Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Let's Cut It: Very Best of Elmore James
Genres: Blues, Pop
Listen to Samples
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A Good Offering of Early Elmore Sides
(4 out of 5 stars)
"... this CD affords a good compromise. On it you'll hear some of Elmore's seminal early work, produced by Joe Bihari (the same guy who produced all the early B.B. King and Howlin' Wolf sides), and originally issued on the great Modern label, and its subsidiaries Flair and Meteor. Not every selection is a gem, but who can argue with an album that includes the screaming slide-guitar instrumental "Hawaiian Boogie," "Dark & Dreary," "Goodbye Baby" and one of my favorite jump blues of all time, "My Best Friend" (other -- and better -- takes of "My Best Friend" have been issued under the title "Make My Dreams Come True"). All in all, a lot of important early recordings; good to have if you're into the Blues and you like this truly original guitar giant. But if your gonna have only one Elmore CD (why would you do that?) choose "The Sky Is Crying: The History of Elmore James" (also available here)."
Great early Elmore
Docendo Discimus | Vita scholae | 04/11/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Ace Records' 28-track "The Best Of Elmore James - The Early Years" is more comprehensive than this collection, and the true fan will of course want the lavish three-disc box set "The Early Recordings 1951-1956". But this is a really fine sampler, opening with Elmore's shameless re-recording of "Dust My Broom", titled "Dust My Blues", and ending with the sizzling slow blues "Goodbye Baby".
Elmore James is often considered a one-riff boogie king, but that is actually very unfair, as this collection shows. Yes, he (or more likely his producers) wanted to recapture the "Broom" magic by utilizing the same riff on subsequent singles, but James had many more tricks up his sleeve, and "Let's Cut It" is filled with some of the rawest, most intense music he ever made, including a version of "Blues Before Sunrise" which is virtually hard rock, a supremely funky "No Love In My Heart (For You)", and a slow, intense "Sunnyland".
Elmore James and the Broomdusters played tough, hard-rocking electric blues, all howling slide guitar, clanging piano, and J.T. Brown blowing the sax, and Elmore's loud, anguished vocals made him one of the best and most awesome blues singers of the 50s. The many highlights on this disc include "My Best Friend", "Sho' Nuff I Do", "Standing At The Crossroads", the fiery "Canton, Mississippi Breakdown", the swaggering groove of "So Mean To Me", and the soulful "Long Tall Woman". But everything is definitely worth a listen...you won't find better or more powerful electric post-war blues than these smouldering sides.
4 1/2 stars - highly recommended."
Elmore Slides On
Alfred Johnson | boston, ma | 11/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When one thinks of the classic blues tune "Dust My Broom" one tends to think of the legendary Robert Johnson who along with his "Sweet Home, Chicago" created two of the signature blues songs of the pre-World War II period. However, my first hearing of "Dust My Broom" was on a hot LP (the old days, right?) version covered and made his own by the artist under review, Elmore James. I have heard many cover versions since then, including from the likes of George Thorogood and Chris Smithers, and they all reflect on the influence of Elmore's amazing slide guitar virtuosity to provide the "heat" necessary to do the song justice. Moreover, this is only the tip of the iceberg as such blues masters and aficionados as B.B. King and The Rolling Stones have covered other parts of James' catalog.
Perhaps because Elmore died relativity young at a time when blues were just being revived in the early 1960's as part of the general trend toward "discovering" roots music by the likes of this reviewer he has been a less well-known member of the blues pantheon. However, for those who know the value of a good slide guitar to add sexiness and sauciness to a blues number James' is a hero. Hell Thorogood built a whole career out of Elmore covers (and also, to be sure, of the late legendary Bo Didderly). I never get tired of hearing these great songs. Moreover, it did not hurt to have the famous Broomdusters backing him up throughout the years. As one would expect of material done in the pre-digital age the sound quality is very dependent on the quality of the studio. But that, to my mind just makes it more authentic.
Well, what did you NEED to listen to here? Obviously,"Dust My Broom". On this CD though you MUST listen to Elmore on "Standing At The Crossroads". Wow, it jumps right out at you. "Sure Enough I Do", "Wild About You Baby" and "Mean and Evil" round out the minimum program here. Listen on.