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Johnny Winter's first entry in the hugely successful "Original Album Classics" Series is a genuine nugget (for that matter the second 5CD box like this is pretty much the same). A 5CD Mini Box Set concentrating on his rightly celebrated Late Sixties/Early Seventies Blues-Rock output - it's also mid-price into the bargain. Johnny B Damn Goode on a budget. Here are the Texas White Boy Blues...

Released 24 January 2011 in the UK (1 Feb 2011 in the USA) - each CD is housed in a singular card sleeve which repro's in miniature the back and front artwork of the original vinyl LP (with recording info, production credits etc downloadable via the Net from Sony's website). Columbia/Sony Legacy 886976561727 breaks down as follows:

Disc 1 is "Johnny Winter" released May 1969 on Columbia CS 9826 in the USA and June 1969 on CBS S 63619 in the UK (34:14 minutes)
1. I'm Yours And I'm Hers
2. Be Careful With A Fool
3. Dallas
4. Mean Mistreater
5. Leland Mississippi Blues
6. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
7. When You Got A Good Friend
8. I'll Drown In My Tears
9. Back Door Friend

Disc 2 is "Second Winter" released as a 3-sided 2LP set in November 1969 on Columbia K2S 9947 in the USA and May 1970 in the UK on CBS S 66321 (46:57 minutes)
1. Memory Pain
2. I'm Not Sure
3. The Good Love
4. Slippin' And Slidin'
5. Miss Ann
6. Highway 61 Revisited
7. I Love Everybody
8. Hustled Down In Texas
9. I Hate Everybody
10. Fast Life Rider
11. Early In The Morning

Disc 3 is "Live/Johnny Winter And" released March 1971 in the USA on Columbia CS PC 30475 and in the UK on CBS S 64289 (40:12 minutes)
1. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
2. It's My Own Fault
3. Jumpin' Jack Flash: Rock And Roll Medley
4. Great Balls Of Fire
5. Long Tall Sally
6. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
7. Mean Town Blues
8. Johnny B. Goode

Disc 4 is "Still Alive And Well" released April 1973 on Columbia KC 32188 in the USA and in the UK on CBS S 65484 (44:32 minutes)
1. Rock Me Baby
2. Can't You Feel It
3. Cheap Tequila
4. All Tore Down
5. Rock & Roll
6. Silver Train
7. Ain't Nothing To Me
8. Still Alive And Well
9. Too Much Seconal
10. Let It Bleed
11. Lucille
12. From A Buick Six
[Note: Tracks 11 and 12 "Lucille" and "From A Buick Six" are bonus tracks]

Disc 5 is "Saints & Sinners" released February 1974 in the USA on Columbia KC 32715 in the USA and in the UK on CBS S 65842 (41:48 minutes)
1. Stone Country
2. Blinded By Love
3. Thirty Days
4. Stray Cat Blues
5. Bad Luck Situation
6. Rollin' Cross The Country
7. Riot In Cell Block No. 9
8. Hurtin' So Bad
9. Boney Moroney
10. Feedback On Highway 101
11. Dirty
[Note: Track 11 "Dirty" is a bonus track]

Winter's debut LP "The Progressive Blues Experiment" was released on Imperial Records in the States in April 1969 - so the first disc on here "Johnny Winter" is actually his 2nd album and his debut for Columbia Records. Along with its impossibly cool follow-up "Second Winter" (a 3-sided 2LP set where Side 4 was blank) - they are vinyl treasures I've had on my turntables for over 40 years.

Highlights from both include the twin guitar boogie of "I'm Yours And I'm Hers" along with the stunning National Steel slide of "Dallas". And as if to stamp his credentials on the genre, the cover of the Muddy Waters staple "Mean Mistreater" features two huge Blues Legends - Willie Dixon on Bass and Walter "Shakey" Horton on Blues Harp. Speaking of mean harmonica warblers - Winter's own Harp playing on "Back Door Friend" makes him sound like some 70-year old veteran. The immediately impressive "I Love Everybody" track from "Second Winter" turned up on those CBS sampler LPs in 1970 and 1971 while his cover of Percy Mayfield's "Memory Pain" sounded so hard rock - a great opening salvo and a clever reading of the changing sounds of the time.

But like Rory Gallagher on "Live In Europe" (another genuine guitar hero), it wasn't until 1971 that you heard the full power of Winter and his band on the now legendary "Live" album. There are versions of the Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" and Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" that are arguably definitive - blistering stuff. I'm afraid I threw many a guitar shape to these tracks in my living room as a teenager...oh dear...

The final two albums featured here - "Still Alive And Well" and "Saints And Sinners" - saw RICK DERRINGER both join the ranks and produce. The Canned Heat/ZZ Top boogie of "Rock & Roll" (lyrics above) and the Slide Blues of "Too Much Seconal" showed that the magic was still there (even if the drugs seemed to be getting the better of him). His version of the Stones "Silver Train" from 1973's "Goat's Head Soup" sounds so much like them that it might very well have been an outtake from that Stones session with Winter singing lead vocal instead of Mick Jagger. His funky spoken intro of "I'm hungry...Let's do this f****er..." to "Still Alive And Well" raises a laugh to this day and his raucous version of Chuck Berry's "Thirty Days" is great fun too. And on it goes...

To sum up - nearly 6 albums worth of great Blues-Rock for roughly two quid a record is a bit of a no-brainer really. No Winter of discontent here folks...recommended.

PS: and if you want more check out his late Seventies collaborations with MUDDY WATERS on Blue Sky Records which feature Winter producing and playing on all (see the 3CD "Original Album Classics" box set). There is also a Legacy Double of "Second Winter" and a "Woodstock" version of "Johnny Winter" - both have bonus discs with superb extras

PPS: in the 'comment' section attached to this review is a list of all titles in the "Original Album Classics" Series to January 2012 (over 145 titles - 5CD and 3CD sets)
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 20 October 2011
Johnny Winter truly is one of both rock and blues greats.Surely one of the finest guitarists of his generation, produced some classic albums over the years.Whether he plays electric or acoustic, an excellent slide guitarist as well. The man who took Muddy Waters back to the blues pinnacle in his later recordings, for that we will always be grateful. JW also appeared at the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festivals, has a stunning new album out 'Roots', and still continues to tour with his band. So here we have a box set of five of his very best albums,still sounding as great as the day they were first released.If you have no JW releases then this set is the best place to start.A range of both great blues tracks,some equally great rock material, covers of both Rolling Stones and Dylan material, dare I suggest better than the originals including a storming Jumpin' Jack Flash and Highway 61 Revisited, Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode, four studio and one live album made between 1969 and 1974, but don't be put off because they sound as fresh as they ever were. Nearly fifty tracks of awesome rockin' blues, plus the odd acoustic track where his slide playing shows the mark of a true master of his craft. This truly is a bargain box set, not to be missed, by an artist who throughout the years has given us some of the best American music there is.Very recommended indeed.
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on 16 August 2011
I have no idea how the 'Original Album Classics' series isn't more popular, or at least more well known. Its ridiculously cheap, less than £3 an album!!!

The Johnny Winter collection contains the following albums:
Johnny Winter
Second Winter
Saints And Sinners
Still Alive And Well

They amount to a brilliant collection of Winter's songs and talents.
A great introduction to his music that I aim to take further with more of his albums.
It's a shame he isn't as well known as he should be. What a guitar player!

The only downside is the packaging, the CDs come in individual cardboard sleeves which are all in a cardboard Johnny Winter box and the albums keep sliding out which is abit annoying. Other than that, a great collection.
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on 7 March 2011
This is Winter at his best and demonstrates an artist at the peak of his powers.His Stones covers are superior to the originals and his guitar playing is sublime. This collection is a must for any lover of the blues young or old.Pay particular attention to the live album and take a magical trip through time;when blues guitarists were blues guitarists not poseurs.
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I first saw the old great blues rocker Johnny Winter and.. at the Hull City Hall back in the 1970s.
We went at the last minute and my mate Terry had bought the last tickets on sale which were the most expensive balcony seats, right at the side of the stage, rather than the cheaper stalls at the back...

BUT good fortune smiled on us that day for the clerk gave Terry 3 tickets by mistake.
So two guys 3 tickets and who should just walk up at that moment but our best mate Rob with his cheapest stall ticket.
Would Rob like to join us in the best seats?
Terry and I sold Rob's Ticket to a very pleased guy who was unlucky to arrive late at a sold out concert.
Despite the fact that we had become Ticket Touts we did not charge the guy a lot extra but at face value and split the cash between Terry and myself. ( Rob had the benefit of a finer seat so he was pleased!!)

Great Concert.

The Support was Genesis complete with Pete Gabriel!
Genesis really impressed but Johnny Winter with his backing group the ex McCoys were excellent. Rick Derringer were outstanding.

After seeing Johnny I got the next best thing the LP Johnny Winter live and a big Pace poster of him with a flying V guitar because it was in the sale!
Money was tight then!
Now to the CDs
Of interest is that Second Winter was originally a 3 side 2 LP set!
Yes they did crazy things like that then. But you have to remember LPs were often very short affairs indeed back then some did not even register 33 minutes in total and you had to turn the things over half way through.

Thought the track listings would be of help so I've included them.
(note at the time Amazon DID not give to us.)

the good news is that there is now a second set of five further classic albums.

Here is a link.

Vote for me before you go though?

Original Album Classics

I have included the original times and would urge you to read my co reviewer Mark Barry's review.

"Johnny Winter" (34:14 minutes)
1. I'm Yours and I'm Hers
2. Be Careful with a Fool
3. Dallas
4. Mean Misstreater
5. Leland Mississippi Blues
6. Good Morning Little School Girl
7. When You Got a Good Friend
8. I'll Drown My Own Tears
9. Back Door Friend
"Second Winter" (46:57 minutes)
1. Memory Pain
2. I'm Not Sure
3. The Good Love
4. Slippin' and Slidin'
5. Miss Ann
6. Johnny B. Goode
7. Highway 61 Revisited
8. I Love Everybody
9. Hustled Down in Texas
10. I Hate Everybody
11. Fast Life Rider

"Live/Johnny Winter And" (40:12 minutes)
1. Good Morning Little School Girl
2. It's My Own Fault
3. Jumpin' Jack Flash
4. Rock 'n' Roll Medley
5. Mean Town Blues
6. Johnny B. Goode

"Still Alive And Well" (44:32 minutes)
(This includes the 2 extra bonus tracks 11 and 12 so is especially good value)
1. Rock Me Baby
2. Can't You Feel It
3. Cheap Tequila
4. All Tore Down
5. Rock 'n' Roll
6. Silver Train
7. Ain't Nothing to Me
8. Still Alive and Well
9. Too Much Seconal
10. Let It Bleed
11. Lucille
12. From a Buick Six

Saints & Sinners"
(41:48 minutes)
This includes the extra track 11 (so again great value)
1. Stone County
2. Blinded by Love
3. Thirty Days
4. Stray Cat Blues
5. Bad Luck Situation
6. Rollin' Cross the Country
7. Riot in Cell Block #9
8. Hurtin' So Bad
9. Bony Moronie
10. Feedback on Highway 101
11. Dirty
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on 28 August 2015
Wished I'd seen him live, but never mind play loud drink beer and have plenty of friends round, perfect party blues rock workouts, jw is in turn flashy subtle and knowing, he deserves a higher profile. Cheap entry point? Its more than that release your inner hipster
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on 6 December 2011
I have always enjoyed listening to Johnny Winter but only on CBS samplers and there has been a lack of albums at my local HMV.
So I leapt at the chance of buying 5 albums for the price of one and was not disappointed.The first album alone is amazing
if you like bluesy rock.I thought at first it could have done with remastering to improve the sound but I have got used to it now and that rough edge has an attraction of it's own.Only one regret, No "Rock and Roll Hoochie Choo"
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on 13 September 2012
This classic album series of 5 albums for about $4 each (here in Oz) is excellent value, particularly if all albums in the box set are good. My purchases so far, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Los Lobos, and now Johnny Winter have all put a smile on this dial.

I purchased the set for the first two albums which I owned in vinyl before a bushfire claimed them. The initial Columbia release, Johnny Winter, established his blues cred internationally with help from Rolling Stone magazine and blues stalwarts Willie Dixon on double bass and Walter Horton on harp on Mean Mistreater. Winter's approach was raw with no frills, no compromise to populist production, no voice echoes, no guitar reverb, just straight ahead blues. The two acoustic numbers, the fabulous self penned Dallas and Robert Johnson's When You Got a Good Friend showed that here was a guy who could play like Johnson and sing with power and authority; few could come anywhere near him.

Winter's vocals are under rated, there is soul, rock 'n roll, country and blues in this collection and he does them all well. Check out his version of Little Richard's Miss Ann from Second Winter - such great solos and no other major artist comes so close to sounding like Richard, apart from Otis Redding. The smokin' Highway 61 also from Second Winter was a vocal and instrumental performance reprised for Dylan's 30th anniversary concert in 1993. On Second Winter JW expanded his styles to great effect, while paying homage to his roots.

Of the albums I hadn't heard previously Live Johnny Winter And is an energy packed show with Rick Derringer on second lead. It is flash and would have been great to see. Most of it works with slight excesses being my only criticism. Jumpin' Jack Flash out stones the Stones, just fabulous!

Still Alive and Well is a very strong album, moving away from blues to Stones raunch territory. A couple of Stones' covers with Silver Train and Let It Bleed, both worthy versions. The country song, Ain't Nothing to Me is also good fare and you could imagine Mick and Keef on harmonies. Bonus tracks Little Richard's Lucille and Dylan's From A Buick Six are both on par with the rest of the album.

Saints and Sinners to my taste is marred by cluttered arrangements and over production, a pity because there are good songs and some fine playing. A great soul number Hurtin' So Bad is saturated with horns, Blinded By Love by vocal choruses. Thirty Days sounds like a football team is singing the chorus. Interestingly the funky closer Feedback on Highway 101 is a rare Van Morrison outtake circa Hard Nose The Highway which is great but it too is cluttered along the way with superfluous electronic ceiling. By contrast the stark bonus track Dirty is the unlikely paring of JW's slide with Jeremy Steig's flute which works well, fabulous vocal too.

The major drawback with these sets is that you don't get recording and personnel info unless they are on the rear cover of the album, but these can usually be obtained from the internet. The sound on each album is good to my ears, I think Still Alive and Well and Saints and Sinners must be lately remastered given the bonus tracks. All up, great value and a plus for any collection, the first two albums, Johnny Winter and Second Winter, being essential.
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on 6 March 2016
It's Johnny Winter at his best. What more do you need to know!!
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on 4 July 2014
amazing blues check out jumping jack flash live album
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