JAPAN REMASTERS OF BOTH ANTHOLOGY ALBUMS NOW AVAILABLE
BOB | LOS ANGELES, CA | 07/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
Universal Japan has issued new '08 remasters of both Anthology and Anthology II, both in LP-replica mini-sleeves of the original album covers, and both complete with replicas of the original booklets.
It's great to finally have improved-audio versions of both of these fabulous compilations, but what just knocked my socks off was the remastered "Loan Me A Dime". This track now sounds better than any other CD ever released, including the '97 Scaggs Anthology. I've always loved that song, and now it sounds like you're standing in the room when they recorded it; you won't believe the increased clarity of the drums, or the awesome bass-drum kick on this version.
The price of both of these sets will probably take your breath away, but you can find them direct from Tokyo retailers, or eBay, for nearly half the price Amazon is charging for them. Just don't delay in buying them, as all mini-sleeves are limited edition.
WHAT IS A JAPAN "MINI-LP-SLEEVE" CD?
Have you ever lamented the loss of one of the 20th Century's great art forms, the 12" vinyl LP jacket? Then "mini-LP-sleeve" CD's may be for you.
Mini-sleeve CDs are manufactured in Japan under license. The disc is packaged inside a 135MM X 135MM cardboard precision-miniature replica of the original classic vinyl-LP album. Also, anything contained in the original LP, such as gatefolds, booklets, lyric sheets, posters, printed LP sleeves, stickers, embosses, special LP cover paper/inks/textures and/or die cuts, are precisely replicated and included. An English-language lyric sheet is always included, even if the original LP did not have printed lyrics.
Then, there's the sonic quality: Often (but not always), mini-sleeves have dedicated remastering (20-Bit, 24-Bit, DSD, K2/K2HD, and/or HDCD), and can often (but not always) be superior to the audio on the same title anywhere else in the world. There also may be bonus tracks unavailable elsewhere.
Each Japan mini-sleeve has an "obi" ("oh-bee"), a removable Japan-language promotional strip. The obi lists the Japan street date of that particular release, the catalog number, the mastering info, and often the original album's release date. Bonus tracks are only listed on the obi, maintaining the integrity of the original LP artwork. The obi's are collectable, and should not be discarded.
All mini-sleeve releases are limited edition, but re-pressings/re-issues are becoming more common (again, not always). The enthusiasm of mini-sleeve collecting must be tempered, however, with avoiding fake mini-sleeves manufactured in Russia and distributed throughout the world, primarily on eBay. They are inferior in quality, worthless in collectable value, a total waste of money, and should be avoided at all costs."
One for the Ages
Douglas S. Wood | Monona, WI | 08/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Duane Allman Anthology Volume 2 brings together an eclectic mix of musicians and Allman's superior guitar skills. The range of music on this two-disc set displays Allman's versatility. Blues, Motown, southern rock, straight rock 'n roll, funky jazz, Creole rock - all manner of R&B - you find it all here.
In addition to his work with the Allmans Brothers Band, Allman was a session musician. Most of the songs here feature someone other than Allman such as King Curtis, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Mann, Otis Rush, Dr. John Creaux, Wilson Pickett, Lulu, Boz Scaggs, Delaney & Bonnie, and Ronnie Hawkins.
(Pickett's 'Born to be Wild' was one of the anthems of a generation - looking back from middle-aged parenthood I can only imagine how thrilled my parents were to hear that song blaring!)
The album goes from one triumph to another. 'Walk on Gilded Splinters' featuring Dr. John is worth the purchase price all by itself. Likewise, 'The Weight' by King Curtis and 'Push Push' by Herbie Mann.
There's also plenty to satisfy Allman Brothers Band aficionados. 'Done Somebody Wrong' and 'Midnight Rider' (live from the Fillmore East) as well as 'Leave My Blues at Home' all feature the full band.
Allman's carefree nature is on display in 'The Happily Married Man' (refrain: I ain't seen my wife in 2 or 3 years, I'm a happily married man) and 'No Money Down', a Chuck Berry song about trading in his 'broke-down raggedy Ford' for a Cadillac with a nuclear reactor, railroad air horn, and psychedelic strobe spot.
Blistering good music. Highest recommendation."
Milking His Legacy Dry
Kurt Harding | Boerne TX | 11/13/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"For some reason, I missed An Anthology, Vol. 2 when it was first issued. I wasn't even aware that it existed until it popped up in my recommendations one day after I reviewed some other 1960s blues-rock. I liked Vol. 1 well enough in its day, so I decided to take the plunge and order this. Well, like another reviewer opined, I should have stuck with An Anthology, Vol. 1 and the Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore East album if I wanted to hear Duane Allman at his best. That's not to say there is nothing memorable, but the best on Vol. 2 would easily fill no more than an EP. On Disc one, my favorites are Otis Rush's You Reap What You Sow, Ronnie Hawkins' rollicking Matchbox and Herbie Mann's classic Push Push, though that last is woefully short on Duane Allman. On Disc two, I like Sam Samudio's blues shuffle Goin' Upstairs, and three Allman Brothers cuts: Dimples, Done Somebody Wrong, and Leave My Blues At Home. Among the others there are a few humorous cuts like Happily Married Man and the pimpmobile song No Money Down which are nevertheless musically lacking. To me, it is clear that the record company has milked Duane Allman's legacy dry in an understandable attempt to capitalize on the success of the first volume. There are far too many second rate jivey songs and a few covers like Wilson Pickett's Born to Be Wild and The Duck and the Bear's cover of Goin' Up the Country that are just execrable. This edition of the CD comes housed in one of those clunky triple-wide CD cases commonly used on double CDs twenty years ago and a thin booklet that features information about who played what on which song. I won't be listening to this nearly as much as I will listen to other Duane Allman recordings. It just doesn't measure up. But if you just have to own it, I strongly suggest waiting until it has been remastered, repackaged, and hopefully graced with bonus tracks."
Still a great set of music
K. Cooper | Phila. area | 10/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like the first anthology, this set features more of Duane Allman both in the Allman Brothers and a sideman. There's some real treats here including the cuts by Johnny Jenkins, Herbie Mann, Otis Rush, King Curtis, and especially the lead vocals from Duane on the set. His work on "Dimples" alone is worth the price of the set! Though not quite as good as the 1st set, it is still magnificent and still 5 stars."