This fantastic (and still relatively cheap) March 2006 'expanded' remastered CD on Sony/Blue Horizon 82876769682 (Barcode 828767696829) is based around Eddie Boyd's lone album for Blue Horizon Records - "7936 South Rhodes" - released in 1968. The original British LP has long been notoriously difficult to find on vinyl - and with Fleetwood Mac involvement (at the height of their Blues period power) - it's been costly too due to it's genuinely collectable nature. And although "7936 So. Rhodes" has been reissued before as a straightforward 12-track CD a few decades back - this 18-track 'expanded' version has the rare singles that surrounded the album, unreleased outtakes, a vastly upgraded booklet and truly superlative remastered sound from the original master tapes. It breaks down like this (61:57 minutes):
1. It's So Miserable To Be Alone
2. Empty Arm
Tracks 1 and 2 are the A & B of his first UK 7" single on Blue Horizon BH 1009 released in 1967 in the UK. Recorded in London on 25 March 1967, both tracks are non-album, written by Eddie Boyd and feature Aynsley Dunbar on Drums (Mick Fleetwood replaced him for the album sessions).
3. You Got To Reap
4. Just The Blues
5. She's Real
6. Black Slack
7. Be Careful
8. Ten To One
9. The Blues Is Here To Stay
10. You Are My Love
11. Third Degree
12. Thank You Baby
13. She's Gone
Tracks 3 to 14 make up Boyd's only album on the Blue Horizon label - "7936 South Rhodes" - credited to EDDIE BOYD with PETER GREEN'S FLEETWOOD MAC. It was released in March 1968 on Blue Horizon 7-63202 in the UK and Epic BN 26409 in the USA. EDDIE BOYD wrote every track except "Third Degree", which is co-written with Willie Dixon of Chess Records fame. It was recorded at the CBS Studios in London in one day - 25 January 1968.
15. The Big Boat
16. Sent For You Yesterday And Here You Come Today
Tracks 15 and 16 are his 2nd UK 7" single on Blue Horizon 57-3137 issued in 1967. Credited to Eddie Boyd with Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac - again both single sides are non-album - and feature the same group line-up as the LP sessions. Boyd wrote the A-side while the flip is a cover of a Jimmy Rushing tune.
17. The Stroller
18. No Place Like Home - Previously unreleased mono recordings
The line up for the session was:
EDDIE BOYD on Piano and Lead Vocals
PETER GREEN on Guitar
JOHN McVIE on Bass
MICK FLEETWOOD on Drums for all except 1 and 2 which had AYNSLEY DUNBAR
What isn't hazy here is the sound - absolutely stunning audio clarity - a real triumph. The reissue has been overseen by MIKE VERNON (who founded and ran the famous label) and the original tapes transferred by DUNCAN COWELL. Clear, full, virtually no hiss - great work done. The power of the band (well rehearsed and steeped in the feeling) is tangible in every song. The 20-page colour booklet has detailed liner notes, photos, session credits and a card wrap surrounding the jewel case gives the whole shebang a classy feel.
The music itself can be described as strolling boogie-woogie blues - Eddie Boyd with his wonderfully warm and expressive voice - while the Mac provide perfect and heartfelt backup. The album itself is a stunner, slow blues ("Be Careful" and "Third Degree") followed by fun rocking blues "(You Got To Reap" and the instrumental "Back Slack") - and back again. "The Big Boat" and "Just The Blues" are two tracks Peter Green and Mac fans will recognise - they turned up on "The Pious Bird Of Good Omen" compilation LP in August 1969. In fact "7936 South Rhodes" is everything you'd expect from that amazingly productive period - and easy to see why the original vinyl commands so much money. Blues-Rock lovers and fans of Peter Green and the early Fleetwood Mac sound will have to own this.
Edward Riley Boyd died in July 1994 aged 80 and this fab reissue does him and his musical memory a whole lot of justice. Buy it and get down and dirty...
on 30 May 2013
Back in the 60s I was playing in the house band at a weekly blues club 'somewhere in the West Midlands' and one week the guest artist was Eddie Boyd.
We met him at the railway station and he had come on his own.No manager and no hangers-on.
He came to the club and played for well over two hours and was fantastic.When it was over it was too late for him to get back to London so our singer put him up for the night at his house,and he left the following day.
That's how it was then.Uncomplicated and easy going times.
He was a great bluesman and a lovely guy to boot.A real gentleman.
This album brought back super memories of that night.Fabulous.
A few weeks later Fleetwood Mac were the guest band at the club.But that's another story for another time......
on 20 August 2008
Eddie Boyd was the first American blues performer I saw in concert (he was backed by the Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation on that particular date). Although not in the same class as, say, Otis Spann, as a pianist, he nevertheless was a consummate blues artist. The first 2 tracks are an old (and extremely rare) Blue Horizon single, on which he is backed by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, featuring Peter Green. They were probably recorded at the same time as the album Eddie Boyd & His Blues Band was recorded (it came out on Decca, but has been re-issued on cd - and is well worth obtaining). Most of the rest of the album is what was originally released on Blue Horizon as 7936 South Rhodes, plus the single "The Big Boat/Sent For You Yesterday" which were recorded at the same sessions but not included on the album. There is a wonderful laid-back blues feel throughout, with beautifully sympathetic backing from Fleetwood Mac. Peter Green's guitar playing is just wonderful; melodic and sparse, and showing a genuine understanding of how to work with an authentic bluesman. No wonder Eddie Boyd said he was one of his favourite guitarists!
Both the Eddie Boyd albums should be in the possession of all those who love post-war blues.
on 3 January 2007
If you like the blues then buy this album, Eddie Boyd will take you into a blues juke joint with his compelling mix of blues, and you will believe you are there with him. All tracks are superb, and written in his flowing style of blues, some have a little twist of jazz, and all but a couple of tracks have been written by Eddie. He was truly a great talent, and mixed with many of the greatest blues legends, and this can be heard when listening to this album. This is not raw delta blues, Eddie introduces the piano, guitar and sax, to his blues, and gives it a fuller sound. Eddie passed away in 1998, and he is sorely missed, but this album brings him back to us in a way that only Eddie can, with some real true blues. If you want to sample the blues for real, this is the album for you.
on 10 January 2013
I bought this cd as I already own Decca's vinyl "Eddie Boyd and his Blues Band" and it was a question of upgrading this to the cd or getting the Blue Horizon compilation. In my view this compilation is a very solid, professional and uncomplicated set of basic bar room blues ranging from the raw blues of "Just the Blues"; the jump blues of "She's Real"; some good rollicking boogie with "Back Slack" and some steady rolling R&B with "Ten to One". Also included is the nice jazzy swing of "The stroller".
So am I happy? Yes.
Why 4 stars? The cd is generally a little too mellow, too slick for me and lacks real bite.
Will I now buy the cd "Eddie Boyd and his Blues Band? Yes. This cd overall has a broadly similar mix of blues but an altogether fuller sound. From the opening track it rocks along and has on some tracks the additional sounds of sax, harmonica and wonderful slide guitar which really flesh out and give bite to the tracks.
Which do I prefer - for me it has by a whisker to be "Eddie Boyd and his Blues Band. But perhaps its because I bought this first on vinyl and loved it.