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Complete Recorded 1
Big Joe Williams
Complete Recorded 1
Genres: Blues, Pop
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Big Joe Williams
Title: Complete Recorded 1
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Document
Original Release Date: 1/1/1935
Re-Release Date: 6/2/1994
Album Type: Import
Genres: Blues, Pop
Styles: Delta Blues, Traditional Blues, Acoustic Blues
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 714298600322, 788518600324, 669910020951, 071429860032

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CD Reviews

Shut up suckers
Heath Edan Combs | north carolina | 03/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I don't know that reading these other reviews is going to tell you that much. But, if you're a big joe fan, this is a must buy, but you may want to get some of his 60s stuff first. Jumping into this album head first without really knowing who Big Joe is will really confuse the average country blues fan. I'd recommend "Piney Woods Blues" which really is great, or if you're a little braver, the first one I got was "These are my blues" which absolutely blew the back end out of my brain on first play. (Most of the album at least)

While Big Joe covered a bunch of Robert Johnson tunes on his album "Classic Delta Blues," --(He plays six string on that album, and suprisingly is just as good, if not better on the six than the nine string)-- this (1935-41) group of recordings is in no way mimicry of Johnson's playing. First off, Big Joe personally knew Charley Patton, Leadbelly and Jimmy Rodgers, among others, he personally mentored Johnny Shines (also mentored by johnson) and Honeyboy Edwards, and muddy waters to some extent, among many others and he either knew or played with the vast majority of recorded and unrecorded blues men of the delta and much of the south. Not to mention that he recorded one live album in the 60s with Lightnin Hopkins, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. So while everybody's heard of robert johnson because eric clapton and all these brits drop his name like he's the second coming, just about every important old black blues musician who's never heard of Led Zeppelin is likely to know of big joe and his reputation. So, dumb white people, stop acting like RJ is the measuring stick and the watermark for what the blues is. He's not. Go buy a Charley Patton or Tommy Johnson album, or even this album if you want to get a real idea of what the blues is and where it came from.

These recording represents most of the songs big joe built his career as a rambling musician around. After the first eight or so, big joe has finally come up with the nine string and is featured with Sonny Boy Williamson (1), and Robert Nighthawk. The pieces on here like "Please don't Go," "Break em' on Down" and "Peach orchard mama" are great. Also "Crawlin King Snake" which Big Joe (not john lee hooker) wrote (well, who knows who really wrote it, at least big joe first claimed it as his own in print), is recorded here for the first time ever. Big Joe is definetly the most violent and perverted blues musician I've heard, but you gotta let yourself hear it. There's an incredible amount of sexuality that comes across on these recordings, if not from the nine string, than from the learned moan of Sonny Boy's revolutionary harmonica voice. Big Joe, to me at least, is kind of the missing link between Chicago Blues and Delta Blues, which is first evidenced by these recordings and is better evidenced by the second in this series of Document Recordings.
So yes, buy this album. It's worth it. But only buy it used. As usual, a new document recording costs way too much.
Heath E. Combs"
Wow! How'd he do that?
"Ian Herrick" | San Jose, CA | 03/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"From the first notes of "Little Leg Woman" this album had me hooked! I have several other albums by Po' Joe or featuring him -- all wonderful -- but there is something about these early recordings that totally stuns me. Some of the guitar work has me scratching my head wondering how he achieved that -- and I know how he tuned his guitar and can play many of the rhythms he did! Guitarwork isn't the only reason to listen to this; Joe's vocals are wonderful, his lyrics fresh and interesting even now. Then there is the interplay between the other musicians -- Henry Townsend's guitar blends seemlessly with Joe's on one track, and listening to the version of "Baby Please Don't Go" with Sonny Boy Williamson on it has me wondering if Joe and John Lee shared some sort of telepathic bond.