Top positive review
27 people found this helpful
A really good-value introduction to electric blues guitar...
on 23 July 2012
This is a lot of music for just under a tenner - 75 "masterpieces" by 35 "blues guitar heroes" on 3 CDs. The selection concentrates very much on post-war electric blues of the 50s, 60s and 70s and and all your favourites and major players - B.B., Albert and Freddie King, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Lowell Fulson, T-Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley - are here. We also get a good selection of 'second division' players including Johnny Guitar Watson, Guitar Slim, Eddie Taylor, Magic Sam, Little Milton, Johnny Copeland and Clarence Gatemouth Brown. There are also some slightly more obscure (overlooked?) players Tiny Grimes, Morris Pejoe, Hop Wilson, Rudy Green, Lafayette Thomas etc as well as a couple of tracks that I personally wouldn't have included on a 'guitar' compilation - such as Doctor Ross, who is an excellent one-man band and harmonica player but hardly an outstanding guitarist.
As with most compilations the selections are shaped by what tracks are available to the compilers - in this case the renowned Neil Slaven - and so I think that while the tracks that represent Freddie King are excellent, clearly some of his best work, the tracks for B.B. and Albert King while OK are not their best or most representative work. Again you could argue on who has been included and who has been left out (Hubert Sumlin, Lightnin' Hopkins, Albert Collins, Robert Cray etc) but overall this collection contains some great music and is a really good introduction to the electric blues. As someone who has been listening to blues for over 40 years I still found this an enjoyable listen, it included some all-time classics as well as many tracks I hadn't heard before (Mad Lad by Chuck Berry), although invevitably there were also quite a few tracks that I already own.