Mean Old World: The Blues from 1940 to 1994

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
A four-CD, 80-song box set that, in line with similar Smithsonian productions, outlines the history of blues spanning over 50 years, with cuts by major performers who represent its stylistic evolution. The set is stuffed with classics by the likes of Muddy Waters, Louis Jordan, T-Bone Walker, Little Walter, Big Mama Thornton, Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James, B.B. King, and Buddy Guy, with plenty of slightly lesser-known artists like Lil' Son Jackson, Billy Branch, Big Maybelle, J.B. Lenoir, Doctor Clayton, and Junior Kimbrough. The selections are a tad conservative if very good, and it's likely that serious blues fans will have a good share of the tracks in their ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
A four-CD, 80-song box set that, in line with similar Smithsonian productions, outlines the history of blues spanning over 50 years, with cuts by major performers who represent its stylistic evolution. The set is stuffed with classics by the likes of Muddy Waters, Louis Jordan, T-Bone Walker, Little Walter, Big Mama Thornton, Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James, B.B. King, and Buddy Guy, with plenty of slightly lesser-known artists like Lil' Son Jackson, Billy Branch, Big Maybelle, J.B. Lenoir, Doctor Clayton, and Junior Kimbrough. The selections are a tad conservative if very good, and it's likely that serious blues fans will have a good share of the tracks in their collections already. The set also concentrates much more heavily on 1940-1970 material which takes up about 75 percent of the contents than blues from the 25 years from 1970 onward. If your interest falls somewhere between casual fan and dedicated collector, though, it's a good survey of major blues performers and genres, with an excellent historical overview and notes about each performer in the accompanying 92-page booklet.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/23/1996
  • UPC: 033251110020
  • Catalog Number: 110


Disc 1
  1. 1 Ma Rainey (2:35)
  2. 2 I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town (2:42)
  3. 3 Mean Old Frisco (2:28)
  4. 4 Bourgeois Blues (2:16)
  5. 5 Mean Old World (2:45)
  6. 6 Evil Gal Blues (2:42)
  7. 7 I Wonder (2:33)
  8. 8 Blood on the Moon (2:14)
  9. 9 Chicago Breakdown (2:47)
  10. 10 Angels in Harlem (2:54)
  11. 11 Billie's Blues (3:25)
  12. 12 Hoodoo Hoodoo (2:46)
  13. 13 Good Rockin' Tonight (2:56)
  14. 14 Chicken Shack Boogie (2:42)
  15. 15 Trouble Blues (2:15)
  16. 16 Crawlin' King Snake (2:52)
  17. 17 When Things Go Wrong with You (It Hurts Me Too) (2:53)
  18. 18 Cairo Blues - Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson (2:44)
  19. 19 Black Angel Blues (Sweet Black Angel) - Robert Nighthawk (2:55)
  20. 20 Mardi Gras in New Orleans (2:45)
  21. 21 Every Day I Have the Blues (2:24)
  22. 22 Double Crossing Blues - Johnny Otis Quintette (2:40)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Rollin' and Tumblin', Pt. 1 (2:52)
  2. 2 Mother Earth - Memphis Slim (2:35)
  3. 3 Please Send Me Someone to Love (2:46)
  4. 4 Dust My Broom - Elmore James (2:39)
  5. 5 How Many More Years (2:35)
  6. 6 Black, Brown and White (2:37)
  7. 7 Rocket 88 (2:41)
  8. 8 Juke - Little Walter (2:35)
  9. 9 Five Long Years (2:38)
  10. 10 Mean Old World - Little Walter (2:45)
  11. 11 I Smell a Rat (1:40)
  12. 12 Gabbin' Blues (Don't Run My Business) (2:36)
  13. 13 (I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man (2:39)
  14. 14 The Things That I Used to Do - Guitar Slim (2:54)
  15. 15 Eisenhower Blues (2:54)
  16. 16 Okie Dokie Stomp (2:31)
  17. 17 Come Back Baby - Ray Charles (2:59)
  18. 18 How Long, How Long Blues (4:48)
  19. 19 Cherry Red (3:16)
  20. 20 San Francisco Bay Blues (2:38)
  21. 21 I Can't Quit You Baby (3:01)
  22. 22 Three Hours Past Midnight (3:23)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Freight Train (2:44)
  2. 2 Junker Blues (3:01)
  3. 3 Sweet's Blues (5:03)
  4. 4 Livin' With the Blues (2:52)
  5. 5 Shake 'em on Down (2:31)
  6. 6 Spoonful (2:37)
  7. 7 Pardon Denied Again (4:34)
  8. 8 Freddie (2:33)
  9. 9 Hide Away (2:30)
  10. 10 Going Back to Florida (3:10)
  11. 11 Trust My Baby (2:36)
  12. 12 Driving Wheel - Junior Parker (2:30)
  13. 13 Bright Lights, Big City (2:36)
  14. 14 Stormy Monday Blues (4:00)
  15. 15 Tongue Lashing (2:50)
  16. 16 Worry, Worry (6:13)
  17. 17 Baby Scratch My Back (2:46)
  18. 18 Think (2:27)
  19. 19 Wang Dang Doodle (2:54)
  20. 20 Early in the Morning (4:36)
  21. 21 Sweet Home Chicago (3:19)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Crosscut Saw (2:27)
  2. 2 Every Night and Every Day (3:00)
  3. 3 Why I Sing the Blues (8:30)
  4. 4 Everybody Knows About My Good Thing, Pt. 1 (3:10)
  5. 5 Little Bluebird (6:28)
  6. 6 Your Turn to Cry (5:38)
  7. 7 Down Home Blues (5:01)
  8. 8 Your Husband Is Cheatin' on Us (4:30)
  9. 9 How Long This Must Go On (3:55)
  10. 10 Jr. Blues (6:30)
  11. 11 Big Legged Mamas Are Back in Style - Taj Mahal (4:06)
  12. 12 Stubborn Woman (3:16)
  13. 13 Cities Need Help (5:21)
  14. 14 You (7:12)
  15. 15 Between Midnight and Day (3:19)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Big Maybelle Vocals, Track Performer
Bobby "Blue" Bland Vocals, Track Performer
Eddie Boyd Piano, Vocals, Track Performer
Billy Branch Harmonica, Vocals, Track Performer
Big Bill Broonzy Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Charles Brown Piano, Vocals
Roy Brown Bass, Vocals, Track Performer
Peter J. Clayton Vocals
Blind John Davis Piano
Willie Dixon Bass, Vocals
Champion Jack Dupree Piano, Vocals, Track Performer
Jesse Fuller Guitar, Kazoo, Vocals, Track Performer, Fotdella
Lowell Fulson Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Lloyd Glenn Piano
Guitar Slim Guitar, Vocals
Buddy Guy Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Slim Harpo Harmonica, Vocals, Track Performer
Z.Z. Hill Vocals, Track Performer
John Lee Hooker Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Big Walter Horton Harmonica
Melvin "Lil' Son" Jackson Guitar, Vocals
Freddie King Guitar, Track Performer
Lead Belly Vocals, 12-string Guitar, Track Performer
J.B. Lenoir Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Mance Lipscomb Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Little Walter Harmonica, Vocals
Percy Mayfield Vocals, Track Performer
Jimmy McCracklin Vocals, Track Performer
Memphis Minnie Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Memphis Slim Piano, Vocals
Amos Milburn Piano, Vocals, Track Performer
Louis Myers Guitar
Robert Nighthawk Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Johnny Otis Background Vocals, Vibes
Jimmy Reed Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals, Track Performer
Sonny Rhodes Lap Steel Guitar
Hubert Sumlin Guitar
Taj Mahal Piano, Vocals, Track Performer
Koko Taylor Vocals, Track Performer
Little Johnny Taylor Vocals, Track Performer
Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee Harmonica, Vocals
Big Mama Thornton Bass, Vocals, Track Performer
Big Joe Turner Vocals
Junior Wells Harmonica, Vocals, Track Performer
Elizabeth Cotten Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Ray Charles Piano, Vocals
Bobby Nunn Vocals
Robert Parker Alto Saxophone
Danny Barker Guitar
Milt Buckner Piano
Buck Clayton Trumpet
Arnett Cobb Synthesizer, Saxophone
Albert Collins Guitar, Track Performer
Harry "Sweets" Edison Trumpet
Freddie Green Guitar
Red Holloway Tenor Saxophone
Pete Johnson Piano
Jo Jones Drums
Louis Jordan Alto Saxophone, Vocals
Joe Newman Trumpet
Esther Phillips Vocals
Jimmy Rushing Vocals, Track Performer
Willie Smith Alto Saxophone
Buddy Tate Tenor Saxophone
David Torkanowsky Piano
Dinah Washington Vocals, Track Performer
Lester Young Tenor Saxophone
Irving Ashby Guitar
Lawrence Brown Trombone
Pete Brown Alto Saxophone
Oscar Moore Drums
Freddie Slack Piano
Jimmy Blythe Piano
Tampa Red Guitar, Kazoo, Vocals, Track Performer
Don Wilkerson Tenor Saxophone
Johnnie Johnson Piano
The Robins Vocals
Lorenzo Smith Tenor Saxophone
Gene Barge Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Bell Bass
Lee Jackson Bass
Johnny Jones Piano
Denise LaSalle Vocals, Track Performer
The Memphis Horns Horn
Cecil Gant Piano, Vocals, Track Performer
Gene Phillips Guitar
Mississippi Fred McDowell Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Coleman Hawkins Tenor Saxophone
Sam "The Man" Taylor Tenor Saxophone
Big Maceo Merriweather Piano, Track Performer
T-Bone Walker Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Robert Lockwood Jr. Guitar
Sammy Price Piano
Myrick Guillory Rubboard
Sonny Thompson Piano
Walter Page Bass
Calvin "Fuzz" Jones Drums
Junior Kimbrough Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Dino Alvarez Drums
Ike Anderson Bass
Thomisene Anderson Vocals
Joe Arnold Saxophone
Theodore Arthur Tenor Saxophone
Alex Atkins Alto Saxophone
Geese August Bass
Duke Barker Drums
Dallas Bartley Bass
Jewel Bass Vocals
Lefty Bates Guitar
Eddie Beal Piano
Sidney Bechet Soprano Saxophone
Leard Bell Drums
Fred Below Drums
Wayne Bennett Guitar
Billie Holiday Bass, Vocals, Track Performer
Johnny Board Tenor Saxophone
John Boudreaux Drums
Jackie Brenston Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Joe Bridgewater Trumpet
Glenn Brooks Drums
Skippy Brooks Piano
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown Guitar
Johnny Brown Guitar
Kerry Brown Drums
Sammy K. Brown Drums
Brownie McGhee Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
John Browning Trumpet
Howlin' Wolf Harmonica, Vocals, Track Performer
Larry Burton Guitar
Carl Caldwell Bass
Harrison Calloway Horn
Red Callender Bass
Little Milton Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Big Sid Catlett Drums
Ben Cauley Horn
Henderson Chambers Trombone
Alfred Cobbs Trombone
David Coleman Drums
Ernest Cotton Tenor Saxophone
Ernest "Big" Crawford Bass
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Maxwell Davis Tenor Saxophone
Pluma Davis Trombone
George M. "Jud" DeNaut Bass
Mario Delagarde Bass
Al Duncan Drums
Donald "Duck" Dunn Bass
Teddy Edwards Tenor Saxophone
Alfred Elkins Bass
Leroy Emanuel Guitar
Little Esther Vocals
Elgin Evans Drums
Gus Fontenette Alto Saxophone
Fred Ford Baritone Saxophone
Bobby Forte Tenor Saxophone
Pops Foster Bass
Sonny Freeman Drums
Al Gavin Drums
Jewell L. Grant Baritone Saxophone
Ray Griffin Bass
Joe Guy Trumpet
William K. "Billy" Hadnott Bass
Jimmy Hamilton Bass
Ralph Hamilton Bass
Donald Hankins Baritone Saxophone
Paul Harris Guitar, Piano
Bill Harvey Tenor Saxophone
Bob Harvey Drums
Raymond Hill Tenor Saxophone
Scott Holt Guitar
Lightnin' Hopkins Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Jim Horn Horn
Ike Turner Piano
Wayne Jackson Trumpet
Vasti Jackson Guitar
Wesley Jackson Guitar
Elmore James Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Gerald Jemmott Bass, Guitar
Pat Jenkins Trumpet
Duke Jethro Piano
Little Son Joe Guitar
James Johnson Guitar
Jimmy Johnson Guitar, Vocals
Jimmy Johnson Guitar, Vocals
Odie Johnson Bass
Ray Johnson Bass
Willie Jones Drums
Booker T. Jones Piano
Tony Jones Bass
B.B. King Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Albert King Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Ransom Knowling Bass, Guitar
Willie James Lacey Guitar
Lloyd Lambert Bass
Ernest Lane Piano
Leo Lauchie Bass
Chris Layton Drums
Lafayette Leake Piano
Cliff Leeman Drums
Pete "Guitar" Lewis Guitar
Professor Longhair Piano, Vocals, Human Whistle, Track Performer
Andrew Love Saxophone
Herb Lovelle Drums
Magic Sam Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Mama Reed Vocals
Wendell Marshall Bass
Walter Martin Drums
Hugh McCracken Guitar
Willard McDaniel Piano
L.C. McKinley Guitar
Dave McRae Baritone Saxophone
Mezz Mezzrow Clarinet
Frank Mitchell Trumpet
Herman Burell Mitchell Guitar
Paul Monday Piano
Joe Montgomery Piano
Johnny B. Moore Guitar
Joe Morris Trumpet
Muddy Waters Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Jack Myers Bass
David "Fathead" Newman Baritone Saxophone
Frock O'Dell Drums
Odie Payne Jr. Drums
Hot Lips Page Trumpet, Vocals, Track Performer
Junior Parker Vocals, Track Performer
Philip Paul Drums
Earl Phillips Drums
Milt Raskin Piano
Rudolph Richard Guitar
Ben Richardson Alto Saxophone
Eddie Roane Trumpet
James Robertson Drums
Jimmy Rogers Guitar
Charles Rose Horn
Otis Rush Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Rudy Rutherford Clarinet
Jesse Sailes Drums
Ken Sands Trumpet
Charles Saunders Drums
Tommy Shannon Bass
Johnny Shines Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Hamp Simmons Bass
Willie Sims Drums
Fletcher Smith Piano
Charlie Smith Drums
Carl Snyder Piano
Sonny Terry Harmonica, Vocals, Track Performer
Otis Spann Piano
John Starks Drums
Willie Steel Drums
Terry Taylor Drums
Ty Terrell Vocals
Arnold Thomas Piano
Harvey Thompson Horn
Mack Thompson Bass
Joe Tillman Tenor Saxophone
Luther Tucker Guitar
Percy Walker Drums
Bill Warren Drums
Johnny "Guitar" Watson Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Carl Weathersby Guitar
Frank Wess Tenor Saxophone
Richard Wells Tenor Saxophone
Charles Whitley Trumpet
Carson Whitsett Organ, Piano
Devonia Williams Piano
Robert Pete Williams Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Sonny Boy Williamson I Harmonica, Vocals, Track Performer
Sonny Boy Williamson [II] Harmonica, Vocals, Track Performer
Bill Willis Bass
Bob Wills Bass
Albert Winston Bass
Jimmy Witherspoon Vocals, Track Performer
Reese Wynans Organ, farfisa organ
Mighty Joe Young Guitar
Dino Zimmerman Guitar
Dave Coleman Drums
Willie Kizart Guitar
Larry Dale Guitar
Leon Hooper Drums
Al Jackson Jr. Drums
Willie Johnson Guitar
Corey Harris Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Doctor Clayton Vocals, Track Performer
Lee Young Drums
Elga Edmunds Drums
Timothy Overton Tenor Saxophone
Tommy Turk Trombone
The Vagabonds Vocals
John Williams Guitar
Johnny Williams Guitar
Grachan Moncur II Bass
James Bell Bass
Ernest Lawlars Guitar
Monroe Vincent Percussion
Louis Jordan & His Tympany 5 Track Performer
Tutu Jones Guitar, Vocals, Track Performer
Earl Brown Alto Saxophone
Jimmy Allen Tenor Saxophone
Charlotte Chenault Vocals
James Camady Guitar
Jud de Naut Bass
Bill Kehoe Percussion
Henry McDode Piano
Tommy Nevue Trumpet
Charles Burbank Tenor Saxophone
Fred Radcliffe Drums
Charles Waller Baritone Saxophone
Malcolm Robinson Horn
Cal Arnold Bass
Vernon King Bass
Linny Nance Keyboards, Hammond Organ
Carl Arnold Bass
Joe Ayers Bass
Alfred Jenkins Bass
Dave Myers Guitar
Billy Richards Vocals
Rose Marie McCoy Speech/Speaker/Speaking Part
Dave Lee Piano
Big Joe Turner Bass
Eddie Williams Bass
Tony Moret Trumpet
Robert Ogden Drums
Jimmy Miller Drums
David Lee Piano
Roy Richards Vocals
Technical Credits
Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes Contributor
Slim Harpo Composer
John Lee Hooker Composer
Little Walter Contributor
Memphis Slim Contributor
Johnny Otis Contributor
Jimmy Reed Contributor
Jane Sapp Contributor, Editorial Coordinator
Ray Charles Contributor
Leonard Feather Composer
Lionel Hampton Composer, Director, Contributor
Louis Jordan Contributor
The Memphis Horns Contributor
Bernard Besman Composer
Jackie Brenston Contributor
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown Contributor
Maxwell Davis Director
Pluma Davis Composer
Larry Hoffman Producer, Liner Notes
Elmore James Composer
Robert Johnson Composer
Riley King Composer
Leroy Kirkland Contributor
Mezz Mezzrow Contributor
Frank Mitchell Contributor
Eddie Roane Contributor
Bruce Talbot Producer
Mike Donaldson Mastering
Amy Pickworth Editorial Coordinator
Jules Taub Composer
Dave Clark Composer
Traditional Composer
Mezzrow-Bechet Septet Contributor
Al Ciminelli Composer
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