Subtitled "The ABC-Dunhill/MCA Recordings" this 16-track 1998 USA-only CD compilation is a deceptive little bugger that packs a whole lot more punch than its naff title and sleeve would suggest. It covers the period 1973 to 1982 and therefore gives us some great-sounding remasters from a criminally under-represented part of Bland's extraordinary career.
Released July 1998 in the USA (2000 in the UK) - here's the breakdown for Universal/MCA MCAD-11809 (Barcode 008811180928) on CD (69:33 minutes): 1. This Time I'm Gone For Good 2. Goin' Down Slow 3. I Wouldn't Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me) 4. Ain't No Love In the Heart Of The City 5. Yolanda 6. I Ain't Gonna Be The First To Cry 7. Today I Started Loving You Again 8. I Hate You 9. The Soul Of A Man 10. It Ain't The Real Thing 11. Sittin' On A Poor Man's Throne 12. Let The Good Times Roll [Live] with B.B. KING 13.You'd Be A Millionaire 14. Love To See You Smile 15.Recess In Heaven 16. Soon As The Weather Breaks
(US Album catalogue numbers) Tracks 1 and 2 are from the LP "His California Album", 1973 on Dunhill 50163 Tracks 3 to 6 are from "Dreamer", 1974 on Dunhill 50169 Tracks 7 and 8 are from "Get Down With", 1975 on ABC 895 Tracks 9 to 11 are from "Reflections In Blue", 1978 on ABC 1018 Track 12 is from Together Again...Live", 1976 on ABC-Impulse 9317 Track 13 is from "Sweet Vibrations", 1980 on MCA 5142 Track 14 is from "Come Fly With Me", 1978 on ABC 1075 Track 15 is from "Here We Go Again", 1982 on MCA 5297 Track 16 is from "I Feel Good, I Feel Fine", 1979 on MCA 3157
His 50s and 60's tracks have been done to death in the USA - and fabulous they are too - but I adore his Seventies Soul/Funk stuff more - and especially the two masterpieces that turned up on Probe Records in the UK in 1973 and 1974 - "His California Album" and "Dreamer". I've had OK-only reissues of these for years just to have the music and have dreamed of the day that either or both receive the DELUXE EDITION 2CD treatment - or even a Hip-O Select Box Set covering the full ABC/Probe years where I know the sound will be the business. Well this compilation goes a bit of a way towards that because it's remastered by one of Universal's top engineers ERICK LABSON (over 1000 audio restoration and remaster credits to his name) and the sound quality is gorgeous - really clean, muscular and a revelation on every track. The 12-page booklet has liner notes by long-time Blues and R'n'B historian and hero BILL DAHL whose done tons of work for Bear Family on their "Sweet Soul Music" series 1961 to 1975 (see indepth reviews for all 15 Volumes).
The slinky Steely Dan Funk Soul of "I Ain't Gonna Be The First To Cry" (lyrics from it title this review) is a joy - every instrument impressive - and of course that voice. "Today I Started Loving You Again" is another gem and the bluesy cover of Louis Jordan's "Let The Good Times Roll" with B.B. KING (live) is a welcome reminder of his illustrious R'n'B past. Sure it tapers off a bit towards the end and it could easily have had 2 more tracks - but as it stands - this overlooked and stunning-sounding MCA CD compilation is about ten dollars for US buyers and £5 for UK - and as such represents amazing value for money - a top Soul bargain.
Discover Bobby "Blue" Bland superb Soul period through "Greatest Hits Vol. Two" - and watch that phone dial light up as the bank manager begs you to stop spending money on his catalogue...
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Enjoy these sixties music and bought this to recall a time when music like this brought some joy to so many people. A time when there was so much pain experience by all therefore the music and the words were very personal to all who heard it.
A great great compilation of the late great man's ABC years.If you're into voices of soul and blues you need this album.Bobby's well compiled from the 50s and 60s but I could only find this one from the 70s. A marvellous compilation from one of the most soulful voices ever.