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Chess Chartbusters Vol. 4

Chess Chartbusters Vol. 4

1 Jan 2008
4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2008
  • Release Date: 1 Dec. 2008
  • Label: UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)
  • Copyright: (C) 2008 Spectrum Music
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 55:32
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001LO8UBK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 397,775 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Format: Audio CD
The track listings for these albums read like a "who's who" of black music from the 50s and 60s. Admittedly, it's occasionally more of a "who's he?" for the less obsessive blues and soul fan, but the famous names are here in force, and the great tunes are even more prevalent.

Every one of the six volumes in this series have a good mix of the well known and the forgotten gems of Chess' catalogue- there are mercifully few that feel over-familiar (at least to this reviewer) from those ten-a-penny blues and soul compilations, and a surprising variety of styles on display for anyone who, like me, mistakenly had Chess pegged as predominantly a blues label. With the cost of these CDs as low as it is, I'd recommend that you do what I did and buy all six! The sleeve notes include a potted history of the Chess label (the same in every volume), as well as a short note to accompany each track. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a "musicologist" (that is, a nerd, or the person everyone wants on their team for the music round of the pub quiz), the booklets ought to prove diverting for a few minutes, which is a welcome change in the field of budget-priced compilations.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In its heyday, Chess Records was one of the most important R+B record labels, particularly strong in blues music but by no means limited to blues. Throughout the fifties and sixties, Chess released a lot of great music by artists who included Chuck Berry and Etta James among others. This compilation is part of a six-volume series that showcases their music to great effect although the tracks are not in any particular order. The booklet notes begin with a potted history of Chess common to all volumes in the series, but mostly contain useful information about each track contained within the enclosed volume.

This volume opens with Etta James singing At last, one of the best known tracks on this set along with Maybellene (Chuck Berry). Many other important R+B singers are featured here including Bo Diddley, Elmore James, John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and Sonny Boy Williamson. The Moonglows and the Flamingoes, two classic doo-wop groups, are also represented here.

It's not just about the big names, because here you will also find Koko Taylor, Eddie Bo, Rosco Gordon, Mitty Collier and Marlena Shaw, all of whom turn in great performances and deserve to be better know. Chess even acknowledged Phil Spector via the Spector-esque recording of Sally go round the roses, which became a huge hit for the Jaynettes. Yes, there is plenty of variety in this collection.

Typical of the series overall, with a few famous tracks but a lot of quality, this volume is well up to the expected standard.
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