Search - Albert Collins :: Imperial Recordings

Imperial Recordings
Albert Collins
Imperial Recordings
Genres: Blues, Pop
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #2


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CD Details

All Artists: Albert Collins
Title: Imperial Recordings
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Capitol
Release Date: 8/13/1991
Genres: Blues, Pop
Styles: Chicago Blues, Regional Blues, Texas Blues, Electric Blues, Modern Blues
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 077779674022, 0724383919451

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CD Reviews

Classic Collins
Michael Strom | Chicago, IL USA | 11/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The late Albert Collins was one of the very best guitarists America ever produced. His idiosyncrasies probably hurt his recording career, because he didn't fit neatly into a marketable category. He incorporated elements of blues, R&B, rock & had a very funky sound. If you ever heard him play, you would recognize his style within 3 notes, a block away. He tuned his Telecaster to a D-minor open chord & always had a capo halfway up the neck. He used his thumbnail instead of a pick, and didn't really pick, strum or pluck -- he attacked the strings in an incredibly percussive way. His style was so unusual that you might overlook the fact that the guy could flat-out play.Unless you saw him live. Albert was a showman, and you couldn't take your eyes off him. He had crazy-looking eyes, a perpetually impish look about him, and he was really, really funny. It's a cliche to talk about a guitarist making it sing, scream or cry. Albert made his guitar swear during his nightly diatribes at his woman. Although there are great tracks on his live efforts, some of the cuts really worked a lot better where you could actually see him. For those who never saw him live, there are three studio CDs that give a good overview of his work. THe 2-CD Complete Imperial Recordings set is a revelation to those who are only familiar with Albert's work after his Alligator releases finally raised his profile in the late 70's. Not yet the pyrotechnic showman, this compilation of 3 60's albums shows a surprising kinship with the solid, fundamental funk of the Meters. At times, he sounds like he was from New Orleans, not Texas. Understated, soulful, classy and as always, cool. Most cuts are the Albert Collins equivalent of lean, powerful Booker T & the MGs instrumental workouts. The 36 songs are good enough to stand on their own, and he didn't try to overpower anyone with his technical prowess.Like a number of unjustly neglected blues acts, Albert got a boost from Alligator Records in the 70's. His breakthrough came with 1978's Ice Pickin.' It features two of the live-wire instrumentals he was famous for ("Ice Pick," "Avalanche") and a generous helping of his world-weary grievances with women, including the classic "Conversation With Collins" (more fun live, but still fun on disc) where his guitar not only spouts obscenities, it takes on the multiple roles of a complaining husband, and a wife both seductive & defiant. Some shuffles, a couple slow burners.In 1991, Albert served up Iceman, practically a straight-up funk revue. If you play it for people who aren't familiar with electric blues, they'll adamantly deny that it is blues at all. Well, it is & it isn't. Albert is backed by the fullest band sound he ever had, with a full 4-man horn section, bass, organ & keyboards (yes, 2 different guys), plenty of rhythm guitarists, a solid rock-steady drummer, and 2 female background singers cooing "Mr. Collins, Mr. Collins!" on the tracks that start & end the CD.All three come highly recommended."
Collins Straight Up
Douglas MacRae | Toronto | 12/31/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is Albert Collins from 1969 and 1970, in the studio because Bob Hite from Canned Heat told the folks at Imperial about his incredible talent. This was the break he needed. He began opening for groups such as the Allman Brothers and started to gain the national exposure he deserved. We don't get any information about the band backing him, in spite of the excellent notes by Pete Welding. What we hear is a tight horn section that probably got that way from playing with Collins on the many club dates he had in Houston, Texas. Disc One is mainly funky instrumentals with little of the blues he came back to when he joined Alligator Records in 1977. By the time we get to Disc Two Collins is singing and playing more of the blues that he does best. He seems to have become more confident in his singing ability. (This confidence grows to the point where he sings on most of his songs by the time he is signed to Alligator, when he really shines.) This 2-CD box is not his best work but a valuable collection for his fans. Digitally re-mastered for the Master of the Telecaster!"