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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blues ya can use!
Great introduction to blues legend. There is some omissions and some filler, but that's the nature of the beast with compilations. Midnight Special is obviously the highlight, Alabama Bound a close second.
Published on 28 Aug 2008 by bigmalechicken

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Half these tracks ain't solid enough for the train -
I love the music of Huddie Ledbetter, alias 'Leadbelly', and the remaining two stars are for his solo work here, tracks 7 - 14 & 22 - 26. The remaining tracks, half of those on this recording, lost three stars, spoiled by the presence of 'The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet' - yuck! - recordings laid down in the RCA Victor studios on July 15th & 17th, 1940. Let's just...
Published on 6 Dec 2010 by Tamnaceol


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Half these tracks ain't solid enough for the train -, 6 Dec 2010
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Tamnaceol (Lancashire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When the Sun Goes Down Vol.5: Take This Hammer The Secret History of Rock 'n'roll (Audio CD)
I love the music of Huddie Ledbetter, alias 'Leadbelly', and the remaining two stars are for his solo work here, tracks 7 - 14 & 22 - 26. The remaining tracks, half of those on this recording, lost three stars, spoiled by the presence of 'The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet' - yuck! - recordings laid down in the RCA Victor studios on July 15th & 17th, 1940. Let's just clarify this, whatever the colour, a group of barbershop/jubilee quartet geeks in tuxes are not likely to carry any depth of understanding of either this stellar musician or the music in him. For me they get in the way, and the evidence is in some of the dreadful and conflicting harmonizing and ego that bubble and burst through, impositions that lessen rather than add to the music of Mr. Ledbetter, that, for me, get in the way. As I hear it, it ain't respectful. It's downright irritating. As well, because of this imposition, lack of understanding and appreciation, this is also poor as a representation of "The Secret History of Rock & Roll", the name of this series. Those tracks hammered by the Golden Quartet's take on the gospel and harmony, if they were the only thing we had, would have meant a derailment. I suspect the commercial interests of the Victor Studios drove this weird mix, a bit like mixing Freddy Mercury with an opera singer. The presence of this vocal quartet group and its harmonizing has had a dulling effect, has put the fire out and killed the steam. Much better are the recordings that Leadbelly made in the 30s, just the man and his guitar, supurb...

For a better and more heart and soul full take on this excellent musician start with this instead, the first in a series of 3 Smithsonian Folkways recordings -

"Lead Belly Legacy Volume 1: Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" - Where Did You Sleep Last Night? - Legacy V1...

Also recommended are the several Rounder label recordings, excellent, and they do the man a good service, and the listener. Here are two examples from Rounder -

Midnight Special
Gwine Dig a Hole to Put the Devil in

& also a fine listen -
King of the 12 String Guitar

& if your thing is the likes of 'The Golden Gate Jubilee Quartet', why not also take them on their own, for what they were famed for back then in the 30s and early 40s? -

Rock My Soul: 29 Original Mono Recordings 1937-1946
Gospel Train: Original 1937-1942 Recordings
Golden Gate Quartet Vol.1 1937-1938
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blues ya can use!, 28 Aug 2008
This review is from: When the Sun Goes Down Vol.5: Take This Hammer The Secret History of Rock 'n'roll (Audio CD)
Great introduction to blues legend. There is some omissions and some filler, but that's the nature of the beast with compilations. Midnight Special is obviously the highlight, Alabama Bound a close second.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars it doesnt get any better, 20 Sep 2006
This review is from: When the Sun Goes Down Vol.5: Take This Hammer The Secret History of Rock 'n'roll (Audio CD)
please buy this to hear possibly the greatest artist of the 20th century at his best.Much of what comes after this album was influenced by it( whether the artists know it or not).I like beautiful songs beautifully sung....roll up!!!
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