The Anthology

The Anthology

by Bobby "Blue" BlandBobby "Blue" Bland


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As the quintessential chitlin' circuit R&B/blues star, Memphis-based singer Bobby "Blue" Bland's career has been relatively well-documented on CD. Still, until this 2001 double set, all 25 of his Top Ten R&B hits have not been available in one package. The Anthology is still not a complete career overview though, as it ends in 1982 before his prolific years at Malaco. It does, however, cover a remarkably prolific 30-year period, starting with his first recordings for Duke in 1952 and touching base at Dunhill and MCA, all conveniently located under the current Universal Music label umbrella. Die-hard fans of Bland during this period likely own the three double-disc sets MCA released in the mid-'90s but, for those who don't need the warts-and-all treatment yet want something more in depth than skimpy single-disc collections, this is certainly the way to go. Soul expert Bill Dahl's excellent liner notes provide anecdotes along with the major events that shaped Bland's life and ultimately these recordings. The 16-page book lists detailed and comprehensive individual track information, noting specific musicians on each of the 50 cuts. The overall effect is startling in its consistency. Bland's style and voice are immediately identifiable throughout, and the songwriting -- even on the later tracks -- typically suits his grits-and-honey approach. A previously unreleased live eight-minute 1973 version of "This Time I'm Gone for Good," which demonstrates how effectively Bland extended his songs in concert, is the only collectable track here, but this chronologically arranged set is not geared toward that segment of the audience. Sonically, The Anthology is the best this material has ever sounded, with the '60s songs absolutely stunning in their remastered definition. While he experienced a significant career resurgence in the '80s, which is where this sets stops, these are the classic songs that form the basis of any serious blues collection. As such, it's an essential document of one of America's most talented, and creative, blues singers.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/05/2001
Label: Mca
UPC: 0008811259624
catalogNumber: 112596
Rank: 7253

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bobby "Blue" Bland   Primary Artist
Johnny Ace   Piano
Larry Carlton   Guitar
Phil Upchurch   Bass
Mel Brown   Guitar
Roy Gaines   Guitar
Monk Higgins   Tenor Saxophone
Freddy Robinson   Guitar
Laythan Armor   Piano
Jimmy Beck   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Ben Benay   Guitar
Wayne Bennett   Guitar
Max Bennett   Bass
Ginger Blake   Background Vocals
Johnny Board   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
George Bohannon   Trombone
Henry Boozier   Trumpet
Skippy Brooks   Piano
Rayfield Davers   Baritone Saxophone
Pluma Davis   Trombone
David Ervin   Piano
Wilton Felder   Bass
Chuck Findley   Horn
Earl Forest   Drums
Bobby Forte   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Sonny Freeman   Drums
Ed Greene   Drums
Warren Haygood   Percussion
Clarence Holliman   Guitar
Paul Hubinon   Horn
Michael Omartian   Organ,Piano
Dean Parks   Guitar
Curtis Robinson   Bass
Hamp Simmons   Bass
Gerald Sims   Guitar
Maxine Willard Waters   Background Vocals
Ernie Watts   Horn
Dick Hyde   Horn
Jack Kelson   Horn
Teddy Reynolds   Piano
Julia Tillman   Background Vocals
Joe Scott   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Johnny Cash   Composer
Mississippi Fred McDowell   Composer
Monk Higgins   Composer
Steve Barri   Producer
Bell   Composer
George Butcher   Arranger
Jon Hendricks   Composer
Deadric Malone   Composer
Andy McKaie   Producer
Clyde Otis   Producer
Joe Scott   Composer
Bill Dahl   Liner Notes
Harry Van Walls   Composer
Vartan   Art Direction
Jay Wellington   Arranger
Joseph Scott   Composer
Ahmet Nugetre   Composer
Braggs   Composer
Boozier   Composer

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