Johnny Winter tracks horrible
Ecologist_1 | 10/25/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"There are 4 CDs in this package. Two with 40 songs by Johnny Winter. The songs to not include "Talk to Your Daughter" and "Go Johnny Go" as claimed by the description on Amazon.com. Don't know if it would help if they were on there though. All the Johnny Winter tracks are truely horrible. It's like Frankie Avalon sings the blues; that awful early 1960's US mainstream pop/rock style very badly performed. The version of "Road Runner" is gruesome. The song is barely recognizable. Suffice it to say there is good reason why it took Winter so long to break through! You can take my word for it, or waste your money on this CD package and hear for yourself.
The other two CDs contain Albert King tracks, and are from a Montreaux performance, and they aren't bad, but not worth the $25.00
Blues guitar bargain!
Scott | Los Angeles, CA United States | 09/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, this isn't a four disc box set, it's two double CD's bundled together in a card stock slip cover. The two CD's are Johnny Winter Essentials 1960-1967 and Albert King Blues From the Road. Both of these CD's are extremely rare and sell regularly in the [...] range (that's each). And here they are, both of them together in their entirety, with all their artwork, cases, notes, etc. for a fraction of what it would cost to get just one. I'm guessing that the label went belly up and their inventory was bundled up and sold off on the cheap. Or maybe it's an overstock item that has slid through the cracks unnoticed by collectors. Once they do pick up on it though, look for the price on this package to go through the roof.
If you are a novice to the blues looking to sample a few blues guitar legends, these probably aren't the CD's for you. While both of these CD's definitely have their merits, neither one are CD's I would recommend to make any kind of lasting first impression with (though the Albert King CD comes very close). They are definitely for the blues guitar fan familiar with at least one of these guitarists who is looking to fill out an already large collection a bit. For that type of buyer, I can definitely recommend this release.
If you ARE a novice blues fan looking to sample these two blues giants, check out White Hot & Blue, Guitar Slinger and/or Nothin' But the Blues by Johnny Winter. For Albert King, check out Born Under A Bad Sign, I'll Play the Blues for You and/or Live Wire Blues Power.
The Johnny Winter CD is a collection of singles Winter recorded with small regional labels before finally signing with Columbia in the late sixties. I have a number of the songs already on other collections, but it's kind of cool to have them all on one collection. With this CD in my collection, I may finally part with some of those others. As near as I can tell, this is just about everything Winter recorded before signing with Columbia. As a whole, the CD is a nice peek at a future guitar legend trying to find himself. There are a number of doo wop-ie sounding tracks, a few surf sounding instrumentals and even a psychedelic track called Birds Can't Row Boats. Overall it sounds more like an oldies collection from some unknown 50's/60's band than early work from a budding blues guitar legend. The songs kind of remind me of Freddie Cannon or The Fendermen.
While a lot of this is a young band trying different things to break out and make a name for themselves, there are also several gems on here as well. Hey Hey Hey is my personal favorite and reminds me a lot of John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom. I also like Ice Cube, Creepy, Ease My Pain, Road Runner and Five After. The CD ends fittingly with a track called Leavin' Blues... which sounds much more like the Johnny Winter blues guitar fans know and love. While I wouldn't rank the CD a must have for the casual fan, if you're a die hard Johnny Winter fan, it's a lot of fun and definitely worth picking up.
Another reviewer complained that two of the songs listed in Amazon's track list weren't on the either disc (there are actually several more). This is not Amazon's fault - it's the record company's mistake. The tracks Amazon has listed are on the slip cover of the release and that is probably what was submitted to Amazon. I have no idea what CD it came from, but it isn't Essentials 1960-1967. Most of the tracks listed by Amazon are on the CD, but as the other reviewer pointed out, there are some exclusions (plus a few songs not listed). The songs are also in a different order. If you go to Amazon's listing for Winter Essentials 1960-1967 you can get the correct track listing and also listen to samples. Since this is the actual Winter Essentials 1960-1967 CD, all the track listings on the artwork and discs are correct. It's just the slip cover and Amazon's list that are wrong.
For the Blues guitar fan, the better of the two CD's is the 2 disc live Albert King CD, Blues From The Road.
The biggest problem with live Albert King CD's is that there is so many of them already out there. Unfortunately, most of them are junk. Poorly recorded, uninspired shows released just to make a few bucks for whomever owns the tracks. It can be very hard for something truly worth while to stand out. Not only that, if you ARE an Albert King fan, you probably have several of these already and are not interested in getting burned again.
Well, let me say that if you are that kind of Albert King fan, you can relax. This one isn't bargain basement trash. This CD is Albert King in top form and is loaded with biting Albert King solos from start to finish. A lot of great playing here and a worthy addition to any Albert King collection.
The CD was recorded live at the Montreaux Festival in 1975. Unlike most of Albert King's live recordings (even Live Wire Blues Power), this is an entire show from start to finish. The last song on Disc 2, Jam in A Flat, is a fifteen minute jam session with Louisiana Red, Lowell Fulson, and Rory Gallagher. This is the only time Blues in A Flat has ever been released on CD.
Overall, this set deserves five stars if for no other reason than value: two rare collectors items bundled together in one package for a fraction of what they are actually worth."