A Stompin' Good Time
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* Ace is proud to present a double CD paying tribute to Theme Time Radio Hour - hosted by Bob Dylan. The first series aired last year and a new series is currently under way in the USA.
* For those that are new to the show, each programme lasts an hour and has a different theme each week, for example Drink or Mother. Each track is introduced by Dylan with his dry humour, eclectic interest and vast musical knowledge. His voice does not appear on this CD, just tracks selected from the shows. It can be regarded as the best introduction to music ever.
* This is the only officially-authorised release - and is compiled by the show's producer Eddie Gorodetsky and Ace's own Roger Armstrong.
* A 2CD set featuring 50 tracks, representing the 50 shows of the first series of radio shows. The tracklisting reflects Dylan's wide taste and ranges from Billie Holiday and George Jones, through Aretha Franklin to the Clash and the White Stripes.
* The luxury package contains a 2CD jewel case, with an accompanying 48-page full colour book, all in a cardboard slipcase. The sleeve notes include a track-by-track commentary by some of the world's great music writers including Barney Hoskyns, Colin Escott, Billy Vera and Fred Dellar. Each track, no matter how obscure, is illustrated with a sleeve, label shot or photo of the artist.
Top Customer Reviews
Finding Alan Freed stuff on here is pretty hopeless when they list a label called Famous Groove for the Moondog Show.You can't even look this one up!!
There would though have been no need to search the label if Amazon had provided track details
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What we have here is Ace Records' attempt to anthologize the radio show by choosing 50 cuts that have appeared on Theme Time. There is no "theme" and no Dylan. What we do get is 2 hours of music - most of it blues, R&B, and American roots music. Some of the choices are inspired, the Geraint Watkins cut, "Only a Rose" for example; others - two versions of "Pistol Packin Mama" - less so. The overall effect is akin to listening to a jukebox stocked by Dylan. One could do worse. The packaging is excellent, with track and artist information and a photograph to accompany every song. Sound is more than adequate as well.
If you have access to XM radio by all means listen to Theme Time Radio Hour. If not, this makes a more than acceptable substitute.
The music actually on this album, which you can listen to on other websites, is in the vein of The Johnny Otis Show (Top Ten Hit and not typical of all their work, "Willie and the Hand Jive") with jump rock, an early essay in rock 'n' roll. It's historical and reasonably worthy for the right person, but, no, it does not include "Turn Your Radio On", "He Will Break Your Heart" or Mary Gautier as the previews suggest.
The first and last tracks have Freed's voice introducing them, and at least one track has some handclapping.
BTW this cd listing is STILL accompanied by the Bob Dylan cd reviews. Why does it take Amazon so long to correct errors! If there is a means for customers to notify someone about these errors, Amazon does a good job of hiding it :(
A compilation seems to be due, however, with fifty hours of programming being represented here... there is absolutely no way to make an acceptable two disc set. I'd have to say, that the show has been a treasure trove for me, and out of the dozens of old-old-oldies I've discovered on this show, I don't think a single one of them appear on this collection..... also, neither does Dylan. Not even once.
So, it's a tough call. If you are completely unfamiliar with the show, this may give you an idea. It's pretty much, taking a ride through Bob Dylans music collection, which is largely built up of blues, rock and r&b roots music... singles from the thirties-forties-fifties, and the occasional White Stripes tune (which personally, I didn't think should have been included here, but is). Really though, you should listen to the show. Bootlegs. Listen for the music that grabs your ear, or is different. Theres tons of gems coming out of this show, and not enough in this mix... however it is still pretty great. Theme Time Box Set is due! And keep in all of that great Bob Dylan jibberjabber. I guess I'll let this collection slide with a four star rating. That may be a bit of a stretch though.
*Ooops, I guess I gave it a five star rating anyway. Oh well.