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4.7 out of 5 stars
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I'm going to add to the chorus of approval given this dinky and brill little box set and add a few more details.

Having had it a few weeks now and listened to all the discs - I estimate that most of the first 7 are REMASTERS with the remainder sounding like those CDs already issued - which sound great anyway. His huge hit album "Bop Til You Drop" from 1979 was the world's first all-digital recording and has always sounded clean if not a little flat somehow. The CD here is definitely not the "UFO Has Landed" remaster (see separate review) - but - with a judicious amount of volume - it does sound lovely anyway. Here's the breakdown of what's on offer and what's missing...

Ry Cooder - "1970 - 1987" was released Monday 11 November 2013 on Warner Brothers 8122796241 and is an 11CD mini box set with each album in 5" repro card sleeves as follows:

Disc 1 (30:13 minutes):
1. Alimony
2. France Chance
3. One Meat Ball
4. Do Re Mi
5. Old Kentucky Home
6. How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?
7. Available Space
8. Pig Meat
9. Police Dog Blues
10. Goin' To Brownsville
11. Dark Is The Night
Tracks 1 to 11 are his debut solo LP "Ry Cooder" (December 1970)

Disc 2 (37:46 minutes):
1. How Can You Keep Moving (Unless You Migrate Too)
2. Billy The Kid
3. Money Honey
4. F.D.R. In Trinidad
5. Teardrops Will Fall
6. Denomination Blues
7. On A Monday
8. Hey Porter
9. Great Dreams From Heaven
10. Taxes On The Farmer Feed Us All
11. Vigilante Man
Tracks 1 to 11 are his 2nd album "Into The Purple Valley" (February 1972)

Disc 3 (39:07 minutes):
1. Boomer's Story
2. Cherry Ball Blues
3. Crow Black Chicken
4. Ax Sweet Mama
5. Maria Elena
6. Dark End Of The Street
7. Rally `Round The Flag
8. Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer
9. President Kentucky
10. Good Morning Mr. Railroad Man
Tracks 1 to 10 are his 3rd album "Boomer' Story" (November 1972)

Disc 4 (37:22 minutes):
1. Tamp `Em Up Solid
2. Married Man's A Fool
3. Jesus On The Mainline
4. It's All Over Now
5. Medley: Fool For A Cigarette/Feelin' Good
6. If Walls Could Talk
7. Mexican Divorce
8. Ditty Wah Ditty
Tracks 1 to 8 are his 4th album "Paradise And Lunch" (May 1974)

Disc 5 (39:59 minutes):
1. The Bourgeois Blues
2. I Got Mine
3. Always Lift Him Up
4. He'll Have To Go
5. Smack Dab In The Middle
6. Stand By Me
7. Yellow Roses
8. Chloe
9. Goodnight Irene
Tracks 1 to 9 are his 5th album "Chicken Skin Music" (October 1976)

Disc 6 (43:57 minutes):
1. School Is Out
2. Alimony
3. Jesus On The Mainline
4. The Dark End Of The Street
5. Viva Sequin/Do Re Mi
6. Volver, Volver
7. How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live
8. Smack Dab In The Middle
Tracks 1 to 8 are his 6th LP "Show Time"
Note Track 1 "School Is Out" is a Studio song - the rest is live recorded 14 and 15 December 1976 at The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco and credited to RY COODER/CHICKEN SKIN REVUE

Disc 7 (38:28 minutes):
1. Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now
2. Face To Face That I Shall Meet Him
3. The Pearls/Tia Juana
4. The Dream
5. Happy Meeting In Glory
6. In A Mist
7. Flashes
8. Davenport Blues
9. Shine
10. Nobody
11. We Shall Be Happy
Tracks 1 to 11 are the album "Jazz" (June 1978)

Disc 8 (40:12 minutes):
1. Little Sister
2. Go Home, Girl
3. The Very Thing That Makes You Rich
4. I Think It's Going To Work Out Fine
5. Down In Hollywood
6. Look At Granny Run Run
7. Trouble You Can't Fool Me
8. Don't You Mess Up A Good Thing
9. I Can't Win
Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "Bop Till You Drop" (July 1979)

Disc 9 (44:06 minutes):
1. 634-5789
2. Why Don't You Try Me
3. Down In The Boondocks
4. Johnny Porter
5. The Way We Make A Broken Heart
6. Crazy `Bout An Automobile
7. The Girls from Texas
8. Borderline
9. Never Make Your Move Too Soon
Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "Borderline" (October 1980)

Disc 10 (39:18 minutes):
1. UFO Has Landed In The Ghetto
2. I Need A Woman
3. Gypsy Woman
4. Blue Suede Shoes
5. Mama, Don't Treat Your Daughter Mean
6. I'm Drinking Again
7. Which Came First
8. That's The Way Love Turned Out For Me
Tracks 1 to 8 are the album "The Slide Area" (April 1982)

Disc 11 (40:52 minutes):
1. Get Rhythm
2. Low--Commotion
3. Going Back To Okinawa
4. 13 Question Method
5. Women Will Rule The World
6. All Shook Up
7. I Can Tell By The Way You Smell
8. Across The Border Line
9. Let's Have A Ball
Tracks 1 to 9 are the album "Get Rhythm" (December 1987)

The CD labels reflect the original vinyl issues - 1 to 5 are the Riverboat Tan design, 6 is the Burbank Trees design and the rest the cream Warner Brothers issues (nice attention to detail). Of all the repro card sleeves only "Into The Purple Valley" is a gatefold (all the others were single sleeve issues anyway) but a few like "Boomer's Story" are missing inserts. I say this because apart from the almost unreadable album covers - there's little info to go on (no booklet) and on hearing this fantastic trawl through Americana, Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Texmex and old time Blues - you desperately want to know more about the song origins. Most of the info is available on the net of course, but it would have put this groovy box set into the stratosphere if if had been given a little bit more effort on the presentation front.

You also notice the gaps - "The Long Riders" soundtrack from 1980 is missing as is the fabulous "Paris, Texas" from 1985. But what is here is just so consistently good. Admittedly when you get to "Borderline" and "The Slide Area" the quality control had begin to taper off (as had sales) which is what made the rollicking "Get Rhythm" from 1987 such a huge hit and return to form.

I'd like to point out that for fans the real gems in here are "Boomer's Story", "Paradise And Lunch" and "Chicken Skin Music" which are beautiful sounding now. The gorgeous Mexican-feel instrumental "Marie Elena" on "Boomer's Story" has been a rave of mine for years - the wicked combo of "Fool For A Cigarette/Feelin' Good" is fabulous fun too and his warbling accordion version of Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" on "Chicken Skin Music" is so touching - a wonderfully moving reinterpretation. The old-timey Woody Guthrie feel to the instrumental "Great Dream From Heaven" on "In The Purple Valley" is the kind of gem that litters these albums - its so simple yet so effecting - his playing so sympathetic to the material throughout.

Great stuff - and at a little over two quid per album - a bit of a steal frankly in a sea of overpriced and stodgy Anniversary reissues.

His cover of Howard Tate's "Look At Granny Run Run" on "Bop..." always brings a smile to my face (lyrics to it title this review) and is a good reason to include this boogieing little gem in the Christmas stocking of someone you love this Yuletide...
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on 17 November 2013
I've listened to the first six studio recordings in this 11CD Box, 'Ry Cooder' (self titled), 'Into The Purple Valley', 'Boomer's Story', 'Paradise and Lunch' 'Chicken Skin Music' and 'Jazz' and five of them sound just as wonderfully detailed as previously released CD versions.

The self titled 'Ry Cooder' is the exception. It is just as detailed as the others but for whatever reason Warner have issued this in a different master (or mix) than was used for the original UK pressed Reprise LP and single CD edition that was issued on Reprise/Warner Archives (made in Germany).

I've no doubt the other five titles in this box will sound just as well mastered and crystal clear as these six.

There are no credits or booklet with this set.

You get all the the albums in original artwork mini cardboard sleeves (including the gate-fold 'Into The Purple Valley'), and an attractive box that lists all CDs & their tracks. There are no extra (or bonus) tracks included.

Can't figure Warner Bros. and their apparent secrecy over mastering sources, considering that information is critical for certain potential buyers who may already have some, or all, of Ry Cooder's Reprise/Warner albums, either LP or CD.

For anyone holding back on purchase, maybe due to already owning a few (or all) of these titles purchase is still worth considering. For anyone with no Ry Cooder albums in their collection this box is an absolute must.

* According to Amazon Japan the following Ry Cooder titles were remastered and released in Japan in limited edition cardboard sleeves.

Ry Cooder
Into The Purple Valley
Paradise and Lunch
Chicken Skin Music
Show Time
Bop Till You Drop

Boomer's Story

The Slide Area
Get Rhythm
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on 7 May 2014
No extras here, just the first 11 albums in miniature album sleeves - no book of notes. For the price, who would quibble?

If you don't know, Ry is a master of acoustic and electric guitar, slide and fretted. He is also a master mandolinist. He plays blues, Tex-Mex and many other genres of Americana. His voice is not the greatest, but he uses it to its best effect. He often surrounds himself with what he describes as a kind of Duke Ellington folk orchestra. The song selection is eclectic, esoteric even, so it's not for the casual listener.

If you like Americana, give it a listen. Ry is the man who rediscovered the Buena Vista Social Club musicians. Is that a good enough recommendation?

B. Arthur is a professional guitarist and guitar teacher active in Northumberland UK.
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Cooder is the American musician who during his career has encompassed just about all musical genres or influences from folk and blues to Tex-Mex, soul/gospel. Here we have 11 fine albums contained in one box which between them cover all the genres, with some of his great albums included, Into The Purple Valley, (the one that got him noticed), Chicken Skin Music & Bop Till You Drop, but you might have your own personal ones.

There are plenty of reviews of the various albums so I see little point in labouring over them, other than to say this is the opportunity to get a library of a legendary musician at a bargain price (shop around as I got mine for under £24!!). The other real plus for me is the packaging as each album is in a replica LP cardboard slipcase with the selection in a neat cardboard box (no horrible plastic boxes) and on your shelf the 11 album box is only a little wider that 3 standard jewel cases. So if storage is a problem and I can assure you it is for me, or perhaps I should say my wife, you can sleep easy.

(A little background on Ry Cooder for those that don't know - he played around the West Coast a lot including with Ed Cassidy (later of Spirit), Capt Beefheart (Safe As Milk), and did a fair amount of session work including with the Stones, so quite a pedigree)

I just love these boxes that are being issued these days containing so many replica albums, and this one I reckon is a must buy.
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on 1 January 2014
Without a doubt this is a value for money set if you are looking for an inexpensive way to collect all of Ry Cooder's Warner output. However these are the original transfers and are most definitely not remastered.If you want to hear what Ry Cooder sounds like remastered try the anthology "The UFO Has Landed". This was remastered by Bernie Grundman and the difference is astonishing.
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on 13 September 2015
I am currently ripping the cds from the box set to my itunes to replace the individual CDs that I have already bought. As I go I am comparing the sound of these so called remasters with the originals. Well what a surprise, apart from the first album, where there is a slight improvement, there is no difference at all. It's always a giveaway when the timings are the same. I am now up to 1977's Show Time and realising that I've been had - again. Once again I have been conned into buying the same cds twice. I recently purchased the Little Feat box set in which most of the albums had been remastered so was hoping that this was the case with the Ry Cooder box. Suckered again.
While the music definitely merits 5 stars (and then some), I feel I must dock a couple for the deceit by the record company. By so doing it will maybe stop others wasting their money.
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This is a superb box of Ry Cooder's first eleven studio albums (excluding the film soundtracks). As there isn't a tracklisting, I've pasted one at the end of this review It is a fantastic body of work from one of the finest guitarists and musicians of the last 40 years. They don't need individual reviews from me, but I will say that I first came across Ry Cooder with Bop Till You Drop in 1979 and have been a fan ever since. I bought these individually either on vinyl or CD and have never regretted a single penny spent on any of them (although I think BTYD remains my overall favourite). The guitar work is simply magical. It is smooth, beautiful, unflashy and full of sincerity, and played with such skill that it sounds easy - until you try to do it yourself. The bands he plays with and the production are all excellent and there is a wealth of great stuff here.

Ry Cooder is a true artist who has made plenty of really fine and immensely enjoyable albums, and this box gives you some of the best of them. Each disc is in a cardboard reproduction of the original sleeve and there are full track lists on the back of the box. The absence of the score to Paris, Texas in particular is a loss, but at this price for a nicely-packaged set of 11 discs I'm not going to carp.

Don't hesitate - this is a gem of a box.

The Albums:
1. Ry Cooder
1 Alimony 2 France Chance 3 One Meat Ball 4 Do Re Mi 5 My Old Kentucky Home
6 How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Time And Live? 7 Available Space 8 Pigmeat 9 Police Dog Blues 10 Goin' To Brownsville 11 Dark Is The Night

2. Into The Purple Valley
1 How Can You Keep Moving [Unless You Migrate Too) 2 Billy The Kid 3 Money Honey
4 F.D.R. In Trinidad 5 Teardrops Will Fall 6 Denomination Blues 7 On A Monday 8 Hey Porter 9 Great Dream From Heaven 10 Taxes On The Farmer Feeds Us All 11 Vigilante Man

3. Boomer's Story
1 Boomer's Story 2 Cherry Ball Blues 3 Crown Black Chicken 4 Ax Sweet Mama
5 Maria Elena 6 Dark End Of The Street 7 Rally `Round The Flag 8 Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer 9 President Kennedy 10 Good Morning Me. Railroad Man

4. Paradise And Lunch
1 Tamp' Em Up Solid 2 Tattler 3 Married Man's Fool 4 Jesus On The Mainline
5 It's All Over Now 6 Medley: Fool For A cigarette/Feelin' Good 7 If Walls Could Talk 8 Mexican Divorce 9 Ditty Wah Ditty

5. Chicken Skin Music
1 The Borgeous Blues 2 I Got Mine 3 Always Lift Him Up/Kanaka Wai Wai 4 He'll Have To Do
5 Smack Dab In The Middle 6 Stand By Me 7 Yellow Roses 8 Chloe 9 Goodnight Irene

6. Show Time
1 School Is Out 2 Alimony 3 Jesus On The Mainline 4 The Dark End Of The Street
5 Viva Sequin/Do Re Mi 6 Volver, Volver 7 How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live? 8 Smack Dab In The Middle

7. Jazz
1 Big Bad Bill Is Sweet William Now 2 Face To Face That I Shall Meet Him 3 The Pearls/Tia Juana 4 The Dream 5 Happy Meeting In Glory
6 In A Mist 7 Flashes 8 Davenport Blues 9 Shine 10 Nobody 11 We Shall Be Happy

8. Bop Till You Drop
1 Little Sister 2 Go Home Girl 3 The Very Thing That Makes You Rich [Makes Me Poor] 4 I Think It's Going To Work Out Fine
5 Down In Hollywood 6 Look At Granny Run Run 7 Trouble, You Can't Fool Me 8 Don't Mess Up A Good Thing 9 I Can't Win

9. Borderline
1 634-5789 2 Speedo 3 Why Don't You Try Me 4 Down In The Boondocks 5 Johnny Porter 6 The Way We Make A Broken Heart
7 Crazy `Bout An Automobile (Every Woman I Know) 8 The Girls From Texas 9 Borderline 10 Never Make Your Move Too Soon

10. The Slide Area
1 UFO Has Landed In The Ghetto 2 I Need A Woman 3 Gypsy Woman 4 Blue Suede Shoes 5 Mama, Don't Treat Your Daughter Mean
6 I'm Drinking Again 7 Which Came First 8 That's The Way Love Turned Out For Me

11. Get Rhythm
1 Get Rhythm 2 Low Commotion 3 Going Back To Okinawa 4 13 Question Method 5 Women Will Rule The World
6 All Shook Up 7 I Can Tell By The Way You Smell 8 Across The Borderline 9 Let's Have A Ball
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on 11 September 2015
Fantastic offer at time of purchase. Replacing old vinyl from the 70's and 80's. These are the albums that define Ry Cooder's position in American music. Usual cardboard sleeves with tiny writing, and a less than helpful booklet. All sound absolutely fine and have filled a huge hole in my recorded music selection box.
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on 15 January 2014
Dearest reader,
Forgive me for I digress.
I think back to a kinder, gentler, and more innocent time in music before it became the industry treadmill forking out the latest s*** to be shoved down your throat. That once there was a fleeting glimpse of glory (apologies to Lerner and Lowe) that was knooooown
asss REPRISE: like vertigo and RT, a label where ARTISTS could exist and develop. Uniquely, an age where label and artist co-existed in a trade off. Buy a Ry Cooder album and be treated to advertisments about other artists; ZAPPA< BEEFHEART< COOPER<NEiL YOUNG.
OK back to this set. More than 100 tracks! The first 5 Reprise albums. I'll let others wax lyrical about the difference between the sonic qualities of these versions versus the vinyl releases. What i have always loved about Ry Cooder is how the titles of his songs suck you into having to hear them."HOW CAN A POOR MAN STAND SUCH TIMES AND LIVE?"

On par with the GODDESS Joni Mitchell box set.
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on 23 February 2014
I have always considered Ry Cooder one of the Greats of Contemporary Music. He has been involved in Blues, Rock, Tex-Mex, Jazz, Country/Folk, Film Scoring, you name it and he has always been successful, overall!

Having his 1970 - 1987 11 LP Catalogue boxed and in the original CD equivalent sleeves seemed very attractive at first, especially at the price. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm created is severely curtailed when the following is observed:

1. There seems to be no Re-Mastering involved and, therefore no improvement in the sound, given today's technology.
2. All of these LPs have already been released independantly with much more information provided in the Inserts. It is a shame that this, already existing, information could not have been reproduced in this Box Set, either as independent Insers to each CD, or gathered into a single Booklet and incuded in the Set.
3. There are no Bonus Tracks on any of the CDs.

Admittedly, it could be argued that, at this price, we are being offered the original LPs and nothing more, but why not offer something more if it is relevant, it enhances the Set and will take minimal effort & cost? After all the additional Sleeve Notes are already in existence, for one. Otherwise I am in agreement with views expressed by other reviewers who, however, are a bit more generous in their Star ratings.

The music is worth 5 Stars, say 4.5, given the lack of Re-Mastering. The missed opportunities mentioned above, however, make me reduce this by at least one Star, so 3 Stars it is. Shame really, but I decided to keep the independant CD releases I already possess and to re-sell this Box-Set.
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