The Classic Early Recordings: 51-56 [Box]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Although a few hardcore electric Chicago blues fans might take offense at the remark, Elmore James' work does not comprise the most varied discography among major bluesmen. So a single-disc survey of his material, whether it covers the first five years or so of his career (as this three-CD anthology does) or a longer period, works better as both a general introduction and a more listenable compilation than a box set does. If you're a completist who does want everything known to exist that he laid down in the studio between August 1951 and January 1956, however, this 71-track compilation is the most thorough retrospective of that era likely to be produced. In addition...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Although a few hardcore electric Chicago blues fans might take offense at the remark, Elmore James' work does not comprise the most varied discography among major bluesmen. So a single-disc survey of his material, whether it covers the first five years or so of his career (as this three-CD anthology does) or a longer period, works better as both a general introduction and a more listenable compilation than a box set does. If you're a completist who does want everything known to exist that he laid down in the studio between August 1951 and January 1956, however, this 71-track compilation is the most thorough retrospective of that era likely to be produced. In addition to including songs that were not issued in any form until after his death (and sometimes long after his passing), there are multiple takes of specific tunes, alternates, false starts, studio chatter, instrumental version, songs on which he guested for J.T. Brown and Little Johnny Jones, and so forth. Indeed, there are so many multiple versions on this release that even the liner notes take care to suggest custom-programming the CD sequence if you'd rather not hear them all in a row. For all the if-we-can-find-it-release-it mentality driving this collection, however, it really is pretty listenable, at least if you like James and early- to mid-'50s Chicago blues a lot. For one thing, it does include a couple of big hits, those being James' original 1952 version of "Dust My Broom" and the 1953 Top Ten R&B hit "I Believe." More relevantly, James played and sang consistently well even on the material that languished in the vault. Plus all those multiple versions aren't wholly repetitive; James occasionally makes changes to the lyrics and music, though the similarity of style from song to song is prevalent enough that you have to be paying close attention to catch all of these. Some fans primarily familiar with James through his Delta-soaked electric slide guitar playing (and there's plenty of that here) will also be surprised at the commercial R&B edge to many of the sides, though it's commercial in the better sense of that term, often with horns and piano urbanizing James' approach. The 40-page booklet has a wealth of information, vintage photos, and a detailed sessionography, increasing its appeal to those who want all things James. [Initially released in 1993 in long-box packaging, The Classic Early Recordings 1951-1956 was reissued by Ace in 2007 as a standard-sized three-CD set with a different cover.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/28/2007
  • Label: Ace Records Uk
  • UPC: 029667000420
  • Catalog Number: 4
  • Sales rank: 58,741

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Dust My Broom (2:47)
  2. 2 Please Find My Baby (3:04)
  3. 3 Hawaiian Boogie (2:40)
  4. 4 Please Find My Baby (3:08)
  5. 5 Hand in Hand (2:52)
  6. 6 Long Tall Woman (2:57)
  7. 7 Rock My Baby Right (2:51)
  8. 8 One More Drink (3:05)
  9. 9 My Baby's Gone (Won't Be Back No More) (2:24)
  10. 10 One More Drink (3:16)
  11. 11 Lost Woman Blues (aka Please Find My Baby) (3:16)
  12. 12 I Believe (My Time Ain't Long) (3:17)
  13. 13 I Held My Baby Last Night (3:31)
  14. 14 Baby What's Wrong (2:53)
  15. 15 Sinful Woman (2:52)
  16. 16 Round House Boogie aka Sax Symphonic Boogie - Bep Brown Orchestra (2:47)
  17. 17 Dumb Woman Blues - Bep Brown Orchestra (3:12)
  18. 18 Sax-Ony Boogie (2:36)
  19. 19 Kickin' the Blues Around (aka Flaming Blues) - Bep Brown Orchestra (2:56)
  20. 20 I May Be Wrong aka Boogie-Woogie [A.k.a. Boogie-Woogie (I May Be Wrong) - Chicago Hound Hogs (2:51)
  21. 21 Sweet Little Woman - Chicago Hound Hogs (3:00)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Early in the Morning (2:49)
  2. 2 Can't Stop Lovin' My Baby (2:26)
  3. 3 Hawaiian Boogie (2:20)
  4. 4 Make a Little Love (2:51)
  5. 5 My Best Friend (2:48)
  6. 6 Make My Dreams Come True (2:46)
  7. 7 Make My Dreams Come True (0:56)
  8. 8 Make My Dreams Come True (2:47)
  9. 9 Make My Dreams Come True (2:43)
  10. 10 Strange Kinda Feeling (2:31)
  11. 11 Strange Kinda Feeling (2:39)
  12. 12 Strange Kinda Feeling (2:48)
  13. 13 Strange Kinda Feeling (0:57)
  14. 14 Strange Kinda Feeling (2:36)
  15. 15 Strange Kinda Feeling (2:43)
  16. 16 Dark and Dreary (0:27)
  17. 17 Dark and Dreary (3:30)
  18. 18 Dark and Dreary (2:48)
  19. 19 Quarter Past Nine (3:31)
  20. 20 Where Can My Baby Be (0:20)
  21. 21 Where Can My Baby Be (2:59)
  22. 22 Where Can My Baby Be (2:57)
  23. 23 Please Come Back to Me (Sho' Nuff I Do) (3:00)
  24. 24 Sho' Nuff I Do (1:31)
  25. 25 Sho' Nuff I Do (2:46)
  26. 26 Sho' Nuff I Do (2:52)
  27. 27 1839 Blues (3:17)
  28. 28 I Got a Strange Baby (1:02)
  29. 29 Canton, Mississippi Breakdown (2:40)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Standing at the Crossroads (2:50)
  2. 2 Late Hours at Midnight (2:47)
  3. 3 Happy Home (2:47)
  4. 4 Sunny Land - Elmore James & His Broomdusters (3:19)
  5. 5 The Way You Treat Me (aka Mean and Evil) (2:14)
  6. 6 No Love in My Heart (2:25)
  7. 7 Dust My Blues (3:11)
  8. 8 I Was a Fool (2:52)
  9. 9 Blues Before Sunrise (2:45)
  10. 10 Good Bye (Baby) (3:00)
  11. 11 So Mean to Me (2:38)
  12. 12 So Mean to Me (2:37)
  13. 13 So Mean to Me (2:30)
  14. 14 Wild About You Baby (1:01)
  15. 15 Wild About You Baby (3:20)
  16. 16 Wild About You Baby (2:42)
  17. 17 Elmo's Shuffle (3:10)
  18. 18 Elmo's Shuffle (2:56)
  19. 19 Elmo's Shuffle (2:36)
  20. 20 Long Tall Woman (3:40)
  21. 21 Long Tall Woman (2:53)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Elmore James Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Guitar, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Johnny Jones Piano, Vocals
Boyd Atkins Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
J.T. Brown Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals, Track Performer
Maxwell Davis Tenor Saxophone
Frank Fields Bass
Edward Frank Piano
Jewell L. Grant Baritone Saxophone
Ralph Hamilton Bass
Raymond Hill Tenor Saxophone
Ike Turner Guitar, Piano
Ransom Knowling Bass
Willard McDaniel Piano
Frock O'Dell Drums
Odie Payne Jr. Drums
Earl Palmer Drums
James Parr Trumpet
Jesse Sailes Drums
Unk Bass, Drums, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Vocals
Leonard Ware Bass
Sonny Boy Williamson I Harmonica
Sonny Boy Williamson [II] Harmonica
Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis Tenor Saxophone
Elmore James & His Broomdusters Track Performer
Ralph "Chuck" Hamilton Bass
Technical Credits
Leroy Carr Composer
Johnny Jones Arranger, Contributor
Roger Armstrong Contributor
Elmore James Arranger, Composer
Robert Johnson Composer
Bob Jones Contributor, Disc Dub
Marshall Sehorn Composer
Ray Topping Producer, Liner Notes, Vocal Coordinator
Hudson Whittaker Composer
Lillian McMurry Producer
Carol Fawcett Vocal Coordinator
Joe Josea Composer
Jules Taub Composer
Sam Ling Composer
Joe Bihari Composer, Producer
Robert Sacre Photo Courtesy
Bob Jones Mastering, Disc Dub
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