Robert Johnson - The Complete Original Masters, Centennial Edition - Sealed 12 x 10" + CD + DVD
Robert Johnson, The Complete Original Masters, Centennial Edition
(Numbered, Limited Edition)
Robert Johnson - 100th Birthday Box Set
Columbia/Legacy 88697 86066 1
(12)- 10-inch 45-RPM Replicas of Original Vocalion Records Plus Bonus CDs and DVD
ONLY 1,000 COPIES PRESSED
And with this set you get The Robert Johnson Centennial Collection (two CDs); Rarities From The Vaults (a two-CD set that includes Rare Victor Blues, recordings from the Sony/Victor vaults, as well as Also Playing, which is other performers who recorded on the same day); and The Life And Music Of Robert Johnson: Can't You Hear The Wind Howl (DVD).
(Columbia/Legacy 88697 86066 1)
Record 1: Kind Hearted Woman Blues / Terraplane Blues
Vocalion 03416 -
Record 2: 32-20 Blues / Last Fair Deal Gone Down
Oriole 7-04-60 -
Record 3: - Dead Shrimp Blues / I Believe I'll Dust My Broom
Record 4: - Ramblin' On My Mind / Cross Road Blues
Record 5: - Come On In My Kitchen / They're Red Hot
Record 6: Sweet Home Chicago / Walkin' Blues
Vocalion 03601 -
Record 7: From Four Until Late / Hell Hound On My Trail
Vocalion 03623 -
Sleeve 8: Malted Milk / Milkcow's Calf Blues
Perfect 7-10-65 -
Record 9: - Stones In My Passway / I'm A Steady Rollin' Man
Record 10: - Stop Breakin' Down Blues / Honeymoon Blues
Record 11: - Little Queen Of Spades / Me And The Devil Blues
Record 12: - Preachin' Blues / Love In Vain
S1 - San Antonio, Texas: Monday, November 23, 1936
S2 - San Antonio, Texas: Thursday, November 26, 1936
S3 - San Antonio, Texas: Friday, November 27, 1936
D4 - Dallas, Texas: Saturday, June 19, 1937
D5 - Dallas, Texas: Sunday, June 20, 1937
"Crossroad Blues" absolutely made me tingle, with that stunning bottleneck and Johnson's incredible wailing of despair. Anyone who has seen the movie "Crossroads" will immediately recognize this as the song used at the very beginning showing Johnson playing with his back to the recording engineers. Could ANYTHING possibly better convey a man's sorrow?
Fans of the great Son House will immediately recognize his "Walkin' Blues," with Johnson's subtle embellishments and high singing contrasting with House's basso vocals. Just as with House's original, this is one that will grab you right off. Johnson's guitar literally walks along, just as the title suggests. Son House himself must have cracked a rare smile the first time he ever heard this one!
"Preachin Blues" is fantastic, another rework of Son House, featuring the forever classic opening line "I woke up this morning, with the blues walking like a man." Johnson goes into intricate and aggressive bottleneck played at breakneck speed, bellowing his vocals. Stunning work, full of fire and crackle, without doubt.
"Terraplane Blues" was Johnson's sole hit, and one can see why, with its up strange, halting time signature and sexual innuendo put to lyrics about a car.
"Come On In My Kitchen" is simply magnificent, and Elijah Wald's opinion of it as one of Johnson's true masterpieces is well deserved. Johnson, plays a mournful guitar intro with his humming, then finally opens with the words, practically cried out: "You better come on...in my kitchen...well, it's going to be raining outdoors." Johnson's voice and playing are simply sublime, with his singing simultaneously conveying sorrow and seduction, with his guitar perfectly mirroring his voice, then mimicking the sound of wind, as he whispers "Aaah, don't you hear that wind howling?"
One can easily understand how, as told by Johnson's longtime playing companion, Johnny Shines, when Johnson once very slowly played this piece for a crowd, Shines looked up, only to be startled to see that the entire audience, men and women alike, had been reduced to tears. No other way to say it...pure magic!
"32-20 Blues" features Johnson covering the Skip James song about another handgun caliber, "22-20 Blues," which was originally played with piano. Johnson does a clever remake of the piano part using his guitar, with some rather shockingly violent lyrics directed at a cheating woman. Not the stuff of gentleness in "Kitchen," most definitely.
"If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day" features a very familiar tune, for those of you who have heard the song more commonly attributed to Muddy Waters titled "Rollin' and Tumblin'." Johnson bellows his words in an almost hysterical Elmore James manner, but, with that infectious guitar propelling him along. The creaking of his guitar is even clear as he plays with such energy as to flex the neck.
"Traveling Riverside Blues" features the same tune as "Judgement Day," but played more softly and slowly, with commensurate singing, loaded with such lecherous spoken asides as "Squeeze my lemon, baby" and "Yeah, you know what I'm talkin' about!" This song should be well known to even the casual RJ listener.
Me And The Devil Blues features the eerie opening lyric "I woke up this morning/You knocked upon my door. I said "Hello, Satan"/"I believe it's time to go." Johnson's voice slides back and forth between sorrowful and desperate. Brilliant!
"Hellhound On My Trail" is unquestionably another masterpiece, featuring chilling lyrics describing the frenetic pace of being pursued by dark forces, be they simple bad luck or something far more sinister. Johnson's voice perfectly conveys his dread, sorrow, and desperation at his plight, as he wields his guitar into producing a minor chord dread all its own. This one will definitely spike your hackles. Magnificently frightening.