries.

I cannot say how this double album stands against others available but I am very happy with the purchase and at the price, offers a lot of blues for your bucks.
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on 4 July 2015
Big blues fan but this album is a bit dissapointing disc one being the best material with two a bit bland and boring
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on 15 June 2015
The man was (and still is) a legend, most musicians 'site' BB as their hero, and you can see why, i opted for a greatest hits, because i wanted to listen to the man play, he has so much fantastic music out, i now need to buy a 'live' CD, any recommendations?, i know i have B's stuff on vinyl in my attic, and i am know thinking what a waste, just gathering dust.............

R.I.P BB..........the legend will live on
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on 14 June 2015
This is a great CD - I have enjoyed listening to it all. I find it hard to review music and it is so personal - each of us has such differing tastes - however if you enjoy BB King then you should enjoy this one. There are 34 tracks to choose from: a plethora of hits from which he made such an impact on us all with his unique style.
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on 23 June 2015
King of the blues and as you listen to this you can understand why BB's voice and Lucilles wonderful tone make for one of the most recognisable sound's in blues not alot more you can to that.
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