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4.7 out of 5 stars31
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 19 September 2008
Townes Van Zandt has a lot of CDs available and not all of them are good. Be careful what you buy. Check out the reviews and track listings on Amazon first. In my opinion there are too many later CDs which are just repacked old songs with little or no new material. I love his music but I am not prepared to pay full album price for one or two songs. Therefore I was unsure where to start with his back catalogue then I found this boxset.

The box set is amazing value. You get Townes first 7 albums (and arguabley his best) plus a live CD for £14. All of these CDs contain Townes songwriting at its most prolific and his best. The first CD contains his first two albums and is possibly the weakest (but by no means weak) of the set. This is because of his first album which was overproduced and they added in some questionable backing arrangements to Townes' songs. This is particularly noticable on the classics like Waitin Round to Die and Tecumseh Valley. This does not ruin the songs but it is not the way the songs were meant to sound (compare the 1st version of Tecumseh Valley from his first album on CD1 to the second version also on CD1 but from his second album) and by all accounts Townes himself was not overly impressed with the sound of his first album.

For those unaware of Townes, his songs vary between country, folk and blues. My personal favorites are when Townes' songs are at their most dark, vulnerable, fragile and beautiful. However, he also does some good upbeat numbers, talking blues and humourous songs. Townes was a poet and as such expect to find most songs filled with beautiful and intelligent lyrics. He was not the greatest singer in the world but his voice fits perfectly to his own songs and I have not heard any better versions of his songs than his own.

Townes did re-record many of his best known songs on several of the albums here so there is some repitition but the songs are so strong that you cannot get fed up hearing them and there are also many hidden gems that I fail to understand how they are not better known (such as "Like a Summer Thursday" and "Snow Don't Fall").

I am reviewing this box set and not Mr Van Zandt as a whole but in my opinion the albums in this boxset are his best and are pure classics that you will come back to time and again and never tire of listening to. Townes was a very flawed character and as such his talent suffered. He was never as prolific again in his career but there are some decent later albums that contain mostly new material and I am now seeking them out.

Townes Van Zandt seems to instill a strong sense of loyalty and awe amongst those who appreciate his music. Will everyone like this? No of course not but his talent cannot be denied (I don't doubt Madonna's talent but her music just isn't my thing) and if you like (mostly acoustic) folk, country and blues then you should love Townes. Once you have discovered him you will want everyone else to hear and like his music as much as you do. I haven't and probably can't (in words) say just how much I love these songs. This is by far the best CD (for value and content) that I have ever bought.
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on 2 April 2010
This promises to be the re-release of the year. This was originally released by Charley back in 2001. This looks as though it will be the second release, repackaged version, with 4 separate discs in standard jewel cases. The original release was in a folder/book form of box set and according to the Amazon site it had extra tracks over the 4 jewel case release. Either way as value for money goes this cannot be beaten, nearly 90 tracks covering his creative peak - all his output on the Tomato and Poppy labels. In total you are getting 8 albums for just over a pound a piece - which is unbelievable value. And to top it off these are some of the greatest country songs and albums ever recorded. There is starkness to the songs and honesty that you will not find in 99.9% of what comes out of Nasville these days. He is a song writer on par with Hank Williams and there are very few artists who deserve to be spoken of in the same sentence as him. If you are a newcomer to Townes this is a perfect introduction at a perfect price, if you are a fan, its a chance to replace that worn vinyl and chance to revel in his mastery again.

Original ReleaseTexas Troubadour
2nd Release Texas Troubadour

This has been a collectors item for a few years now and its nice to see it back in print, and good that people dont have to pay over the odds for the collection - recommended totally!
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on 9 March 2008
This features all of Townes's early albums in one set. There's too many tracks here to mention, but each one is a gem! The CD box is also a full-colour booklet with containing biog, pic and music information.
Priced at around £15 it will be them best fifteen quid you've ever spent!

Features the original Poncho and Lefty.

If your a Townes fan you should also check out DVDs "Be here to love me" and "Heartworn Highways" documentaries featuring Townes.
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on 5 September 2008
An absolute MUST for anybody interested in furthering their love/knowledge of Americana music. If ever you've heard the name Townes Van Zandt mentioned and are feeling a hint curious about this songwriting marvel then go out and buy this. I bought it on a whim and have never looked back. And to quote Steve Earle "Townes Van Zandt is the best songwriter in the whole world and I'll stand on Bob Dylan's coffee table in my cowboy boots and say that."
The extensive liner notes booklet is a nice bonus too.
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on 3 December 2012
This box set is an absolute must for any fan of songwriting and country / blues. This set includes 7 of Townes Van Zandts first studio albums and a selection of tracks recorded at the Old Quarter. All I can say is that this is possibly the finest music ever produced, an absolute gem of a find! Buy it now
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on 3 March 2013
this is great value you have 7 studio albums plus some live material showing the full range
of townes talents ranging from blues ballads country and folk . He is difficult to classify
which is good he writes songs from the soul .the first 2 albums are ok but he seems to get
better on each following session . if you like a mix of lightining hopkins hank williams then
this comes through on certain tracks summing up he is well worth investigating if
you havent heard of him before
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on 29 September 2014
Hello there, beautiful item to own. There are 4 CD's here, plus a detailed little book, I myself have'nt yet got past disc 1, I keep replaying it as it hits you with its honest beauty. The magic of this music I think is that you can keep returning to it, it does'nt lose its charm, probably down to it's poetic lyrics, well worth the loss of a few Moths from your wallet.
Deano.
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on 1 November 2012
Glazba Van Zandta je puna tugaljivih melodija,usamljena kao i sam njegov zivot koji je proveo vecinom na rubu margine!U ovoj kolekciji osim samostalnih izvedbi uz gitaru,prati ga i bend a ponesto uz usnu i pozadinsku orkestraciju podcrtavajuci aranzman!U boxu iz 2005te(Charly)se nalazi 7albuma+4bonusa i 8 uzivo snimljenih skladbi iz 73'gne.Ukupno 88 pjesama.Ovo je najdetaljniji zbir albuma od 68-78me na jednom mjestu do sada te je vrlo preporucljiv.Nazalost Van Zandt je umro na novu godinu 97mu i time je svjet izgubio jednog od najfinijih trubadura!R.I.P.
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on 9 December 2012
value of this is the good packaging and great music contained within, Townes does not have a great following but anyone who fancies an impulse purchase buying blind can purchase with confidence , great value
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on 28 November 2009
Townes van Zandt lived the life of a poet, on him guitar, a bottle of whiskey and other intoxicating substances which killed him way before time. This flawed troubadour's concerts have become legendary and those who had the chance to listen to him live have claimed that recorded work does not do full justice to his genius. Well, I'll make do with his studio recorded work any day of the year (I actually do!)

With the Texas Troubadour anthology of original albums from 1968 to 1978 (plus the odd collection of songs from his masterful Live at the Old Quarter well worth buying in its entirety) he leaves us here an 8 album collection of perfectly crafted, intimate songs, spiritual, funny/witty, sentimental sometimes, always smart and poetic. you won't find country mannerisms or compromises to fashion in TVZ: his simple, to the bone approach to songwriting and performing is out of time and reaches a pinnacle of pop/folk alongside true masters of the craft like Dylan or Springsteen at their best.

Songs like Waiting around to Die, Tecumseh, the Highway Kind, Mr Mudd and Mr Gold Pancho and Lefty, to name a few, belong in the cannon of pure modern folk/pop masterpieces, and there isn't one album out of the original seven that would not take pride of place in my CD collection. Thank you, Mr van Zandt.
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