Search - Elmore James & His Broomdusters :: The Classic Early Recordings: 51-56

The Classic Early Recordings: 51-56
Elmore James & His Broomdusters
The Classic Early Recordings: 51-56
Genres: Blues, Pop
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (29) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #3

The definitive early recordings of Elmore James, the man who changed the face of post-war slide guitar, return to the Ace catalogue with this 3CD set. Originally released in a long box and long out of print in that for...  more »


Larger Image

CD Details

All Artists: Elmore James & His Broomdusters
Title: The Classic Early Recordings: 51-56
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Ace Records UK
Original Release Date: 1/1/2006
Re-Release Date: 12/27/2004
Album Type: Import, Box set
Genres: Blues, Pop
Styles: Chicago Blues, Delta Blues, Traditional Blues, Electric Blues, Slide Guitar, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaCD Credits: 3
UPC: 029667000420


Album Description
The definitive early recordings of Elmore James, the man who changed the face of post-war slide guitar, return to the Ace catalogue with this 3CD set. Originally released in a long box and long out of print in that format, this amazing anthology has now been revamped as a 3-CD jewel case release. A huge influence on the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds and Fleetwood Mac, as well as being a giant on the blues scene, this set contains 71 tracks from Elmore's recordings for the Meteor, Flair and Modern labels, as well as the classic 'Dust My Broom' for Trumpet. Cub Koda described the original box thus - "The intensity of James' vocals are nothing short of riveting and the material collected here (along with breakdowns, studio chat, etc.) is simply the best of James' early '50s sides and a box set well worth saving up for." The new packaging, which includes all but one of the photos from the old long-box set, and the new, lower price, mean you don't have to save up as long.

Similar CDs

Similarly Requested CDs


CD Reviews

Stuart Jefferson | San Diego,Ca | 01/22/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Three discs-62,70,58 minutes each approximately. The sound has been remastered and is probably as clean as it will ever be. A few tracks were dubbed from the best 78 & 45 rpm vinyl sources available,or from the original acetate lacquers. There is some studio "chatter" between James and the producer (most likely Joe Bihari) between some tracks. Some listeners will find this distracting-others (like myself) will find it a fascinating addition to a long ago era of recording. The booklet is full of great information on James and the recording era heard on this set. There are a number of good (but obviously small) photographs of James,his band,Joe Bihari,and others. There are also label reproductions from various original releases,and a good discography,with complete details on the various sessions. Also included is a list of James' single releases-including record label,and date of issue. There is a several page reminisce on a visit to Canton,Mississippi in 1993,to visit clubs and "juke" houses Elmore James frequented. This is a jewel case version of the "long-box" version released several years ago,and which was fairly expensive.

If you've read this far,chances are you're familiar with Elmore James' music. His "Dust My Broom" guitar lick was used by him over and over again,and is still heard today by modern players. If you're new to his music are you in for a treat. This set comprises his earliest recordings,from Lilian McMurry's (1951) Trumpet Records ("Dust My Broom"),through his Flair,Meteor,and a couple of (1956) Modern Records tracks. Many listeners (arguably) say these early sides are James' best. And it's hard to disagree. The freshness,the immediacy,the excitement heard on the best of these tracks is hard to argue with. This is due,in large part,to James' rocking,tight little group,which besides the usual piano,bass and drums backing,usually had a honking saxophone (the great J.T. Brown) in the mix,sometimes to fill any holes in the arrangements,sometimes as a featured instrument. There are a number of "takes" of several songs,which some listeners might find irritating,but again,if you find James' music exciting,and want everything he recorded during this time period,it's here. There are a few instrumentals (under James' name) which feature Brown or Raymond Hill on sax,and show what a great little group this was. There are also several tracks on which James is not the featured artist-he plays guitar as part of the group. These tracks are under the heading of the BEP BROWN ORCHESTRA (2 instrumental tracks featuring Brown on sax),SAXMAN BROWN,ELMO JAMES BROOMDUSTERS (1 track),J T (BIG BOY) BROWN,ELMO JAMES BROOMDUSTERS (1 track),both these two tracks feature J.T. Brown on vocals,and LITTLE JOHNNY JONES & THE CHICAGO HOUND DOGS (2 tracks),with Johnny Jones,a blues singer/piano player not to many listeners are familiar with.

Electrifying what he heard country blues singers playing on an acoustic guitar with some form of a slide (metal tube,knife,bone etc.),James had also heard the great Robert Nighthawk playing in a similar style. This piercing,whining sound,which was sustained for maximum effect,combined with James' raw,pleading,declamatory vocal style was very powerful,and once heard was not easy to forget.

These tracks are a combination of slow blues,jump blues,and a pre-rock & roll sound,courtesy of the sax (the great J.T. Brown) playing. Included in this set are several instrumentals (versions of "Hawaiian Boogie",as an example) which show James' guitar playing,and his tight,swinging combo ("Round House Boogie",a sax-driven track) at it's best. On several slower tracks (listen to "Sinful Woman"),James' single string playing is also heard,and proves he was no one-trick pony when it came to playing the blues.

This set,along with "The King of the Slide Guitar",and "The Complete Fire and Enjoy Recordings" sets,which contain his later recordings,would nicely cover James' recording career. There are a few tracks James recorded on an album with John Brim-"Whose Muddy Shoes",which are also worth hearing. Elmore James is one of the cornerstones of electric slide guitar playing. B.B. King started out emulating James' sound,which he found he could not do,(hence his style of bending notes is his version of James' slide sound),and James' sound was one of the foundations of his own playing. The great J.B. Hutto was a disciple of James' slide style,as was Hound Dog Taylor,Duane Allman,and the original FLEETWOOD MAC (who with slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer and a sax player,had an almost uncanny imitation of James' band at times) and countless others. With this set you can hear why Elmore James was,and is,so important and why his group's music is still so exciting."
Great comprehensive document of the great Elmore, a little t
Baberufus | West Jordan, UT USA | 12/04/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is great for hardcore Elmore James fans like me who want a more comprehensive library of the man's recordings. It captures some of Elmore's best cuts, along with some outtakes and false starts for added interest! Some things bugged me, however...there are a few too many cuts that DON'T feature Elmore much, if at all, particularly the instrumental cuts with J.T. Brown in the spotlight on sax. He's a great saxman and an important part of Elmore's musical history, but I'm not interested in hearing half an album's worth of instrumental sax tunes. I bought this for listening to Elmore James, thank's just a few sax songs, but I found myself skipping over most of them--a little much there. What was a pleasant surprise is one tune that featured none other than Little Walter on lead vocal. That was cool, but there is no harmonica in the recording--strange. I never knew Walter ever recorded with Elmore, so that was fun to discover!

Some of the takes reveal Elmore's guitar horribly out of tune. Such tracks obviously don't enhance the greatness of his recorded legacy, but I guess the intention of this box set is to provide the COMPLETE set of recordings from this period--warts and all. :-) And that's fine, but I don't consider it disrespectful or less of a fan if I happen to skip over the more flawed tracks--lol. I mean there are 71 SONGS in this box set, so it's OK if only 5 or 10 songs are not an enjoyable listen...

Despite my minor complaints, I do recommend this collection, but for hardcore Elmore James fans only. For more casual or new Elmore fans, I would recommend the "The Sky Is Crying: The History of Elmore James" instead. That collection contains 21 great tracks, many remarkably well re-mastered for excellent sound, particularly for back in that era. And it's quite a bit cheaper than the box set! :-)"